Comox Valley fire departments are implementing open fire restrictions in regional fire protection districts effective April 1, 2020 in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Open fires will be banned and fire permits will no longer be issued, with the exception of backyard fires and campfires in specific fire protection areas as outlined below.
Courtenay Fire Department – no open burning after April 1st in the following areas:
- Courtenay Fire Protection District
- Merville Fire Protection District
- Tsolum-Farnham Fire Protection District
- City of Courtenay (open burning banned year-round)
Comox Fire Department – no open burning after April 1st in the following areas:
- Comox Fire Protection District
- Town of Comox (open burning banned year-round)
Cumberland Fire Department: recreational back yard fires and campfires allowed
Oyster River Fire Department: recreational back yard fires and campfires allowed
Union Bay Fire Department: campfires allowed
Fanny Bay Fire Department: recreational back yard fires and campfires allowed
Ships Point Volunteer Fire Department: recreational back yard fires and campfires allowed
Denman Island Fire Department: only campfires allowed
Hornby Island Fire Department: recreational back yard fires and campfires allowed
“We know COVID-19 is a severe respiratory illness,” says CVRD Board Chair and EOC Spokesperson Jesse Ketler. “One of the reasons our fire departments have taken this coordinated approach is to support our region’s air quality. As a community, it’s also vital that we support our first responders. Banning open burning will limit the need for site visits and inspections, and reduce the potential for wildfires. Let’s protect our firefighters so they in turn can help us when we truly need it. I also want to reinforce the need for everyone to stay home, and limit essential trips to your own neighbourhoods as much as possible,” adds Ketler. “This is not the time to drive to Cumberland, or our Comox Valley beaches. Denman and Hornby Islands have already asked visitors to stay away – not just to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but to avoid draining their resources, including groceries and water.”
Residents are encouraged to please follow the CVRD social media channels @comoxvalleyrd on Facebook and Twitter, as well as visiting the CVRD website www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/covid19 to remain up to date on accurate information. All Comox Valley local governments are centralizing regional COVID-19 information through these channels. The Emergency Operations Centre is standing by to support the lead agencies, Ministry of Health and Island Health, if requested at the federal and provincial level.
The Emergency Operations team with representatives from the DND/19-Wing Comox, K'ómoks First Nation, CVRD, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, Fire Chiefs Association, and many other external agencies and organizations are working together to collaborate on response measures and best practices for the region.
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Jesse Ketler, Spokesperson for COVID-19, CVRD Board Chair, and Cumberland Councilor