North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department, (NOVFD), has responded to at least 10 burning complaints since April 1, 2020.
NOVFD fire chief, Florian Schulz said that the wetter weather has played a part in the increase of burning complaints. Schulz said they have not had any repeat offenders, and have not issued any fines so far.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an added pressure for NOVFD to respond to calls of most urgent need, and to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19.
“When our members need to respond on the truck, it puts them unnecessarily at risk,” Schulz said. “Backyard burns are certainly avoidable.”
Open burning was prohibited March 26 – April 15, and Category 2 and 3 Burning was prohibited effective April 16, 2020. The open burning ban was in place across the province due to respiratory concerns from COVID-19.
NOVFD has information available on their website about burning regulations, and information posted around the community. Anyone with questions on the burning regulations is encouraged to call the NOVFD fire hall.
“There’s plenty of platforms for people to find that information if they attempt to look for it. We’ve got one up at the firehall, one on Brenton Page Road, and one on Cedar Road. It’s not difficult to get the information,” Schulz said.
NOVFD will be hosting a community Zoom meeting with the B.C. Wildfire Service to help share information about fire bans, and burning regulations. The meeting will take place Thursday, May 28.