Gabriola’s extreme wildfire hazard status

When Gabriola’s fire status is listed as extreme, this means that all open burning is banned, and a number of other restrictions are in place.

BC Wildfire has this to say about the danger class extreme:

Extremely dry forest fuels and the fire risk is very serious. New fires will start easily, spread rapidly, and challenge fire suppression efforts. General forest activities may be restricted, including open burning, industrial activities and campfires.

Activities that are permitted

When our wildfire hazard rating is extreme:

  • Barbecues are allowed.
  • Propane fireplaces are allowed. Flames must be 6 inches or less.
  • Hibatchis and similar charcoal-burning stoves are allowed.
  • Electric and battery-powered weed-eaters with nylon line are allowed during early-shift hours (before 1 pm), but you must keep a charged water-hose or fire extinguisher handy. (For more details on weed-eater use, see the electric weed eater policy change post on our blog.)

You must use extreme care and have safety precautions in place when using anything that produces heat, as the island is alarmingly dry.

Activities that are not permitted

When our wildfire hazard rating is extreme:

  • All open burning is banned.
  • The use of powered equipment (gas, diesel or electric) is not allowed. This includes chainsaws, lawnmowers, chippers, etc.
  • Generally speaking, safely used and located carpentry tools are not included in the prohibition.
  • We are now in shutdown mode. This means that many industrial operations, such as logging, are suspended. Certain operations may be allowed to continue on a site specific basis, depending on the job classification hazard rating as determined by the Ministry of Forests.
  • A watchman is required: you must have a person at the work site for 1 hour after work has stopped as a precaution against fire. The watchman must have quick access to a telephone in case of an emergency.