While some rural communities like the Comox and Cowichan Valleys face increasing pressure to curb outdoor burning, another Island district is encouraging residents to break out their matches — at least for one day.
And the reason, oddly enough, is fire prevention.
Metchosinites are being encouraged to grab their gloves and saws to help fireproof their community this month as part of the 15th-annual fireproof Metchosin day.
Residents are being asked to help remove broom and gorse from local roads. The plants, which contain volatile oils, can cause fires, especially when cigarettes are carelessly discarded and tossed onto the side of the road.
Once the plants have been removed, the District’s public works department is offering to burn them on site on the road right-of-way. Residents are asked to call the District (250-474-3167) and leave your house number and phone number so the crew can plot the most efficient use of their time.
Residents who are able to burn the plants on their own property must adhere to a number of rules: burning is only permitted from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., only dry leaves, tree trimmings and residential yard debris are acceptable burning materials, the fire must be 30 feet away from any structure, trees or fence lines, and an adequate water supply must be available at all times in case the fire needs to be extinguished. The burning of construction waste, demolition debris, garbage, food or household waste, plastic, rubber, asphalt shingles or similar materials is prohibited.
The fireproof Metchosin day takes place on Saturday, March 17. For more information visit metchosin.ca or contact the fire department at 250-478-1307.