Open Burning

Effective at noon on Wednesday, 21 September 2016, open burning is permitted within the Oyster River Fire Rescue fire protection area.
Prior to conducting any burning, obtain a permit and read the Open Burning Guide.


Burn permits are required for piles larger than 2 meters in diameter.
Residents may burn without a permit if piles are smaller than 2 meters in diameter.
Please phone the Duty Officer at 250-830-7155 to make an appointment or stop by the fire hall (2241 Catherwood Road) Monday to Friday between 8:00am and 4:00pm.

Open Burning Guide

Click here to download and read the Open Burning Guide.

Don't Be the Cause of a Wildfire

Interface fires often start as small accidental ignitions. FireSmart standards are aimed at helping interface residents to prevent interface fires. Follow this link to the latest issue of Wildfire News published by Coastal Fire Centre.
Chimneys. Chimneys should be constructed to meet current British Columbia building code requirements and should have approved spark arrestors.
Burn Barrels. Burn barrels should be located well away from buildings and other combustible items. Burn barrels should have proper ventilation, screens and should never be left burning unattended. For safer disposal, take your debris to a landfill site.
Power Lines and Propane Tanks. Vegetation should be cleared well back from power lines, propane tanks, and other fuel supplies.
Emergency Access. FireSmart building sites have adequate access for emergency vehicles, with an on-site emergency water supply such as a pool, pond, or tank.
Shovels and Rakes. Every home should have shovels, rakes, axes, garden hoses, sprinklers, and roof ladders to assist in suppressing wildfires.

Visit BC Wildfire Service for more details.

Your Fire Department

Oyster River Fire

Click on the photo to see a larger version.

2016: The Year in Video

ORFR Annual Banquet (2016)

Oyster River Volunteer Fire Rescue held its 2016 Annual Banquet on Saturday, 21 January 2017 to celebrate the successes of 2016 and to honour members who have completed various levels of training or excelled as firefighters.

Chief Bruce Green noted that Firefighter Douglas Taylor, who was not in attendance, had earned is 25 year, Provincial Long Service Medal.

Strathcona Regional District Area D director, Brenda Leigh, presented Firefighter Level 2 certificates to Julia Blake, Amanda Voeltz, Brenda Leigh, Chris Chambers, Brian Hiebert, Jason Gagne, Heidi Fuerste, Jeff Caring, Neil McCredie, Chris Hounsell, and Roger Horobetz.
Len Apedaile and Alana Alix, not present at the Annual Dinner, also earned their Firefighter 2 certification.

Back Row: Julia Blake, Amanda Voeltz, Brenda Leigh, Chris Chambers, Brian Hiebert, Jason Gagne, Heidi Fuerste
Front Row: Jeff Caring, Neil McCredie, Chris Hounsell, Roger Horobetz

Edwin Grieve, Area C director from the Comox Valley Regional District, presented Captains Karl Neufeld and Ron Schulz and Firefighter Dave Carmichael with their Fire Officer 1 certificates.

Dena and Karl Neufeld, Coleen and Dave Carmichael, Mary-Ellen and Ron Schulz, Edwin Grieve

Firefighter Heidi Fuerste was presented the Rookie of the Year award by Deputy Chief Chris Murray.

Heidi Fuerste, Chris Hounsell (Heidi's husband)

Firefighter Julia Blake was recognized with The Bill Carnie Memorial Firefighter of the Year trophy presented by Fire Chief Bruce Green and Brittany Caring on behalf of her grandmother, Mrs. Rose Carnie.

Brittany Caring, Peter Goebel (Julia's husband), Julia Blake, Bruce Green

Christmas Food Hamper

Special thanks to our friends and neighbours who contributed to our annual Hamper Drive held on Saturday, 3 December. This year ORFR and Discovery Foods donated over $900 and many boxes of food to Chad and Tanya Hooker of the Bread of Life Food Bank, a ministry of Living Waters Fellowship. All contributions will be used to support families in the local area.

