Annual Fireproof Metchosin - Banish the Broom!

Our seemingly endless wet and gray, winters makes it difficult to believe that the long, parched days of summer are ahead. Living in the rain shadows of the Olympic Mountains, coupled with climate change, means that those days will dutifully arrive again. Now is a good time to prepare to fireproof our community.

Grab your gloves, loppers, saws and your determination, whatever it takes to help rid our community of this hazardous interloper!  Carelessly disposed cigarettes from car windows account for many fires, especially with the fuel accelerant known as broom and gorse that line the roadside.  The volatile oils within these plants act like cans of gasoline distributed throughout Metchosin.  If your neighbours are less than able, please offer to help, or make it a fun block party event.  Fires do not respect property lines and a neighbors' broom patch can spell disaster for you too as well.

Broom Removal #1 priority is to stay safe!  Join in with your family or neighbours and use the buddy system to watch for traffic.  If you can pull the broom without straining your back, do so, otherwise try to cut below the surface of the plant.  Young broom is vigorous and will usually re-sprout, however there is a lateral root that comes out sideways from the main root, cut below the lateral root and the plant will not likely come back.  Old growth broom can be cut higher up the stem; it does not regrow, but be careful to not leave anything that may be a tripping hazard.  Gorse is a nastier affair, it produces more volatile oils, and you should be prepared for the vicious spines with which it is armed.  It is sure to re-sprout unless the root is removed.   


If unsafe to burn on your own property the Public Works Department is offering to burn on site on the road right-of-way during the month of April 2020.  PLEASE NOTE:  There will be no roadside burning by the Public Works Crew following the April 30th dateTo take advantage of this offer, please ensure that your off-site location on the road right-of-way is clear of trees and aerial lines to provide a safe burn-site.  Please contact the District office (250-474-3167) and leave your house number and telephone number, so that the Public Works Crew can plan the most sufficient use of their time.

Chief Dunlop has requested that we adhere to the following guidelines for residential burns to help reduce the danger of fire and the discomfort of smoke in the community:

Prior to Burning - Please ensure the Venting Index is 'Good' by phoning 1-888-281-2992 or online at:

  • Burning is permitted from 6am to 6pm only.
  • Fires to be completely extinguished by 6pm - no smoke/no flame.
  • Only dry leaves, tree trimmings and residential yard debris are acceptable burning materials.
  • The burning of any construction waste, demolition debris, garbage, food or household waste, plastic, rubber, asphalt shingles or other similar waste is prohibited
  • Must be 20 meters away from any structures.
  • A responsible person is in constant supervision of the fire.
  • An adequate water supply is available at all times for immediate extinguishing if needed;
  • The fire is kept hot to avoid excessive smoke.
  • Do not ignite a fire in high wind conditions,
  • Do not burn materials that have not originated from the property.
  • Do not stack broom on asphalt or under power lines.

Should you have any question or concerns, please contact:

Stephanie Dunlop, Fire Chief
Metchosin Fire Department
Office Hours:  250-478-1307
24/7 Fire Duty Officer:  250-478-7770 (ask for the Metchosin Duty Officer)


Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 10:00am