I am proud to announce that the Cortes Island Fire Department now has 19 members trained and certified to complete roadside rope rescue and extrication. Thank you to George and Al from KGC Fire Rescue for coming over here to deliver the two day course. I can speak for everyone when I say that we had an excellent time participating in these classes even though we did feel the heat of the mid day sun.
Congratulations to all of the 26 people who attended last weekends S100 wild-land firefighting certification course. That was eight hours well spent. I would also like to thank Henry Grierson from Strategic Natural Resource Consultants for coming across to deliver this training to us on short notice. We are more ready than ever to protect this island and its residents over the upcoming fire season.
Cortes Island Fire Rescue
The arrival of fall also comes with a rise in chimney fires. Chimney fires are a result of the build up of creosote in the flue, a highly combustible substance and can accumulate in many forms. Poor ventilation resulting in a restriction of air supply, burning wet wood, failing to perform regular chimney cleanings as well as a lack of proper temperature maintenance can all result in the build up of creosote. It is important to adhere to all of these safety precautions when owning a wood burning stove or fireplace and to always clean chimneys before firing them up for the upcoming winter months.
Identifying a chimney fire:
Chimney fires often exhibit a low rumbling or roaring sound, many say are similar to the sound of a low-flying plane or a nearby train. Sparks or flames can be visible exiting the top of the chimney, smoke emanating from the heating device or through openings in the structure, as well as wall discoloration adjacent to the chimney are all signs pointing to a fire in the chimney. Keep in mind that these are the most common factors that indicate a chimney fire and they can be in progress even without these warning signs.
If you become aware of a fire in your chimney and if it is safe to do so, throw a cup of water into your firebox, close the damper on your fireplace, and don’t delay to call 911.
On behalf of the Cortes Island Fire-Fighting Association, I would like to thank the Watson family, and all those who donated money to our department this year. The funds received were used to help pay for a thermal imaging camera that is now installed on one of our trucks. Your generosity is having a direct impact on the safety of our island and the people living on it.
Our Deepest gratitude.
Mac Diver Fire Chief Cortes Island Fire Rescue
There are currently no open fire bans in effect for the Coastal fire centre.
Effective at noon on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, all open fires will once again be allowed throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, due to a decreased risk of wildfires.
Burn barrels, fireworks and tiki torches will also be permitted.
People who intend to conduct an open burn must first check with their local government to ensure that there are no additional local bylaws or restriction in place that might regulate open burning.
The rescinding of the open burning prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department.
Campfire Bans in Coastal Fire Centre
• Definition of Campfires
There are currently no campfire bans in effect for the Coastal fire centre.
Effective at 12 noon on Friday, August 28, campfires will once again be permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. The Coastal Fire Centre is rescinding its campfire prohibition due to forecasted cooler and wetter conditions, resulting in a decrease in wildfire risk in the region.
The following activities will now be allowed:
– Campfires, as defined by the wildfire regulation
– Open fires in an outdoor stove
The public is reminded that campfires cannot be larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide. Anyone who lights a campfire must have a hand tool (such as a shovel) or at least eight litres of water available to fully extinguish it. Never leave a campfire unattended and make sure that the ashes are completely cold to the touch before leaving the area.
Forest Use Restrictions in Coastal Fire Centre
There are currently no forest use restrictions in effect for the Coastal fire centre.
Ban ID #458. The above information took effect 8/31/2015 8:42:00 AM
Here is a photo of us looking sharp and ready in our New Forestry Gear!
The purchasing of this equipment was made possible because of extra funds that were awarded to our department through a Gaming Grant for 2015. I would like to recognize the efforts of Wilson Baker, and Pat Whelan. Who’s actions were instrumental in purchasing of this equipment. We are able to better protect ourselves and all the residents of Cortes because of it.
On Sunday, August 31, I traveled to Wenatchee, Washington to attend the memorial service for the three U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighters killed in the Twisp River Fire. It is always an honour to attend LODD (Line of Duty Death) services. It is a way for the firefighting family to come together to show the families of the fallen that we will not forget them or their family member that was lost.
Shortly after 11 AM, a procession of emergency vehicles and two limos carrying family members of Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac and Tom Zbyszewski started moving through downtown Wenatchee. People lined the streets to pay their
respects. Some held signs that said things like “Thank you Firefighters, We love you!” and “You are our Heroes”
As the procession turned into the venue, it passed under two ladder trucks fully extended with an American flag hung between the ladders. Beyond that were over 100 fire and law enforcement personnel on both sides off the drive saluting.
Inside, there were pipes and drums, an honour guard, plus some traditions unique to the wildland firefighting community
We heard from friends and family of Tom. Rick and Andrew who told us what remarkable young men they were.
Tom was 20 years old. He was raised in the Methow Valley. He worked summers as a firefighter and was set to go back to Whitman College in the fall as a junior majoring in physics. Tom loved the theater and was in several productions
Andrew, 26, was from Illinois. He had a masters degree in Biology from the University of South Dakota. It was there that he meet his wife Jennifer. They would have celebrated their first anniversary in November.
Richard (Rick) 31, was from Michigan. He had a degree in Natural Resource Management and hoped to make a full-time career with the US Forest Service. He and his wife, Celeste, would have been married 3 years in December.
It was also a time to see coworkers that I had not seen in awhile, and catch up on news, not all of it good. I was saddened to learn of the passing of Captain Jim Swift of Redmond Fire, August 26. Jim died of cancer likely caused by exposure to toxic chemicals at fires. There were also retirements and new adventures to catch up on.
Fire Chief Emeritus
Cortes Island Fire Rescue
I am proud and excited to announce to you my new position as Fire Chief. I will continue to focus heavily on training and safety to provide for you an effective fire/rescue service. From all of us, I would like to thank Fire Chief Emeritus Dan Pippin for his wealth of experience and the dedication that he provided to us during his time here. I look forward to the years ahead when I will be able to give back to the island that has given me so much.
Cortes Island Fire Rescue
Ph: 250 935-6779
Fax: 250 935-6771
Cortes Island Fire Fighting Association
#2 - 959 Beasley Road
Manson's Landing, B.C.
Phone: 250 935-6779