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Campfire Ban Lifted

Ok Gabriola Kids (and young adults at heart) it’s time to break out the marshmallows and if you’re feeling fancy, graham crackers and chocolate! That’s right starting tomorrow we are allowing CAMPFIRES! Campfires must be 0.5 meter X 0.5 meter and only using approved materials (fire wood).
Please keep in mind that our regulations have been changing frequently with the weather conditions. Make sure to check our social media and website often to make sure you are complying with the latest burn regulations and wildfire hazard levels.
Have fun but please be safe and have your campfire in a cleared area with access to water or a fire extinguisher nearby.
For more information on Fire hazard ratings and other Wildfire information please visit our site and

Fire Hazard Rating Changed to HIGH REGULAR SHIFT

No fires allowed on GabriolaI know you are all probably getting a bit of whiplash from all this back and forth! But here we go again, Gabriola we are back to HIGH REGULAR SHIFT thanks to this beautiful rain! This means you can mow your lawns and operate other power equipment. We would still urge you all to take extra care and caution when operating power equipment. Thanks so much and please stay tuned to our ever-changing weather this summer, as it will determine our fire hazard levels!

Fire Hazard Change Thursday August 6th

Good Morning Gabriola! Look at all this beautiful rain! As promised we are switching back to EARLY SHIFT as of this morning (Thursday August 6th)


Once again this means power equipment can be used up until 1pm. Please remember you are required to stay on the property for one hour after your work finishes to monitor it.


Please keep watching for our posts on facebook, instagram, and this website for any changes to the current fire hazard. As the weather changes so will we.


Thank you for helping keep our community safe this fire season.

Extreme Fire Rating

Tomorrow (Wednesday August 5th) we will be switching to EXTREME shut down Gabriola. This means the use of most power equipment will be prohibited all hours of the day. There is also still a fire ban in place.

We understand this can be really inconvenient for community members but we want to take the time to thank all of you for following these regulations and keeping our community safe from forest fires this season. Hopefully rain will be in our forecast soon and we can lessen the fire hazard rating, but until then please help to keep our community safe!

If you have any questions please call the office at (250) 247-9677

Campfire BAN

Hello Gabriola, we just wanted to let you know that due to the recent dry conditions we will be implementing a ban on campfires. This means you are no longer able to have campfires.  Alternatively the use of propane fire rings is still allowed as long as the flames don’t exceed 6 inches.


We are currently still on “Regular shift” but if conditions don’t change we will be switching to “early shift” this Monday or Tuesday. Please watch for updates on our social media pages and website.


During “regular shift” gas powered equipment is still permitted. “Early shift” will mean gas powered equipment will have to be shut down by 1pm, with a one hour watch period.


Thanks so much for your help to keep our island safe from wildfires this season!

Burning Ban in Place but there is a better way to get rid of that fire load!

Thanks to the RDN and other supporting agencies there is now a way that we can safely get rid of that fire load in your yard before wildfire season without burning!

A 30 Yard Roll off bin Grant for Neighbourhoods

Requirements are….

  1. You must have 4 or more confirmed neighbors that have yard waist to add to the bin
  2. The 4 homes must have an assessment done by the GVFD representative before a roll off bin will be delivered.
  3. Only burnable organic yard waste is permitted in the bins (IE. Branches, grass and leaves)
  4. Absolutely no other prohibited materials (IE. building materials, rocks, or dirt)

Please gather your 4 or more neighbors and then give the GVFD a phone call to schedule your assessment. (250) 247-9677 or email at

In addition to this grant, there are many more available to Fire Smart Champions and their neighborhoods! If you would like to become a fire smart champion the GVFD will be putting on an online, ZOOM conference course soon! Please call the office at the GVFD to get your name on the list!

Lets get creative, work together, and FIRE SMART our community without affecting air quality for those who need it the most in these unprecedented times.


Thanks Gabriola!



Request for Medical Equipment

Dear Gabriola,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department as well as some of the other emergency services (Excluding BCAS) on the island are sending out a request for any personal protective equipment such as N95 surgical Masks to be donated to emergency personal. We are running low on vital supplies that keep our responders and health care workers safe. The normal means for us to order these supplies are extremely backed up due to high demand and shortages all over the world. If you have some personal protective equipment that you are willing to part with please contact our office at (250) 247-9677

Things we are looking for are, (in order of most importance to least)

-N95 Surgical Masks
-Surgical Gowns
-Safety Glasses
-Face shields
-Hand Sanitizer

Thank you for your continued support Gabriola, we are so proud to serve this wonderful community.

Information Protects Lives

Hello Gabriola, we just wanted to take a moment and make a special post asking the community to help us out.

If you need to call 911 for any reason, please let our dispatchers know right away if any of the following points apply to you,

  1. If you have any Cold or Flu Symptoms at all, no matter how minor they may seem.
  2. If you or someone you have been in direct contact with has been outside the country or in an airport within the last three weeks.
  3. If you have been quarantined by any Health authority.


Help us help you by keeping our Volunteer First Responders and other Emergency Personal safe in this difficult time.


In addition, if you do have to call us you might notice that we look a bit different than normal and use a few different ways of helping you. Our First Responders are practicing social distancing and we need you to do the same as much as possible.  Please don’t be alarmed if we are completely dressed in isolation gear, this is  to protect both you and ourselves.

Thank you Gabriola for helping us help you, and remember…

We stay at work for you, so please stay home for us

GVFD Open House

The GVFD officers and firefighters will be hosting an Open House at the Albert Reed Memorial Fire Hall (North Hall), from 10am-2pm on Saturday, April 6, 2019.

