A barrage of snow and ice has kept the Courtenay fire department on its toes.

Courtenay firefighters were called to 13 incidents on Wednesday and Thursday, including eight crashes.

Among those eight were “multiple” rollovers, said Capt. Jonathan Welsh.

“The roads have been quite treacherous,” Welsh said. “The departments have been working quite heavily just trying to keep the roadways clear and everybody safe at the same time.”

His advice to drivers: if you or your vehicle isn’t equipped the to handle winter conditions, stay home.

“The mandate now is you have to have snow-rated tires on (your vehicle) and I’m seeing a lot of people are just not prepared to go out in this kind of environment,” Welsh said. “If you can stay off the road when it’s that treacherous, it’s a good time to stay home and let it pass.”

Welsh said last night, “you couldn’t even stand on the road.”

“It was that slippery,” he said. “You get out of the truck and you have a hard time standing up and you have people whizzing by. People are not slowing down for first responders on the side of the road, so people need to slow down. If anything, take your time.”

He added that you need to give lots of space between your vehicle and the one in front you to avoid a rear-end crash.

“You’ve got to think about the amount of time it’s going to take you to come to a complete stop in these conditions,” he said. 

“You need to give a wide berth and give people lots of room.”

With that in mind, Comox Valley RCMP spokesperson, Const. Monika Terragni is also reminding drivers to slow down.

“We’ve got speed limit signs everywhere,” Terragni said. “Those are actually for optimal conditions, so clear weather, dry road, light out, that sort of thing. So as soon as we’ve got snow or rain, you can disregard those signs. You should be going slower, and you should be driving to the conditions that are presented to you on the road.”