Chief Charlie Boyte's report for August 2016

Michael Boyle

The weather has been unpredictable. Even so the fire hazard remains “High” due to the drought we experienced earlier. And temperatures 2.5 degrees above average have increased the risk of wildfires.

This time of year we see more seasonal, part time residents and visitors around our forest environment. The summer population increases the potential for wildfires. Human caused fires must be prevented as any fire will be difficult to control.

To combat this threat PIFR is making every effort to spread our fire prevention messages. The best way is face to face. Please help educate neighbours when risky behaviour is observed. Talk with visitors about the wildfire risk and the need to manage those risks.

Everyone must call 911 at the first sign of smoke, fire or other emergencies. That speedy call gives us a chance to assemble and get rolling. Unlike the city fire departments our volunteers must respond first to the fire hall and then to the emergency. There are no paid firefighters staffing the halls. Visitors need to know the street address where they are staying and that address needs to be clearly marked.

We continue to deliver the fire prevention campaign at Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal with the goal of reaching residents, non-resident property owners and tourists.

We are also regulating high risk activities. Restrictions are in effect whenever the fire signs indicate High or Extreme fire hazards. Outdoor burning, campfires and beach fires are not allowed anywhere. All gas or diesel equipment and other spark-producing activities are prohibited except when performed under a valid permit.

As noted in last month’s Post, the permit system is designed to keep local projects moving ahead while ensuring measures are in place to mitigate fire risk. Please check Work Restrictions on this website before starting work. Restrictions apply after 1 p.m. during High hazard and all day during Extreme hazard. If you have questions call us at 250-629-3321.

Smokers must be extra careful in and around the forest. Carry a butt container in your car. Smoking is prohibited in parks and on trails. Please find a safe place away from combustibles if you need to smoke and manage your ashes and butts responsibly.

Despite all our education people still toss cigarette butts out car windows. Please call 911 if you see this illegal behaviour. Take the licence plate number and note the location of the incident. Stop in a safe location and extinguish the butt if you can. The RCMP will be happy to track down offenders. Under the Wildfire Act this behaviour is punishable with fines up to $500,000 and two years in jail.

As of July 19 our volunteers have responded to 133 emergency and medical calls, a 20 per cent increase over the same period in 2015. Our volunteers are committed to ensure that when you call for help, someone will come with the right tools, equipment and knowledge to help you through that emergency. Please call 911 early so they can get to you sooner and ensure that is exactly what happens.

Thank you and stay safe.


Fire Chief Charlie Boyte

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Al Powelson

First Responder

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict Valid CSS!