Hello good neighbours of Mudge Island. Let me tell you a story of recent events. I tell you this because it happened in our neighbourhood, and because it is an opportunity for us all to learn something valuable. As some of you may have heard, there has been another fire on Mudge Island recently. You are probably aware that MICS purchased a property last fall. We performed our initial clearing about two months ago. In the process, we did quite a bit of burning while it was still safe and legal to do so. Leaving us with a lovely property that is well on its way to becoming the new home for our trucks and equipment.
Then, almost two months later, on the 30th of May, this burning location started back up again. Bob Purser happened to be walking by and noticed that it had started up. Once again a few phone calls went around and it was immediately dealt with by a small group of individuals. It was definitely something that we needed to deal with, however I should also state that there was some distance between it and the forest. And this fire was placed on bare gravel. The little red truck once again proved its worth by dosing it with about 300 gallons. Then I brought in my excavator to roll over the remnants of this fire whilst putting a second 300 gallon load of sea water on it. Just to take out any remaining heat in it. It was quite clearly out to everyone’s satisfaction by this point. The first load put it out, and the second was for good measure. Then the following day Alex Hoffman put yet one more load on it. I don’t think you can put too much water on a fire.
I called it in to the Forest Service as they keep a record of all events, and they offered assistance, though it certainly was not needed. I want to thank those that helped out. There are some solid people here, Now though this was a very small scale incident, I do not want to excuse it or make little of it.
I mentioned that this was a learning opportunity. We had our biggest fires in March, and the beginning of April on this property. Many of us had walked the property after the burning, and walked over the area where the fire had burned. On the outside it was extremely cool to the touch, and had been for some time. I don’t think it struck anyone as a concern. But deep down things were still hot. And on Monday it flared up to everyone’s surprise. This warm spot had laid dormant, through wind, sun, and a pretty good shot of rain on more than one occasion. There can be heat deep down, even months later. You cannot make too much effort in putting it out, nor can you use too much water. And a day later, a week later, a month later, stick your shovel in it, make sure it’s still out. It certainly can’t hurt.
A reminder, the only fire permitted right now is a campfire. A campfire cannot be any larger than a half metre by a half metre, by a half metre. You must have water in a container or appropriate hand tools to put it out. Both would be great. It should also have a guard built around it, and be cleared to mineral soil for one metre all the way around. It should never be left unattended, and should be out until it’s cool to the touch, so you can place your hand in it and not feel heat before you walk away. And it certainly cannot hurt to check it again later. Please also take wind into consideration as well. One neighbour tells me that instead of cooking hot dogs for his grandchildren on the campfire, he just puts them on the propane bbq. They still seem to enjoy it just as much. And as for the recent rain we received, that does not open up any debris burning, waste burning or the like.
I apologize for the long letter. But MICS felt it was important to have you all aware of recent happenings. Transparency is important. And there have been many people coming to me with concerns lately regarding fire. I look forward to a safe summer with you all, and hope to see you at our annual auction on the August long weekend. Chad
Thank You. M.I.C.S find us on the web www.mudge.ca/mics