Chief Charlie Boyte's report for May 2010

Michael Boyle

As we approach fire season we are ramping up our work in fire prevention on several levels.

Permits are now required for all outdoor burning. This newly designed web site supports online permit applications for small hand piled burning. As the web site develops you will also be able to acquire incinerator permits online.

Currently, we are seeking partners to fund our Wildfire Prevention programs. The highly successful campaign at the BC Ferries terminal depends on grant funding and we are hoping for priority support from the Ministry of Forests (MoF). It cost $403 million to fight forest fires in BC in 2009, so funding prevention seems to make good sense. We have also approached Parks Canada for funding as it ramps up advertising to attract more visitors to the Southern Gulf Islands.

Over the past two years we have been working in cooperation with the Capital Regional District (CRD) Emergency Program, Parks Canada, the Islands Trust and the MoF to develop a comprehensive Community Wildfire Protection Plan. This work provides an action plan model to reduce the risk of wildfires in our community.

Our fire protection area consists of high-risk urban intermix areas. This means commercial developments, high-value waterfront properties, rural residential and sensitive National Park Reserve areas are all mixed together in an ecosystem that is subject to extended periods of extreme wild fire risk.

As the community grows there is more risk of structural fires developing into forest fires. The lack of developed water supplies will allow fires to spread easily to the forest, cut off escape routes and put large portions of the island at risk. Forest fires can also spread to involve structures, so consideration should be given to providing reasonable measures to mitigate this risk.

At PIFR, we are committed to the implementation of comprehensive fire prevention evaluations and strategies for our Islands. In that regard, we will continue to work closely with the CRD and fire protection engineers to find creative and affordable solutions to manage all fire risks in the community.

I am pleased to report that as of April 15, our volunteers responded to 64 incidents in 2010 and in every case we met our obligation to ensure that when you call 911, we send someone who knows what to do.

In the course of making sure we can meet that obligation our regime of training continues. Currently, we have seven volunteers working on their International 1001.


Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply

member

Charles Boyte

Fire Chief

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911

Non-Emergency:

250 629-3321

administration@
penderfire.ca

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