Fire Department Information

Gabriola Island is a 911 community for Fire, Police, and Ambulance assistance.

Gabriola Fire & Ambulance personnel respond to callouts using their personal vehicles with the 4 WAY FLASHERS on. Please allow them the right of way.

This is not a complete description of the Gabriola Fire Protection District Bylaws. For more information, contact the Fire Chief, weekdays 9:00 a.m. to noon at 247-9677 or 24 hours to leave a message.
Other informations are available on the web site.

Many of the restrictions that effect Gabriola Fire Protection District has had to be brought in line with the Provincial regulations. This is a summary of the most often asked questions.




Open Burning

is defined as  fire where the products of combustion are not conveyed to and disposed of by an approved chimney. ANY OPEN BURNING MUST BE CONTINUOUSLY ATTENDED BY THE PERMIT HOLDER, property owner or a competent person appointed by them for the duration of the fire. It is their legal obligation to tend the fire and to ensure it is extinguished upon completion. Any fire may be ordered to be extinguished if it is deemed to be a hazard by the Fire Chief or his representative.


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Fire Season

is between April 1 and October 15, unless unseasonable dryness forces these dated to be changed. During this period, the "Forest Fire Danger" signs, located at the Post Office and on Taylor Bay Road, indicate the fire hazard status. This information is also available on the answering machine at No. 1 Hall (247-9677). "Low and Moderate" indicate normal operations. At "High" burning permits are no longer issued, but burn barrels and non-permits fires are still allowed until such time as "Early shift" is invoked. "Early shift" means a 1:00 p.m. stopping time for many industrial operations, including gas operated equipment such as chainsaws, lawnmowers, weed eaters, etc. "Extreme" continues the ban on all open burning and extends the ban on operation of gas powered equipment until the hazard level drops. This level is also accompanied by a "Shutdown" sign, indicating that most industrial operation , 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. "Watchman required" means a person must remain at the work site for one hour after work has stopped as a  precaution against fire, and have quick access to a telephone in case of an emergency

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Class "A" permits are a 4 day duration and are required to burn any pile larger than 2m by 2m by 2m containing stumps and other land clearing debris. CLASS "A" PERMITS ARE REQUIRED ALL -YEAR and issuance is restricted to piles located not less than 100 m from another residence of business and not less than 500m from a school in session. They must be located a minimum of 15m from flammable growth or objects. An excavator or equivalent must be available to keep the pile burning hot for the duration of the fire. A "good" ventilation index reading is also required before burning a "A" permit pile. This information is obtained by phoning 1-900-451-5009. A change in the ventilation index or smoke impacting on neighbors may require burning to be terminated before the permit expires. Class "A" permits are available only from the Fire Chief.

Class "B" fires require a permit only -during the fire season. These piles can-be no larger than 2m by 2m by 2m and cannot contain stumps or pieces of debris larger than 4" in diameter. They. must be burned up and extinguished in  24 hours and must be located a minimum of 10m from flammable growth or objects. Class "B" permits are available at #1 Fire Hall, Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon or daily by prior arrangement, call 247-9677.

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or fire piles no larger than 1 cubic meter (1m by 1m by 1m) can be burned all year without a permit, PROVIDED NO RESTRICTIONS ARE IN FORCE. A 1 meter perimeter dug to min­eral soil must surround these fires and a distance of at least 5m from flammable growth or objects must be maintained. A charged hose or 20L pail of water and a shovel must be kept near the fire at all times.

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No fires shall be lit or main­tained when there is wind strong enough to cause sparks or other burning materials to land in any combustible material in the vicinity

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All fires must be tended so as to minimize the emissions of smoke. When the burn is completed or the permit expires, the fire must be completely extinguished, with no smoke being emitted. IF THE SMOKE IS IMPACTING ON NEIGHBOURS, ANY BURN MAY BE REQUIRED TO BE TERMINATED.

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 are not permitted during Fire Season without written permission from the Fire Chief.

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Certain materials are prohibited from burning under the Ministry of Environments' Waste Management Act. THIS APPLIES TO MATERIALS BURNED IN HOUSEHOLD WOOD HEATERS AS WELL AS OPEN BURNING. Some of these items are: tires, plastics, drywall, demolition waste, domestic waste, paint, tar paper, rubber, treated lumber, railway ties, manure, asphalt and products, fuel and lubricant containers, biomedical waste and special wastes. Burning of wastes from businesses is also prohibited by this Provincial Legislation.

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We have a number of free N.F.P.A. pamphlets available to the public on the following topics:Home portable fire extinguishers, E.D.I.T.H. - Exit drills in the home, Fire prevention all over you home, Home smoke detectors, 10 tips for fire safety~ Fire safety for babysitters, Teaching pre­schoolers to be fire safe and Fire safety tips for older adults. As well, we have the "Fire Safe - inside and Out" video and home wildfire hazard assessment materials for loan at no charge. This video is a real eye opener for areas such as Gabriola, which are categorized as wildland/urban interface areas. FUELMODIFICATION FOR THE CREATION OF DEFENSIBLE SPACE IS A TOPIC WHICH EVERYONE LIVING IN OR AROUND A FOREST SHOULD BE MORE AWARE.

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At this time, only commercial operation that invite the public into their premises such as stores, pubs and bed and breakfasts, etc.  are  inspected  by  the  Fire Department on Gabriola. Chimneys and stove installations are inspected by either the R.D.N. Building inspection Department, a qualified chimney or wood heater technician, or as required by your insurance company.

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Every stove and chimney seems to require a different interval of attention. Factors affecting the build-up of the unburned hydrocar­bons can change yearly due to type and seasoning of firewood, outdoor temper­ature and different operating habits. One cleaning a season may be enough one year and not the next. If in doubt, err on the side of safety.

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Be sure your address sign is easily visible from the road on a dark rainy night. Locate it beside your driveway to eliminate con-fusion over the correct access to use.

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Many driveways are inaccessible to a large vehicle. Consideration should be given to this factor when building a dri­veway, as well as years later when it has become obstructed due

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Gabriola Fire & Ambulance personnel respond to callouts using their personal vehicles with the 4 WAY FLASHERS on. Please allow them the right of way.

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