Matt Treit, Tumbler Ridge Fire Chief

In the month of July, the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department responded to a total of six calls: two reports of alarms ringing, two calls to assist BC Ambulance, one report of smoke, and one call to provide traffic control for STARS who were transporting a patient from the Tumbler Ridge Medical Clinic. Training in the month of July included an exercise in wildfire suppression, initial attack for structural fires, and a joint training scenario with Emergency Social Services.

Congratulations to Deputy Diana Vandale, Firefighter Mike Thibodeau, Firefighter Dustin Curry and Firefighter Brandon Braam who all achieved 100% attendance at practices during the month of July.

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the issue of fire bans in and around Tumbler Ridge. As outlined on the BC Wildfire website, the fire bans imposed by the Ministry of Forests apply to, ?BC Parks and to all public (Crown) and private land outside of organized areas. The fire ban does not apply within municipalities or regional districts that have their own burning bylaws.?

Municipalities often follow the lead of the province/region in imposing fire bans, but as the specific danger for Tumbler Ridge has been fluctuating between ?low? and ?moderate?, I did not feel it necessary to impose a campfire ban at this time within the town site of Tumbler Ridge. The campfire ban remains in place at all locations outside of the town site of Tumbler Ridge and if the fire danger rating increases, it may be imposed within the town borders as well.

A ?campfire? within the town of Tumbler Ridge means a fire on a person?s own property in an approved fire pit. An approved fire pit is permanent and dug into the mineral soil of the ground. It can be no more than one meter in diameter and must not be within three meters of any combustible materials (fences, sheds, decks, etc.). There can be no materials (ex. branches) overhanging the fire pit and the fire may not be more than one meter in height from the base of the fire pit. The fire must be monitored at all times and fully extinguished when it is no longer being used.

The Tumbler Ridge Fire Department is always looking for new members of good character who are willing to commit to attending practices and fire calls and who will work well as members of a team. If you are interested, please contact the fire hall or stop by for an application. Ideally we would like to have at least twenty members on the fire department so that we can provide adequate coverage at all times.