What are the Types of Burn Piles

I just got the latest newsletter from the Coastal Fire Center which contains a lot of great information about what makes up the various categories of burn piles.

Is your pile a category III or category II? Did you know that you are legally obliged to only light up your burn pile if the venting index is “good”?

If you plan on burning a pile of waste in your backyard please have a look at this newsletter.

Retirement of Iain Palmer

These are Iain’s long service medals with a letter from the Governor General of Canada.

Our end-of-summer barbecue was held last week and was mainly a retirement party to honour Iain Palmer’s 31 years of service to our community.

Iain was one member of the team that began our First Responder program back when sick people were being driven off island in the back of a station wagon. He was instrumental in acquiring our first ambulance.

He then went on to do our fire inspections and served as public safety officer. Iain is one of those people who doesn’t say a lot, but when he does speak up it’s always worth paying attention to. Thank you to Iain for his many years of public service and for his even keel and wise words.

Iain is a very practical sort of fellow. When we heard how rickety his 30 year old wheelbarrow was, his retirement gift became obvious.

Backyard burning now allowed with permit

Effective noon Wednesday September 19, 2018, backyard burning will be allowed in the Coastal Fire Service jurisdiction. The notice which can be reached by clicking on the image below reinforces some best practices.

  • Local bylaws are in place which means that permits are required for all backyard burning until conditions improve some more.
  • Please check the venting index and avoid burning on windy days. The venting index can be reached by clicking on the venting index image on the right.
  • Please ensure that you have tools such as shovels and water at hand to help manage your fire.
  • For all permits or any questions please call the firehall at 335-2611 and we would be happy to help you with your call.

Updated Fire Ratings

With the arrival of the fall rain, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief as the forest fire danger has eased considerably.

Safe campfires, the use of wood stoves for heating, and chainsaw and lawn mowing are now allowed again.

Burn piles are still prohibited and permits will not be issued until we get the required update from the province. We will update the website on an ongoing basis so be sure to check back regularly.

Contributions in Memory of Vickie MacDonald

HIFR was recently asked about accepting donations to our volunteer fund in memory of one of our most recent patients; Vickie MacDonald. Her family (husband Ian, and children Mike and Allison) have asked if we could create a way to donate to our volunteer fund in memory of Vickie.

You can visit our Volunteer Fund page to find out ways to donate or click on the link below.

Thank you to the MacDonald family and all supporters for their generosity.

HIFR Volunteer Fund 

Smoking and Butt Disposal

Yesterday our duty officer responded to a smoldering log at the parking lot at Little Trib.  Someone had put out a cigarette on the crispy dry red cedar log that marks the parking area. A nice on-shore breeze fanned the embers and it spread into the log.

Little Trib Parking area. The red arrow marks the log that was smoldering.

Right beside the log is a metal can for disposing of cigarette butts. On the other side of the log is a quarter acre of dry grass. Downwind of the log are really dry scrubby beach shrubs and four homes. When I visited the site today I found 6-8 cigarette butts that looked less than a week old in the grass.

Little Trib beach access is highways land and it is legal to smoke there. However, those logs at the edge of the parking lot border on very dry and flammable private land. Please, if you use that log for a get-together or for just enjoying the view use the metal can for your butts.  Perhaps consider moving down onto the gravel beach when smoking.  That way if an ember falls onto the ground it won’t light up the dry grass.

Also please let others, who may not be following social media, know the importance of being safe with cigarettes.

High Risk Activity Restrictions

Effective noon on July 30 we are implementing restrictions on high risk activities. These activities include chainsaw usage, lawn mowing, brush cutting with metal blades, and land clearing. Nylon string weed trimmers are allowed as they are unlikely to create a spark.

For more information on which activities are allowed and which are restricted please refer to the Wildfire BC page.

If you witness someone engaging in one of the risky activities you can call the Fire Patrol cell phone at 250.703.1792 or the Fire Hall at 250.335.2611. If you choose to inform the operator yourself please be kind. They may not be aware of the restrictions.  Entering into a confrontation benefits no one.

Campfire Ban in effect Wed July 18 at noon

It’s been a pretty good run for campfires this year but this heat has dried up any moisture in the ground and the BC Ministry of Forests has declared a campfire ban. The ban comes into effect on Wed, July 18 at noon.

CSA approved propane appliances are still allowed as are briquette barbecues. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Congratulations to Our New Firefighters

After a ton of hard work and long hours of studying, Duncan MacCaskill and Rob Lewis have been promoted from Rookie to Firefighter. Duncan returned to us this year after a lengthy absence and Rob joined our department almost two years ago.

The test to be promoted has a multi hour practical component and  a 40 question written test. They both demonstrated an outstanding commitment to their training, to the betterment of our department, and to the health and safety of our community.

Congratulations Rob and Duncan!