Vaagen Fibre Canada – Fire Update

Vaagen Fibre Canada is currently experiencing a small fire in one of their hog fuel piles.  The hog fuel is a woody fibre pile that is a byproduct of the plant processes.  Under the right conditions the fuel can generate enough heat to the point that it may self ignite.  Fortunately at this time of year is presents a very low fire threat to other areas of the mill or surrounding area. 
Vaagen staff is working to limit the amount of smoke from the incident by actively addressing the fire and removing burning material to a better location.  Residents in the Village and surrounding area may notice an increase in smoke at times.  Vaagen is doing what they can to keep it to a minimum. Smoke and flame may be visible over the weekend and Midway Fire and Rescue is aware of the incident.  Vaagen staff are monitoring continuously until it is fully extinguished. 
Thanks.
Michael Daloise
Fire Chief
Village of Midway
250-449-2206
midwaychief@shaw.ca

September 14, 2020 – Air Quality Update

As I’m sure everyone is aware, the air quality is at a very high risk. The smoke from all the wildfires in Washington, Oregon and California are the culprit. It is advised that any outdoor activities should be limited and anyone with any respiratory issues should stay inside. Using data from two of the reporting stations nearest Midway (Castlegar and South Okanagan) it is forecasted that air quality should improve this afternoon.
Here are the links to each reporting station’s 18hr forecast:
Castlegar – https://weather.gc.ca/airquality/pages/next18Hourlies/bcaq-021_e.html
South Okanagan – https://weather.gc.ca/airquality/pages/next18Hourlies/bcaq-013_e.html

September 11, 2020 Customs Rd Fire Update

Update from the Fire Chief regarding the Customs Rd fire, along with a supporting document from WA authorities: “Fire Activity on the Customs Road fire was determined as ‘minimal’ last night. This enabled firefighters to strengthen Fire lines and Control areas. Indication this morning is that More Apparatus and crews are moving in with additional hose and equipment to set up for the start of mop up procedures. On the southeast flank of the fire mop up has commenced already.No new information with regard to any concerns from BC Wild Fire with respect to the Customs Road fire.”

Update on Customs Road Fire in Curlew Area from MVFD Fire Chief

“Fire still being held at 2288 acres. About 15% contained. Fire line constructed around much of the burn area. BC Wildfire did send fixed wing tankers to assist yesterday because Washington state has had so many other significant fires. No notices or warnings from BC Wildfire.”
BC Wildfire is in close contact with their Washington State counterparts. Any further updates will be sent to our Fire Chief by BC Wildfire, which we will provide here and on our Facebook page.

Campfire Safety Reminder

All residents are reminded to practice responsible fire safety while enjoying a very rare opportunity to have a campfire in late summer. In particular: the fire, once ignited, is not left unattended at any time and there is sufficient quantity of fire extinguishing materials and equipment at the site of the campfire to completely extinguish the fire, and the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area.
This is in reference to Bylaw #451, Part 3, Section 22, Subsection 3 (b) and (c): https://midwaybc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Bylaw-451-2014-To-Establish-a-Fire-Department-and-to-Regulate-Fire-Protection-Suppression-and-Prevention.pdf

The best way to extinguish a fire is to let the wood burn completely to ash if possible. If there is not enough time to allow for this, the next best thing to do is to completely extinguish the fire with buckets of water. Please make sure you drown all of the embers, not just the red ones. Pour water until the hissing sounds stops. Use your shovel to stir and break up the campfire, and to scrape all embers off of the logs. It is best to ensure that you have enough water on hand to extinguish your fire (8 litres best); the majority of burn injuries from campfires occur the day after the fire. Just remember that a fire can stay hot for long periods of time underneath sand and dirt.

One of the conditions the Village Staff highlights, and has residents sign their initials next to, on each fire permit they issue is: “Fires are not to be left unattended at any time.”

This is for the safety and well being of your health, your own property and your neighbours. The conditions are very dry and it would not take much for a fire to spread quickly.