Building a better community: Hot fire safety tips from the Chief

Gord Schreiner

Special to The Record

We are expecting another long dry summer and it is very important that we all work together to ensure a fire-safe summer. A small fire can very quickly grow into a very large uncontrollable fire. Here are some very important summer fire safety tips.

• Outdoor fires can quickly spread in dry conditions. A small campfire or party fire can easily spread into a huge forest fire. Most outdoor fires are currently banned. Please check with your local fire department before you light an outdoor fire.

• Be extremely careful when using hot items near dry grass or brush. A barbecue, hot motor or other hot item can easily ignite the dry fuels. With a little breeze the fire can spread very quickly.

• Ensure you have a garden hose and hand tools readily available to protect your property from wildfires. Always call 911 to report any fires as they can quickly spread beyond your control.

• Ensure your roof and gutters are clear of dry leaves, needles and other dries. A spark from a nearby fire can easily ignite this dry material on your roof.

• Create a wildfire safety zone around your home. Reduce unmanaged vegetation from within ten meters of your home. Unmanaged vegetation can easily lead a fire right to your house.

• Do not extinguish cigarettes on the ground. They can easily ignite dry fuels causing a very large fire.

• Use water to extinguish hot briquettes when finished with them.

• Do not hesitate to report (911) any open fires that you see. This time of year there should be no backyard fires in the area.

I get very nervous this time of year as I know that a small fire can quickly grow out of control. We do not want a major forest fire in our area. We need the public’s help to keep our area safe from fires.



Gord Schreiner started in the fire service in 1975 and is the full-time Fire Chief in Comox. In 2010, Chief Schreiner was named the Canadian Career Fire Chief of the year. He has a diploma in Fire Service Leadership.


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