After the adoption of the PIA Land Policies in September 2018 and the appointment of Forest Caretakers in November, the Forest Caretakers (FC's) have been marking treatment areas for work by the Monday Morning Crew (MMC) volunteers. Working together, we can identify areas requiring treatment for not only FireSmart and invasive species removal, but also for forest enhancement. We'll be posting before and after photos so you can see the benefits.
Keep your eyes peeled as we work towards removing fuel loads and enhancing the forest to allow arbutus and Garry Oak a better chance of survival in our changing climate.
We sent the May 2018 photo to Patrick Daigle (retired RPF) for his thoughts and suggestions. He sent along this information:
ID TREATMENT AREAS - To help you ID areas for combining fuel removal with eco-restoration, watch for places where there are arbutus and/or Garry oak. These two tree spp ‘tend’ to prefer dry and/or well-drained sites, and S and W (so-called high-energy) aspects. Over decades of fire exclusion, it’s common for Douglas fir to establish and crowd the oak/arbutus trees and compete for light (especially), as well as nutrients and moisture.
In these dry-ish situations, retain the arbutus/oak. Remove Douglas-fir saplings to 1) reduce fuels AND 2) restore sites for the retained oak/arbutus AND 3) initiate understory native plant germination. There is a good chance understory plants will bounce-back because of existing seed bank in the duff/soil. If you encounter large Doug-fir (e.g., >16” diameter), consider leaving them, and pruning any (unlikely) low branches.
We'll continue to add photos to the slideshow as our volunteers work to both FireSmart the area and enhance the forest. :)
Join in on May 5th for our Piers Island Wildfire Preparedness Day sponsored by FireSmart Canada!
We want you to learn all about what the new chipper can do for you to help you FireSmart your property - so bring out some branches to the road between noon and 3 pm and enjoy the demo. We'll have firefighters on hand to offer you a little Wildfire Quick check on your property as well.
We invite you to head over to the hall at 3 pm and learn what Emergency Preparedness has for you. Are you signed up for PANS yet? They'll help you out.
The new Engine 33 will be on display for you too and then we'll top it all off with a BBQ for participants!
With Islanders hard work last year Piers Island received FireSmart Community Recognition for 2017 - let's make it happen for 2018!
Our thanks again to FireSmart Canada for sponsoring this event! :)
In a small community like ours- surrounded by water - we've found a group chimney sweep program helps to keep costs down and is a good incentive for people to get it done when they might put it off were they reliant on arranging themselves! Here's our program for this year organized by an island volunteer!
The Fire Smart Sweep Program for 2018 will be a bit different this year.
To start with we have a new provider:
Chris has Work Safe and is fully insured.
Please note Chris Worthing is NOT providing window, skylight, roof or gutter cleaning as part of the Fire Smart Program, but you may be able to negotiate that with him SEPARATELY from the Fire Smart Program.
Chris also services gas appliances but again that is not part of the Fire Smart Sweep Program.
Unlike the past few years, Chris provides his own boat to and from the Island and will not require hiring of the Water Taxi, so you will not have to pay a portion of the total transportation cost to and fro.
There are some fee changes however.
Inspections are now $50 +GST per property (no free inspections).
If a chimney cleaning is required then that will cost $50 per flue on top of the inspection fee. That is inspection plus one flue costs $100, inspection plus 2 flues costs $150 etc. +GST
If a WETT certificate is required that will cost $65 on top of the inspection fee. That is inspection plus WETT certificate costs $115 + GST
You or a designate need to be present when the inspection or service takes place.
Please refer to the attached document for general information on what WETT is, as this is a commonly asked question.
Payment is by cheque or cash ONLY directly to Chris at the time of service.
I will try my best to book your first choice of date and morning or afternoon, and provide you with a schedule shortly after June 1, 2018
If there is sufficient demand July 4th MIGHT also be available, but for now indicate your availability for July 2 or 3rd only please.
If you have a neighbour or friend on the island who might be interested but does not sign up for bb, please forward this email to them or, if they don’t have email, please let me know their telephone contact and I will try to get them scheduled.
Our INBOX had this great news today from FireSmart and Partners in Protection!
"It is my pleasure to inform you that your community is a recipient of a $500 Provincial Wildfire Community Preparedness Day award!"
Fantastic news for Piers Island and our plans for our Wildfire Preparedness Day on May 5th, 2018. Keep your eyes peeled for our banner - coming your way as we get closer to the date. Islanders will recall our Big Chipper Fundraiser which was successful and we now have an awesome chipper on the island. Look for it as part of our Wildfire Preparedness Day. More details to follow as we get closer. Chipping is great for taking care of all those low lying branches you've trimmed, but NOT for leaves (which you can compost) or for invasive plants like broom, gorse and holly which are better burned.
Give FireSmart a shout out if you're on Facebook to http://www.facebook.com/FireSmartCanada
Burning dry debris over the wet winter months is good practice for FireSmart'ing. But - be sure you know your responsibilities both in your local area and for BC as well. Click this link from BC Wildfire Service bcws_resourcemgmt.pdf to download the requirements for a category 3 fire. Piers Island burn permits are not currently required, but you must still adhere to our safe practices as well.
Always remember when you light a fire - YOU are responsible.
A few reminders from Smokey:
- Keep a 10 foot clear space around your fire area
-Never start a fire under power lines
-Keep a charged garden hose, shovels and rakes within reach
-Keep the fire small and feed more debris into in - a small fire is easier to control
Only YOU can prevent forest fires. Be safe out there.
Islanders have been working hard on FireSmart'ing their properties and our burn pile is overwhelmed. There are still 2 more zones on the island to complete their goals with no room on the pile. The majority of debris coming out could be chipped. The chipper project last year was incredible. The unit we rented from Richlock for a month was just the ticket for what we need to deal with on properties. And so...when we see how much debris needs to be dealt with on Piers, chipping seems to be a phenomenal implement to add. The burn pile is still needed for invasives such a gorse, broom and holly, but 90% of what is on that pile, could be chipped!
The Piers Island AGM's were the perfect opportunity to unveil the FireSmart Community Recognition Award for 2016. Islanders are looking forward to new projects this summer and submitting our 2017 documentation to FireSmart.
Talk to your Zone Leaders about ideas for your area. PIVFD is sponsoring a BBQ ($100 value) for any Zone that completes a project this summer.
As we make preparations for our Wildfire Prevention Day on May 21st, 2017 we were very excited to learn Piers Island had been awarded recognition as a FireSmart Community for 2016!
We're looking forward to another great year of FireSmart work on the island with our wonderful volunteers.
Our UBCM Grant FireSmart projects are now completed and
we wanted to share our experiences and thanks. When a project is over, you wish you would have spent more time on perhaps the before and afters, or photos of all the people who came out and made a difference. Piers Islanders will continue with their efforts and we hope we might inspire a few communities to take up the challenge. Every little thing you do makes a difference in reducing fuel loads and working together builds a strong community.
Islanders are encourage to write in with Projects for Island Fire Safe