In preparation for the upcoming forest fire season, the CVRD is providing this information to the residents, and contractors of the Comox Valley. When a high risk activity ban is put into effect, notice will be given through this website and social media.

During periods of heightened forest fire danger, certain work activities may start forest fires.

In order to reduce the risk of forest fires, these “high risk activities” are banned or restricted by regulation.

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) regulates “high risk activities” with the regulatory bylaws in fire service areas that it manages. The Province regulates “high risk activities” through the Wildfire Act and Wildfire Regulation in areas that do not have a regulatory bylaw.

It is important that everybody helps to reduce the risk of forest fires and is aware of the regulations that restrict “high risk activities”.

What are High Risk Activities?

High risk activities can be described as any activity 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 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 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)
Can residents mow their lawn?

Yes
Residents can use their lawnmowers for cutting their lawns. If the lawn is green and requires cutting, and has been irrigated, it is likely fire resistant. If residents want to mow their lawn when it is dry and dead, we recommend holding off or using preventative measures such as pre wet and post wet lawn; and remain onsite after mowing to watch out for smoldering fires. Have fire suppression available (garden hose) and a way to contact 9-1-1 if needed.

Can residents use a weed eater?

Yes
Same principles as lawn mowing, but extra precautions should be discussed with the fire department if using metal disk blades.

Can arborists work during a high risk activities ban?

Yes
Arborists can continue to use manual tools and tools that don’t cause a spark. Power saw use on green lawn areas, driveways, landings, roadways, or other non-combustible areas may not be a high risk activity. Arborists are encouraged to contact the appropriate agency to discuss the high risk activities restrictions as they apply to the work to be done. To identify the appropriate agency, view map.

Can farmers hay their fields?

Yes
Farming activities are permitted during a high risk activities ban. During heightened fire risk conditions consideration should be given to the crop stage and moisture content, wind speed, the type of equipment being used, time of day and availability of emergency fire suppression equipment.  If the fire danger is extreme, farmers should consider holding off haying until the fire danger drops. Farmers are also encouraged to contact the appropriate agency to discuss their planned farming activity. To identify the appropriate agency, view map

Is excavating a high-risk activity?

No
As long as the excavation is being done on dirt or mineral soil and not on or near a combustible area like the forest floor or grassy area then excavating is not considered a high-risk-activity. Examples of excavating could be construction sites, septic tank, driveway work, etc. Excavating does not include land clearing which is a high-risk activity.

Can residents use a chainsaw when not on or near the forest floor or grassy area?

Yes
Power saw use on green lawn grass, driveways, landings, roadways, or other non-combustible areas may not be a high risk activity. Chainsaw use in the forest or grassy area is a high risk activity and is restricted.

Who can I speak with about a high risk activity?

If you have an emergency call 911.
You can contact the appropriate agency to discuss the high risk activities restrictions. To identify the appropriate agency, view map.

Fire Service
Area

High Risk Activities Regulation

Contact

Black Creek-Oyster Bay fire protection service areaBylaw No.357Oyster River
Fire Rescue
250-337-8121
Merville fire protection service areaWildfire Act RegulationQuinsam
Fire Base
250-286-7560
Tsolum-Farnham fire protection service areaBylaw No.261Comox Valley Regional District
250-334-6000
Mt Washington fire protection service areaWildfire Act RegulationQuinsam
Fire Base
250-286-7560
Courtenay Fire  Protection Improvement
District
Wildfire Act RegulationQuinsam
Fire Base
250-286-7560
Bates-Huband fire protection service areaWildfire Act RegulationQuinsam
Fire Base
250-286-7560
Comox Fire Protection Improvement DistrictWildfire Act RegulationQuinsam
Fire Base
250-286-7560
Rural Cumberland fire protection service areaBylaw No.258 Cumberland
Fire
Department
250-336-2531
Union Bay Improvement DistrictWildfire Act RegulationQuinsam
Fire Base
250-286-7560
Fanny Bay fire protection service areaBylaw No.283Fanny Bay
VFD
250-335-1011
Ships Point Improvement
District
Wildfire Act RegulationErrington
Fire Base
250-951-4223
Hornby Island fire protection service areaBylaw No.282Hornby Island
Fire Rescue
250-335-2611
Denman Island fire protection service areaBylaw No.281Denman Island
Fire Rescue
250-335-0345