Lake and River Fire Equipment Donations
We need your help!
Goal To have each of the 200 cottages on our water system donate $100.00 this year for use in the purchase of new fire fighting equipment. This is the price of a tank of gas for one trip to the cottage, and this 1 time contribution is equivalent to $5/year over the equipment lifespan of 20 years.
All donations to the fire sub committee will be used solely for the purpose of fire fighting equipment. If you can donate every little bit helps!
Myth 1: Assuming that the Parry Sound or Britt or fire departments can help - they can't. We are not in their fire response jurisdiction, and they do not have boating equipment to reach cottages.
Myth 2: Assuming that it's the Marina's job - it isn't. Although the marina has been exceptionally supportive and always willing to help whenever it can, technically it is not its responsibility.
Myth 3: Assuming that a burning cottage is the Ministry of Natural Resources' responsibility - it isn't. What the MNR protects is our forests, and only indirectly in the case of a forest fire does the MNR work on protecting other assets such as cottages. Even then, the MNR works with local folks and equipment to enhance its capabilities.
What happens in case of fire? We are in an un-organized township, and cottages are mostly water access, hence, unlike what we are accustomed to in the city,
“There is NO fire-fighting service for us … except what we create for ourselves.”
What can WE do The first few minutes and hours are extremely important, especially in dry windy conditions. We have two advantages: we have water, and since we are present, time is on our side. Hence we have the ability to act quickly if we set up and operate a “first-responder system” capable of “containing” a fire until the MNR, if mandated, can arrive to deal with the situation.
“We can RESPOND within the critical 1st HOUR to help contain a fire”
Cottages are like tinder-boxes, and unless a cottager responds to a fire within 10 minutes, the first cottage will likely burn down. However, responding within the hour may restrict the spread to nearby cottages or forest.
Forest fires we don’t expect to fight, however, forest fires spread by embers being carried up to 20km by winds above the tree line. Should a flare-up occur on our lake, a “first-responder system” within the hour can make a huge difference in containing the damage until MNR can mobilize. In case of wind and dry forest this is critical.
We are very fortunate that 25 years ago a group of cottagers created a “first-responder system” for the lake: fire boat, fire hut, portable pumps. However, now much of the equipment is in need of replacement. It's now our turn to update the system. Fundraising, buying, and maintaining equipment is urgently needed. The fire subcommittee recommendations are presented in this communication. If you have better ideas or suggestions, please contact us and share!! Otherwise it’s important that we support each other in this effort.
Past use of our fire-fighting equipment
Over the years there have been several uses of our equipment.Most recently in 2017, it was used for the fire at cottage #130.Had it not been for the fireboat and all the volunteers, it’s agreed that 1 or 2 neighboring cottages would also have burned.Had there been the wind of the previous day, at least 4 more cottages were at risk.
“In every instance, our equipment has helped contain fires from spreading to the forest, thus protecting the beauty of our area and long-term property values.”
“Cottages are rebuilt quickly, forests take generations.”
Accidental cottage fires and forest fires particularly are an increasing risk.
Initial budget $5,000
An initial budget of $5,000 approved at the 2018 Cottager's Association annual meeting has been used for: $4,500 for two 9HP new large capacity pumps, and a $500 service assessment for the fireboat pump.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Fire Subcommittee elected to source only “forestry-grade” equipment due to technical specs (water-power) and reliability for emergencies. There exists less expensive non-forestry-grade equipment on the market but performance specs, maintainability and most importantly “reliability” does not match forestry equipment.
It is critical that our equipment start and function during an emergency! We have limited system redundancy and time is critically important to successfully contain a fire.
“During a fire is not the time for equipment failure and running to the store to buy a new unit”.
$20,000 Fundraising Goal needed for the following equipment: (Budgetary estimates including tax)
Thank you for your support!
Current Fire Danger Rating
Current Fire Danger Rating is Moderate.
