High Risk Activities Ban in Effect for the Comox Valley

In accordance with the BC Wildfire Act and provincial fire regulations, the CVRD fire departments have enacted their high-risk activities bylaw effective Friday July 7th, 2023 at 12:00pm PT. This ban applies to all properties within the CVRD’s Fire Protection Areas within the Comox Valley. The ban does not apply to the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, and Village of Cumberland.

“Our spring has already been very hot and dry, which makes it even more important to protect our community, property and beautiful landscapes around us,” explains Bruce Green, Regional Rural Fire Chief / Fire Chief, Oyster River Fire Rescue.

“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 existing campfire ban along with the smoking ban, which applies within all CVRD regional parks.”

This ban includes all high-risk activities that can produce a spark and is done in a combustible area such as on or near the forest floor or grassy area.

The 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)

Any of the following activities carried out in a cutblock excluding a road, landing, roadside work area or log sort area in the cut block.

  • Operating a power saw (example: cutting firewood off a road in a combustible area) 
  • Mechanical tree felling, woody debris piling or tree processing, including de-limbing (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 is 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)

The ban will cover 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

For information on protecting your home and property from wildfire, visit our FireSmart page and take simple steps to protecting your home, property and community.

For more information on high risk activities and to learn which fire protection area you reside in, visit our High Risk Activities page.

The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.

Media Contact:

Bruce Green
Regional Rural Fire Chief / Fire Chief, Oyster River Fire Rescue
Tel: 250-337-8121