Chief Charlie Boyte's report for December 2019


I usually take time in November to count my blessings and certainly we have lots of those in 2019. As I write this article severe weather-driven events continue to take lives and property in California, Australia and other parts of the world.

We definitely should be thankful we made it through another summer with no serious brush or forest fires. We made it thanks to your vigilance and help, some help from the weather, and because of the fire prevention work and emergency response services provided by the very special people that serve us daily at PIFR. Every year into the future, we will have to keep stepping up our game. Wildfires are here to stay. FireSmart is the tool and the reality of island living is that wildfire prevention is a community challenge we must all embrace.

With 222 calls answered as of November 17th this year, our firefighters, first responders and support crew volunteers continue to make PIFR so proud through the professional services and care they deliver with pride, honour and distinction.

You have likely seen our “Answer the Call” recruiting signs around the Island. It is really important that you understand those signs mean we really need more help! We have made a lot of changes at PIFR to encourage fit male and female community members to join us. We reduced the number of weekend days away from family, created opportunities to learn at your own pace at home, improved paid on call remuneration and benefits.

You have a unique opportunity to take advantage of all we offer. You will meet some really nice people, learn as much as you can absorb, and do some really thrilling things that will challenge you physically and mentally. You will get free internationally-recognized accredited professional training that literally costs thousands of dollars to acquire elsewhere. If you join our team, recruit training will start in January. Don’t miss the opportunity to “ANSWER THE CALL.” If you are fit caring and able, please give us a call. You won’t be sorry you did. Call 250-629-3321 or visit for more information.

Our fire and rescue services rely on a host of volunteers – truck checkers, culinary groups, editors, web designers, HR professionals, fundraisers, and many others. Last year alone, our paid on call responders and volunteers contributed more than 16,000 hours of service.

The Pender Islands Fire Protection Society is also run by (no surprise) a volunteer Board of Directors mandated “to serve and be responsive to the needs of the community through investing in training, education and equipment for our firefighters and medical responders to save lives and protect property and the environment.” We must be prepared to invest in our fire services and infrastructure if we hope to achieve this vision.

That level of community participation is critical to sustainability and there is no doubt in my mind that “Professional Volunteers Serving Community” best describes this amazing cadre of caring citizens.

The winter winds and rain are upon us. Please call 911 to report any downed hydro lines and never assume they are safe to approach. Stay well clear of these hazards to life and any trees or fences that may also be contacted.

As you prepare for the festive season, take time to check for household fire hazards before rushing off to the ferry. Unattended electric heaters, wood stoves, candles, clothes dryers, cook stoves and portable appliances are the leading causes of house fires. Some great safety tips to keep your family safe can be found at

“Volunteers Serving Community” also reflects the essence of many other organizations on the Pender Islands like Nu-To-You, the Library, the Legion, the Pender Post and others that support us in our mission.

On behalf of myself, all the volunteers, staff, and Board of Directors at PIFR, we thank all our “Islands Volunteers,” our partners in public safety – the RCMP and BCAS – and all of you folks for your help and support. Our sincerest best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season and the best ever 2020.


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


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