Tanya and Chad Hooker, Nicole Emery

Oyster River Volunteer Fire Rescue Leadership Changes Hands

As announced by the CVRD on June 1, 2015, we bid fond good wishes and many thanks for 37 years of service and inspiring leadership to Niels Holbek and welcome Bruce Green into the role of Chief effective 1 July 2015.

Managing Water Use During Periods of Drought

Living Water Smart is a BC government site designed to help residents plan and prepare during periods of water shortage.

Bylaw Updates

Comox Valley Regional District bylaws relating to fire protection have recently been amended.
Review the amended bylaws by following these links:

ORFR's New Rescue Engine

The new engine with an artist's rendering of the ORVFRA markings.

Fire Underwriters SurveyTM (FUS) is a national organization that provides data on public fire protection for fire insurance statistical work and underwriting purposes of approximately 85 percent of the private sector property insurers in Canada. FUS representatives conduct detailed field surveys of the fire risks and fire defenses maintained in built up incorporated and unincorporated communities of all types to establish a Public Fire Protection ClassificationTM for each fire protection area. The surveys measures the ability of a community's fire department to prevent and control structure fires by evaluating the adequacy, reliability, strength, and efficiency of the fire department and comparing the level of protection against the level of fire risk associated with typical dwellings and commercial establishments. The fire insurance grading system bases fire potential on the physical structure and makeup of a community's buildings. The information subsequently provided to insurers is a key factor used in the development of property insurance rates paid by residents in the community—higher the FUS ratings generally result in lower insurance premiums.

It is important, therefore, that fire departments strive to equip and train to meet the highest standard achievable based on a combination of cost effectiveness and the most beneficial combination of insurance and tax rates. In order to maximize firefighter capabilities and minimize their risk of injuries, fire departments must train their members to accepted standards and provide equipment and apparatus that enhances safety.

A key factor in attaining or maintaining an acceptable rating from the FUS is the requirement to operate only equipment and apparatus that is within specified age parameters. Rated engines are generally limited 20 years of age regardless of their hours of use or mileage driven. One of the two engines used by Oyster River Fire Rescue is a 1993 Volvo.

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and the Oyster River Volunteer Fire Rescue Association (ORVFRA) have been working together over the years to establish a program whereby equipment is brought into service in a manner that achieves FUS replacement criteria while balancing capital expenditures over time.

In 2011, the CVRD and ORVFRA began the process for replacing the 1993 Volvo with a new engine. The design phase for the new engine, undertaken by a group of ORVFRA firefighters and CVRD staff, focussed on replacing two department vehicles—a 1993 Volvo engine and a 2003 Ford F350 rescue truck—with a new rescue engine. Their combined roles of would then be carried out by one new vehicle saving licensing, insurance, maintenance, and depreciation cost while providing a more versatile apparatus. The Volvo engine will be sold and the rescue truck assigned to the duty officer. The current duty officer truck, a 2004 Tahoe, will replace the fire chief's 1998 leased Jeep which will be returned to the lessor. The current 2000 International pumper will remain in service.

In August of 2012, the CVRD issued a Request for Proposal Four suitable bids were received and reviewed under the direction of the CVRD with technical input from members of the ORVFRA. After a preconstruction meeting, the order for the new engine was placed with Rocky Mountain Phoenix of Red Deer, Alberta ( in November 2012.

Although the majority of construction was completed in the US, Rocky Mountain Phoenix has maintained overall responsibility for the contract and final detailing and testing of the new engine.

The new engine arrived at the Oyster River Fire Hall early in February 2014.

Follow this link to view a high-level comparison of the new vehicle and those it replaced.

Help Us Help You—Use Reflective Address Signs

Firefighters and First Responders can find your residence only if your address number is well marked. Reflective address signs can make a difference that might save lives.
Visit to learn more and order yours today.

Become a Volunteer Firefighter

Applications for prospective volunteers are available at the Fire Hall every Wednesday evening between 18:30 and 20:30.