Come meet our crew, look at the hall and trucks, and take part in some informative and fun demonstrations, including:

  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Fire Smart your property
  • CPR
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Watch our firefighters training in our live burn building.
  • Let the kids try spraying water from the ground monitor.
  • Chat with people from the RDN, ESS, and PALS about emergency preparedness.

Reminder: With the recent time change, it’s a great idea to install new batteries in all your smoke detectors, and make sure they work properly.  Working smoke detectors save lives.

Christmas 2018 Wind Storm

Now that some time has passed and everyone here has their services restored (3-10 days after the storm) we should have a quick look at the situation.

All of Gabriola and much of southern BC was affected by the winds that knocked down trees and wires, flattened buildings and cars, and generally upset humanity throughout the region.

I was off duty during for most of this period, but was able to monitor as our able Duty Officer implemented a strategy for dealing with the storm’s aftermath. Along with numerous pages for hydro fires, medical aids, ambulance assists and a structure fire, our fire crews attempted to determine how much of the island was inaccessible. While doing this, when safe to do so, they would cut up the trees to open those roads to traffic. Many places had dangerously entangled trees mixed with power and communication lines, and both they and the highways crews were unable to clear those roads. It was important to establish which areas were inaccessible and to determine alternate response routes if possible, before the callouts came in.

By the second day, it was apparent the power wouldn’t be back on soon, and the RDN opened an emergency comfort site at the Rollo seniors centre. This provided a place of warmth, a tea or coffee, and information that helped people make decisions about how to cope with this situation. A message was sent out via email, phone, text and radio to inform residents it was operating. I believe the RDN will be further working on improving this strategy for next time.

Over at the Coop gas station an issue with their newly installed generator meant it was unable to operate at full power, which restricted normal services and caused them to have to close at dark. (In future outages the generator will be operating correctly, and they anticipate normal services and operating hours.)

Their power situation no doubt created the ‘fuel shortage’ concerns which prompted the long lineups. Coop staff were “corralling cats”, as one person called it, trying to maintain order and safety while cars darted around and created some mayhem while lining up along North road, past Robert’s restaurant. The next day they moved the lineup to Lockinvar, and it was a much safer situation. With a limited staff they did an admirable job under trying circumstances.

I was told that, even with those extra fuel sales, the fuel supplies were expected to have lasted until they received the scheduled delivery on Wednesday. As well, a discussion was initiated with BC Ferries regarding the possibility of a special dangerous cargo sailing on the Monday, had their been a danger of running out.

(Incidentally, if for any reason the fuel supplies are severely depleted, a certain percentage will be reserved for fire department, ambulance and police vehicles.)

These extended episodes always stimulate a desire in some for more emergency planning. Usually that desire wanes considerably once the power comes back on. What percentage of the population is prepared to be self sufficient for a week, which is the official recommendation?  Single digits is my guess.

Still, it’s clearly prudent to give some thought to how ones basic needs will be met, and/or to consider alternative strategies for various disasters or disruptions. As a starting point, check out what we pay some of our tax dollars toward. The RDN site – has a lot of linformation. There is also Emergency Social Services (ESS) information in our Gabriola phone directory. (Page 77) The contact information for our ESS group is there. They are happy to provide local info and even arrange neighbourhood meetings.

Being prepared can help make these situations, if not fun, at least less uncomfortable. With the changes going on in our world we are told to expect more disruption. I think the secret is to remember these inconveniences while the power is still on- and make some preparations for the next time.

Happy New Year Everyone!



Emergency notication system.

The earthquake in Alaska this morning has people asking about our emergency notication system.
Years ago we investigated putting sirens around the island but realized for them to be effective their would need to be a lot of them to cover the island and they would all need backup power in case of a power outage.
Please sign up for this system if you haven’t already.

Taylor Bay Rd blocked for 12 hours

As well as a number of MVI’s on December 29th, the heavy wet snow caused a large tree to fall across Taylor Bay Rd, by Ivory Way- right at the spot where the wires cross the road. Because the power lines and telecommunications cables were entangled with the tree, road crews were unable to remove it until BC Hydro could attend. Due to power outages from an extremely bad ice storm in the Fraser valley, many of the normally available crews had been dispatched to that area, so nobody was available to help us until early Saturday morning.

Until the new Church- Spruce roads connector is completed, Taylor Bay Rd is the only way for vehicles- and especially emergency vehicles- to attend any calls in those neighbourhoods. Luckily, no calls came in until after the road was opened, but it created a nervous atmosphere for Fire, Police and Ambulance personnel.

We are looking forward to the quicker response times and the secondary access once the new road is in service.

This brings to mind the other area on Gabriola with a sizeable population and a single road access- Whalebone. Residents of that area were similarly inconvenienced recently when BC Hydro needed to close off Barrett road while they were replacing 5 power poles on that hill. Had a situation occurred there as just happened on Taylor Bay road, that area would have been equally cutoff.

We need to create another road into the Whalebone neighbourhood. I believe an emergency road can be created by upgrading an old logging road that runs from Pequod, to, ideally North Rd, but if that’s not possible, then to Wild Cherry Terrace. The necessary land belongs to the Federal Government, and they previously gave permission to build this road. As usual, money is the issue. MOTI has none for us. We need to find a way to get that road built.

Snow causes 3 accidents

The snow squalls on December 29 th created lots of issues as about 2″ of extremely wet and slippery stuff got dumped on various parts of the island. Emergency crews responded to 3 of these MVI’s, culminating in the one on Taylor Bay road were one elderly gentleman piloted his convertible about 50 feet down into Mallet Creek. Luckily it remained on its wheels, and the driver only suffered minor injuries.
After extracting the patient from his vehicle and securing him in the rescue stretcher, firefighters used the low angle rope rescue equipment to pull him to the top of the ravine and deliver him to the waiting BC Ambulance crew.