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CVRD rolls out ‘high-risk activity’ fire ban

A campfire ban may be in effect province-wide, but now a ‘high-risk activity’ fire ban is in place within the Comox Valley Regional District.

At noon today (Tuesday), fire departments within the CVRD enacted their high-risk activities bylaw. It covers all CVRD Electoral Area Fire Departments, including:

  • Oyster River Fire Department
  • Fanny Bay Fire Department
  • Hornby Island Fire Department
  • Union Bay Fire Department
  • Denman Island Fire Department

However, the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, and Village of Cumberland are not included in this ban.

To see which fire protection area you reside in, click here.

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According to the CVRD, the ban includes all activities that can produce a spark and are done in a combustible area, like on or near the forest floor or a grassy area.

CVRD bylaws and the Wildfire Act define ‘high-risk activities’ as:

  • Mechanical brushing (example: industrial-scale brushing)
  • Disk trenching (example: mechanical preparation of logged site)
  • Preparation or use of explosives (example: blasting)
  • Using fire or spark-producing tools, including cutting tools (example: cutting torches, metal grinders)
  • Using or preparing fireworks or pyrotechnics (example: fireworks display)
  • Grinding, including rail grinding (example: angle grinder)
  • Mechanical land clearing (example: excavator or skidder logging or digging out stumps)
  • Clearing and maintaining rights of way, including grass mowing (example: commercial right of way mowing; BC hydro brushing. Not residential lawn mowing)

The ban also includes any of the following activities carried out in a cutblock (excluding a road, landing, roadside work area, or log sort area in the cutblock):

  • Operating a power saw (example: cutting firewood off a road in a combustible area)
  • Mechanical tree felling, woody debris piling or tree processing, including delimbing (example: logging activity or cutting firewood off a road in a combustible area)
  • Welding (example: any welding off a road)
  • Portable wood chipping, milling, processing or manufacturing (example: these activities when done outside of an industrial worksite within a fire protection district)
  • Skidding logs or log forwarding unless it’s improbable that the skidding or forwarding will result in the equipment contacting rock (example: logging activity)
  • Yarding logs using cable systems (example: any logging activity that uses cable yarding equipment)

Because we’ve had a very hot and dry summer so far, Oyster River fire chief Bruce Green says it’s important locals work together to protect communities, property, and natural landscapes.

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“Within all areas of the Comox Valley, including Hornby and Denman Islands, all high-risk fire activities are now banned until further notice. This ban expands on the previous campfire ban. As well, a smoking ban is still in effect within all CVRD regional parks,” Green adds.

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