WHAT:  Early shift means all high risk activities must stop by 1:00pm PST

WHEN:  When declared by Saturna Island Volunteer fire department, usually during Extreme Fire Danger Rating


All High Risk activities are banned until further notice. The only exception will be specific situations where the Fire Chief has granted written permission due to the use of fire-safe techniques.


(4) A person who, in accordance with subsection (3) (a) and Schedule 3, is required to maintain a fire watcher, must ensure that the fire watcher

  • (a) can reasonably see the site of the high risk activity during the time the fire watcher is required,
  • (b) has at least one fire fighting hand tool,
  • (c) actively watches and patrols for sparks and fires on the site of the high risk activity,
  • (d) immediately carries out fire control and extinguishes the fire, if practicable, and
  • (e) has the means on site to report the fire. (landline or cellular)


According to the Wildfire Regulation:

  •   a) mechanical brushing;
  •   b) disk trenching;
  •   c) preparation or use of explosives; (example: fireworks, blasting)
  •   d) using fire- or spark-producing tools, including cutting tools; (example: grinders, cutting torches)
  •   e) using or preparing fireworks or pyrotechnics; (example: fireworks, blasting)
  •   f) grinding, including rail grinding; 
  •   g) mechanical land clearing; (example: excavator, skidder)
  •   h) clearing and maintaining rights of way, including grass mowing; (this is a commercial right of way lawn mowing.  NOT RESIDENTIAL LAWN MOWING)
  •   i) any of the following activities carried out in a cutblock excluding a road, landing, roadside work area or log sort area in the cutblock:
    • operating a power saw; (unless on a landing)
    • mechanical tree felling, woody debris piling or tree processing, including de-limbing;
    • welding;
    • portable wood chipping, milling, processing or manufacturing; (unless on a landing)
    • skidding logs or log forwarding unless it is improbable that the skidding or forwarding will result in the equipment contacting rock;
    • 6- yarding logs using cable systems.

Frequently Asked Questions During Restricted High-Risk-Activity Day

 Can I mow my Lawn?

Residents can use their lawnmowers for cutting their lawns. If the lawn is green and requires cutting, and has been irrigated, it is fire resistant. If residents want to mow their lawn when it is dry and dead, we recommend holding off or using preventative measures such as pre wet and post wet lawn; and remain on site after mowing to watch out for smoldering fires. Have fire suppression available (garden hose) and a way to contact 9-1-1 if need be.

 Can I Weed-eat?

Same principles as lawn mowing, but extra precautions should be discussed with the fire department if using metal disk blades. 

 Can I hay?

However, during shut down there may be special fire prevention measures required. If not a critical job, we suggest holding off haying until the fire danger decreases. There are irrigated fields that are fairly safe to hay even in Extreme conditions.

 Is excavating a high-risk activity?

As long as the excavation is being done on rock, dirt or mineral soil. Examples of excavating could be construction sites, septic tank, driveway work, etc… Excavating doesn’t include land clearing.

 Can I use a chain saw?

Chainsaw use is only permitted on non-combustible surfaces during shutdown.  (Surfaces such as green grass, gravel, dirt, roadway)

Is drilling a high risk activity?

Contractors can drill in rock under no restrictions. Blasting is only permitted in early shift or regular shift.
No Blasting is permitted during “SHUT DOWN”


Thanks to Saltspring Fire for preparing this information on High Risk activities. Go to any time to review this info. Please note that there is often a different Fire Danger Rating on Saltspring, and they may decide to impose early shift, shutdown, etc. at different times.

Authority is granted to the Saturna fire chief to impose fire danger-related rules by CRD bylaw 3452.


Peter Clark

Chief, SIVFD

June 28, 2021