Updated January 30, 2019
|Source: Town of Parry Sound Fire Department|
|The fire danger rating on hlsmr.org is updated periodically, not daily. Users who are concerned with the fire danger rating should refer to the Town of Parry Sound Fire Deparment or the Ontario Forest Fire map below|
Fire Smart Manual and Fire Safety Checklist
Of all the factors that can affect our environment, a forest fire is often the most feared. Although a common occurrence in natural and well-managed forests, forest fires are one of the last things cottagers want to think about. One of the primary objectives of the Cottagers’ Association is to provide first response fire fighting equipment so that Cottagers present at the onset of a fire can assist with the proper tools and equipment to help mitigate the negative impact of a fire.
Going forward, the Cottagers’ Association has determined that our existing fire fighting equipment is to be checked more regularly, and that it may be beneficial to have demonstrations of the use of our two on lake pump systems yearly following the annual meeting. We hope to have more information posted shortly on our volunteers who will help with the maintenance and demonstration of the equipment to ensure we are as ready as possible in the event of a fire.
By law, you cannot have an outdoor fire in a Restricted Fire Zone. This includes all grass and debris burning and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire gate, fire place or fire pit.
If you need heat for cooking and warmth, and you’re in a Restricted Fire Zone, you can only use certain equipment (e.g., portable gas or propane stove) if you follow certain rules.
There are exemptions to the ban on outdoor fires in a Restricted Fire Zone. If strict criteria are met, campfires and charcoal barbecues may be allowed in organized camp grounds or parks.
RESTRICTED ZONE AREAS
Look for and obey the Restricted Fire Zone signs; these highly visible green and orange signs are placed:
at popular camping sites,
in sport lodges, and
in gas stations and stores in the affected area.
Large advertisements also appear in local newspapers, and announcements are made on radio and television stations in the area. These announcements may indicate which areas are restricted by referring to the zone number.
If you need cooking or warmth in a Restricted Fire Zone, you can only use:
Gas or propane stove. You can use a portable liquid fuel or gas stove that can be turned off easily by closing a vale or lid. It must be at least 1 metre away from any flammable material.
Charcoal. You can use a charcoal installation in a restricted zone, only is you are at a location where you own or legally occupy (i.e., rent a cabin) the building if your installation is within 100 metres of the building and at least 1 metre from an flammable material. You must also take care to completely extinguish the fire and safely dispose of all ashes and coals before the installation is moved or left unattended.
Wood burning stove or furnace. You can use an outdoor wood burning stove or furnace, only if you own or legally occupy a building in a restricted zone. Your installation must be within 100 metres of the building, at least 5 metres from an forest area, and at least 2 metres from an flammable material. The installation must also be situated on bare rock, mineral or soil that won't burn and extends 2 metres around the stove or furnace in all directions.
In a Restricted Fire Zone — except in organized campgrounds and parks — you cannot:
have campfires (even in outdoor fire grate, fire place or fire pit)
burn grass or woody debris
use burn barrels
If you don’t own or legally occupy (e.g., rent a cabin) a building in a restricted fire zone, you also cannot use a:
charcoal installation (e.g., barbeque)
wood burning stove
wood burning furnace
You should exercise extreme caution when travelling in a Restricted Fire Zone. You should:
watch your propane or gas equipment carefully
smoke only when you’re stationary, never while walking or working in the bush
make sure all matches or cigarettes are out before disposing of them
be careful with anything that could start a fire
Once a Restricted Fire Zone is declared, it is illegal to set a fire for any purpose within the affected area.
Failure to comply could results in:
a fine up to $1,000
3 months in jail
financial responsibility for any costs incurred in fighting a forest fire
REPORT A FIRE IN A RESTRICTED ZONE
Report a fire in a Restricted Fire Zone (except in a campground or park) to your local Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry District Office.
To learn more about fire restriction zones and law, please read the Forest Fires Prevention Act, which you can find here. You can also access relevant information on fire prevention laws and tips through the links provided below.