Chief Charlie Boyte's report for October 2013

Michael Boyle

It looks like we have made it through another high risk fire season unscathed thanks to this community’s cooperation and vigilance. We all owe a vote of thanks for the stellar work performed by our fire prevention crews at the farmers market and at Swartz Bay under the direction of Deputy Chief Mike Dine. They did an amazing job keeping us all safe. That is no small feat considering we have attended 144 emergencies as of the Sept.18 and only one of those was a brush fire started as a result of careless behavior.

Permits are required for all outdoor burning from the 1st to the 31st of October. After that date and until April 1st you may burn without a permit providing the burning is done in accordance with the bylaw. Permits will be available online at and the “No Fires Anywhere Signs” will be removed October 1. If you have an annual incinerator permit, please confirm the date is valid, insure the incinerator is in good condition and the area clear of combustibles before using it. Do not burn garbage or other prohibited materials. Smoke can impact your neighbors so please be considerate when conducting any outside burning.

We need to recruit some volunteer firefighters. We are facing a shortage of members that are able to do the strenuous work required in firefighting and rescue operations.

I know there are some folks out there who can help. I have seen them jogging, playing hockey and cycling. If you are one of those people don’t be shy. Please give Deputy Chief Dine a call at 250-629-3321 or 250-537-0101 and set up an appointment to find out how you can help us to keep this community safe. The simple fact is that we need more fit volunteers to sustain the service at existing levels.

I would urge you to read the following response to a recent Face Book post. Here is what Mark Wyatt said: “If you live on Pender Island, this could be the best, life changing decision you will make. Trust me, 10 years ago I thought I didn't have any time either, but after some coaxing from a few awesome guys, I made the commitment and volunteered on Salt Spring Island. Best decision I ever made. Pender is an excellent department with awesome leadership and a great training program.”

There are many great reasons to join PIFR. Certainly serving your community and helping those in need is personally rewarding and sets a great example for our children. You do not need to know anything about firefighting or emergency response to make that call. If you are honest, caring and fit ... female or male ... we will teach you all you need to know. If you want to see what is involved we have an information session planned for Oct. 12 at our annual open house and fire extinguisher clinic.

Oct. 6 through 12 is Fire Prevention Week. We are hosting a fire extinguisher clinic, providing free fire extinguisher inspections and will have some safety displays, hall tours and information sessions at Fire Hall #1 across from the Community Hall.

Following the open house our next big event is Halloween. We will again host a bonfire and costume parade. This event is designed to gather our children in a safe location after they have finished “trick or treating.” It is an excellent opportunity for young and old to meet or catch up with other community families and support the islands’ little ghosts and goblins. In the four years we have been running this event we have never had a child injury on Halloween night. We think that is a great record and hope you will come and help us make the night spooktacular!

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Cecilia Suh

First Responder
Truck Checker

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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