As we say hello to 2021, now’s the time to chip that Christmas tree.

Both the Courtenay and Comox Fire Departments are hosting COVID-safe tree chipping fundraisers this weekend, drive-thru style.

In Courtenay, fire crews will be volunteering their time at two locations – the Courtenay Fire Hall on Cumberland Road, and in front of Thrifty Foods in Crown Isle Plaza. They’ll be chipping trees today and tomorrow (Jan. 2nd and 3rd), from 8:30 am till 4:00 pm on both days.

A minimum donation of $5 is required, with all funds raised supporting local Comox Valley charities.

Meanwhile, over in Comox, firefighters will be at the Comox Fire Hall on Noel Avenue chipping trees between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, both today and tomorrow. 

Comox fire chief Gord Schreiner says events like this are a win/win for all involved. He says last year’s tree chipping event in Comox raised over $4,500 for YANA (You Are Not Alone), a local charity that helps out families who need to travel out of town for medical treatment.

“The trees get recycled and the donations go to a great local cause,” he says.

“I am so proud of our firefighters for not only responding to hundreds of emergency calls each year, but also for all the extra things they do to make our community a great place to live,” Schreiner adds. 

If you can’t make it out this weekend, don’t worry – firefighters will come to you. At-home pickup is available for Courtenay and Comox residents. If you’re in Courtenay, call the local fire department in advance at (250) 334-2513 or email [email protected]. Those in Comox are asked to call (250) 339-2432 or email [email protected].