We are really pleased to be able to confirm that the chipping program is back again this year. This program helps reduce solid fuels around your properties and keeps our air quality higher through the reduction in burning.
We received funding, found a home for our chips and have a service provider to handle the program.
Right now we are looking to have about a week of chipping starting in early November. As with previous years, your branches and brush will get put out on the road side, neatly arranged and pointing in one direction.
Keep your eyes on this space for further timing and instructions on what can go in your piles.
Over the last couple of days the fire danger rating has decreased to the point where high risk activities are now allowed again. However a total fire ban remains in effect until we have a little more forgiving weather.
If you do start using your chainsaw, please use extra caution and consider having a bucket of water or a spray can on hand while you work.
It’s back. I have never seen such extreme fire-hazard conditions so late in the season. After 3 days of “extreme” hazard, we are obligated to put the high-risk activity ban in effect. No chainsaw or brush cutting for the next few days. Hopefully, Friday will bring rain and everything can return to normal.
You may have heard or read the news that the Coastal Fire Centre is removing the campfire ban in our area. This is certain to cause some confusion because we will not be removing the campfire ban on Hornby Island.
The simple explanation of our bylaw is that we can be MORE conservative than the province, but we can’t be LESS conservative. If the Province puts in a restriction, then we have to follow it. If they remove a restriction, we are not obligated to follow.
When I look at the closest observation stations to our area (Cedar, Bowser, Quinsam) they are all at extreme fire hazard and are forecasted to stay there for the rest of the week. When I add in how little rain we had last week, I believe it would be irresponsible to remove the campfire ban.
As always, if you see a wood fire, please call 911 to report it. Propane fires are allowed, as are fires in a wood stove in your house. If you are lighting up your woodstove, first have a look at your gutters and make sure that they aren’t filled with dry material ready to catch on fire from an errant spark.
Effective 0800 on Saturday, Sept 16, the ban on high-risk activities has been lifted. This follows the lowering of the fire danger rating two levels to “moderate”. A total fire ban remains in effect. If the fire danger rating goes back to extreme and stays there for three days, the high risk activity restrictions will go back in effect.
We have added a new way of calling for help. If you are near the fire hall experiencing an emergency and need assistance, you can hit the new panic button at our front door. The button is tied into our monitored alarm system and will result in a duty officer being paged for an unknown emergency at the fire hall.
Response time will be 5-15 minutes. There are no sounds or flashing lights indicating that anything is happening, but the messages and pages happen very quickly.
For all those planning to attend the Dale Chase Memorial this coming Sunday, we would ask that you plan to arrive at the firehall by 2:30 p.m. There is plenty of parking in the gravel yard next door. The procession is planned for a start time of 2:45 p.m.
After skipping the last two years, we are proud to be able to host the Hornby Island Blues Camp bass workshops in our apparatus bay. Anytime we can find an alternative use for our community fire hall it’s high fives all around.