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!

New Licensed First Responders

On behalf of HIFR, and the entire Hornby Island community, I’d like to congratulate Jac Graham, Rob “Louie” Lewis, Albini Lapierre, and Scott Towson for achieving their FR licenses though the Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board.

They dedicated themselves to a 40 hour course then did many more hours of practice before challenging both a written and practical exam. I’d also like to thank Paula Courteau for her many hours of prep and for her excellent instruction, and John Heinegg for doing all of the evaluations.

I could not be more proud of the dedication of this group of volunteers to the health and safety of our community.

Doug Chinnery
Fire Chief

The Different Types of Outdoor Fires

The most recent news letter from the Coastal Fire Center has a bunch of great information inside. The front page tells us all about the various categories of outdoor fires… What makes a campfire a campfire and what differentiates a category 2 backyard burn from a category 3 slash pile.

Further on in the newsletter they discuss the often talked about ventilation index and how to report a non permitted burn.

Click on the image for a pdf version of the newsletter.