2019 Incident Breakdown

In 2019 HIFR attended 193 incidents making it was the busiest year in our history. The bar graph that follows seems to indicate a trend toward increased call volume.

Here is a breakdown of the type of calls that kept us busy last year.

FR (medical)126
Duty Officer18
False Alarm9
Public Service8
Beach Fire7
Chimney Fire5
Motor Vehicle Incident MVI 4
Hydro Lines3
Brush Fire2
Ground Search2
Structural Fire2
Investigation (no fire)1
Fire Unclassified1
Burn Pile1
Walk-in First Aid1
RCMP Assist1
Telephone Wires1
CO Alarm1

Polar Bear Swim

The weather is forecasted to be cloudy and warm with a chance of showers for the 2020 edition of the Hornby Island Polar Bear Swim. HIFR will be at Grassy Point beach with trucks, hot dogs, chai and a big bonfire in anticipation of the multitude of 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.

Don’t let the shocked looks scare you. The water is usually very warm.

Two New Promotions

I am thrilled to announce the promotion of Jac Graham and Ben Peterson from the rank of rookie to that of firefighter. Jac and Ben both successfully challenged and intense HIFR in-house written test and a practical exam that takes two evenings to complete.

Sure, they get shiny new stickers for their helmets, a gold nameplate, and yellow id-tags. What they really get, however, is the acknowledgment of their peers that they are a competent firefighter that can be trusted to carry out important tasks on a fireground without supervision.

Aside from skills and enthusiasm, they both have a great sense of humour and bring smiles and good cheer into the firehall. Hornby Island is lucky to have them. Congratulations to Jac and Ben!

Shiny new helmet decals await those who can successfully challenge the in-house exam.

Disposing of Rescue Truck

HIFR and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is disposing of a 1982 International rescue truck (VIN 1HTAA18B2BHB30370). The vehicle starts reliably, runs nicely, and is roadworthy. It has been meticulously maintained. It has a gasoline-powered engine and is not equipped with air brakes. This truck is located at 3715 Central Road and is offered “as is, where is”. 

Offers clearly marked “Disposition Hornby Island Rescue Truck”, may be submitted by email to shainsworth@comoxvalleyrd.ca or in-person to 600 Comox Road, Courtenay, BC, V9N 3P6, until 2:00pm on Wednesday December 18, 2019. 

In order to be considered, interested parties should ensure the offer is received by the CVRD before the submission deadline. 

Queries regarding the vehicle should be directed to Doug Chinnery Fire Chief, by email at chief@hifd.org or by calling 250.335.2611. Queries regarding the process should be directed to Scott Hainsworth by email at shainsworth@comoxvalleyrd.ca or 250.334.6000.

No Permits Required

As of Wed, October 16, residential backyard burning no longer requires a permit. However, please have mercy on your neighbours and burn only on a day with a good venting index. You can find a map showing the venting index on the right-hand side of this website.

Keep in mind that category 3 piles always require a permit. Category 3 piles are those that were built by a machine or those that contain stumps or large logs.

Backyard Burning Opening

On Hornby Island, permits will be required prior to lighting your pile. Call the firehall at 250.335.2611 to request your free permit. We write them on Wednesdays and Saturdays and they are usually good for two weeks.

Burning can only take place on days with a good venting index. You can see the venting index on the link on the right-hand side of this page or click here and look for “CNTRL VAN ISLAND”.

Backyard Burning is Closed

Considering the extremely dry weather, the rising fire hazard, and the wildfires that have been happening on Vancouver Island, we have decided to close all backyard burning for the season. Effective noon on May 10, no more permits will be issued and any open permits will be cancelled.

Campfires are still allowed but must be limited to .5 meters x .5 meters. Campfires are for cooking, warmth, or ceremony, not for backyard cleanup. Please fully extinguish your campfires using water. Burying them with gravel or dirt is not a great method of extinguishing them.

Backyard burning season will likely reopen in late September.

Burn Permit Season Begins

Effective noon on Wednesday, April 3, backyard burning will require a permit. We will write permits on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You can arrange to get one by calling the fire hall at 250.335.2611 and leaving a message if no one is there to take your call.

  • 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.
  • Machine built (category III) burns also require a provincial burn registration number, a machine on site, and a really good water source.

Please keep in mind the air quality problems that we have been seeing in our area and the amount of carbon that is released into the atmosphere when yard waste is burned. Instead, consider composting your yard waste or taking it to The Depot for disposal.