Fireman standing outside designated fire department car

Fire chief gives tips on wood stove safety as winter approaches

By Greg Osoba, CKTZ News, through an LJI grant from

With fall in full swing, coastal BC residents are experiencing cooler temperatures, and many rural citizens rely on wood as a primary heating source in the colder seasons.

Cortes Island Fire Chief Dave Ives says it’s time to ensure chimneys and wood stoves are in good working order and recommends having them inspected and cleaned by a professional. A majority of emergency calls directed to the Cortes Fire Department are house fires, according to the chief.

Ives says there’s something simple home owners can do to secure containment of a chimney fire, by preventing sparks and embers from igniting the roof, or at worst, causing a forest fire threatening the greater community: ensure you have a spark arrester at the top of the chimney. It also prevents birds from nesting in a chimney when it’s not in use.

For more information, Ives suggests locals check out the BC FireSmart Manual that’s available for download and includes a wide range of fire safety tips.

Top image credit: Cortes Island Fire Department Chief Dave Ives. Photo by Greg Osoba.