Backyard burning closure Fri, Apr 26

The yard clearing season is coming to a close. Every year it gets a little earlier it seems. A persistent drought, a dry Spring, several fires that escaped on Vancouver Island, and the BC Wildfire Service resources that are mobilized in the North are contributing factors.

If you have an open permit, consider it closed on Friday evening at 1800. No new permits will be written. Campfires (50cm in diameter) are still open and don’t require a permit.

Permits start on Wed Mar 20

Considering the ongoing drought, and a few oversized burn piles over the last week we now require permits for all burns bigger than a campfire. Permits are free and can be obtained by calling the fire hall at 250.335.2611. Someone will come to inspect your burn pile on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

The HIFR member who comes to see your backyard burn pile will want to see the following:

  • A water source
  • Hand tools for extinguishing
  • 3m clearance to buildings, tall grass, or stanting timber.

Any burn piles containing logs or stumps are considered category III piles and require:

  • A provincial burn number
  • 250 gallons of water and a pump capable of delivering 50GPM
  • a good vent index
  • at least 1km from the school
  • more than 500m from the closest residence

Polar Bear Swim 2024

The 14 day weather forecasts a warm 6 degrees and sunny for the 2024 edition of the Hornby Island Polar Bear Swim on New Years Day. HIFR will be at Grassy Point beach with trucks, hot dogs, chai and a big bonfire in anticipation of the swimmers hitting the water at noon sharp.

This is a great family event with everyone from 6 years old to those in their 80s swimming or just watching the spectacle.

Pro tips:
1) Bring a mug for the hot chai to avoid a single-use cup.
2) Wear water shoes because the pebbles can be hard on your feet.

Yes, we are chipping!

For all those who have asked, and those who want to ask….YES…we are chipping yard waste again this year.

The current target date for the start of chipping is December 4th. The program remains the same. Please place the branches aligned in one direction, nothing larger than 10 cm at the base, no invasive species, no leaf piles, and no construction debris. Your piles should be at the edge of the road and not interfere with traffic.

If you have any questions, please contact the firehall (250.335.2611) and we will be glad to help.


HIFR is thrilled to present this year’s Halloween fireworks show. The fuse will be lit at 8PM sharp on October 31. Once again, Outer Island B&B has graciously offered their field for the event.

The best spot for viewing the display will be on DePape Road, near the intersection of Porpoise, close to the water tank.

Campfires Only

With the hot dry weather coming this weekend, we have made he decision to shut down back yard burns as of this weekend. If you have an existing permit please consider that it is over as of Saturday. If we get a reprieve in the weather we may well allow burning again, but with a wildfire already going on Vancouver Island the prudent thing to do is to minimize risk.