Chief Charlie Boyte's report for October 2015

Michael Boyle

Well folks, it looks like we made it through another high risk fire season unscathed by human-caused brush or forest fires. That is largely due to your vigilance and early reporting of risky behaviour and smoke.

We did respond to a rapidity growing brush fire that started from a BC Hydro transformer in front of Fire Hall #1. It quickly spread 20 feet into the trees but was contained thanks to a quick response by Captain Jason Atkinson. Our crews dug out and extinguish the fire over the next couple of hours with initial help from passersby and neighbours.

The fact that we had no human-caused fires over the long spell of extreme drought is a testament to the stellar work of our fire prevention crews under the direction of Deputy Chief Mike Dine at the farmers market and at Swartz Bay. They did an amazing job of public education and awareness.

Permits are required for all outdoor burning from Oct. 1st to 31st. After that and until April 1st you may burn without a permit providing it is done in accordance with the bylaw. Please be respectful when burning as smoke can be very harmful to neighbors with breathing difficulties. A little courtesy and a chat over the fence can eliminate health risks.

Permits will be available online by following the link on the homepage. If you have an annual incinerator permit please confirm that the date is valid, insure the incinerator is in good condition and the area clear of combustibles. Do not burn garbage or other prohibited materials.

We need to recruit some volunteer firefighters. There may be a feeling in the community that we have enough responders. Our current members are doing an exceptional job but we are tiring them out. The reality is we really need at least a dozen more volunteers. We have a troubling shortage of members who can do the strenuous work required in firefighting and rescue operations. The good news is that these volunteers have the best opportunity to challenge themselves physically and mentally and experience the wonderful feeling that comes from helping those in need.

If you are a candidate 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 keep this community safe. PIFR is an amazing organization embracing exceptional values. The people on our team have the same demands on their time as you. You have a unique opportunity to help this organization continue to provide exceptional emergency services to your friends and families.

I know if you join the team you won’t be disappointed. Serving your community and helping those in need is personally rewarding and sets a great example for our children. We have a comprehensive training program recognized as leading edged across BC. You do not need to know a thing 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 come to an information session Oct. 10th at our annual open house and fire extinguisher clinic.

Oct. 4th through 10th is Fire Prevention Week. We are 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. We will also be showing off the investment you have made in the training ground.

Please check the advertisements in this issue of the Pender Post for details about Fire Prevention Week and our Halloween event. This year we will be hosting a bonfire, costume parade and serving up hot dogs at the Community Hall. Please note the change in location. 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 and support the Islands’ little ghosts and goblins. In the fourty years we have been running this event we have never had a child injury. Let’s keep that record going! We hope you will come out to the Community Hall and help us make the night spooktacular!

As of Sept. 19th PIFR had responded to 161 emergency incidents. Please remember working smoke alarms save lives. Until next month stay safe.

Fire Chief Charlie Boyte

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Brigitte Prochaska

First Responder

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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