General News · 4th July 2015
Nancy & Ray Kendel
We are very concerned that given the current extreme fire hazard here on the Coast, the rave which occurs during the summer in Carrington Bay, will still go ahead. Are we the only concerned islanders? As I type this there are fires burning in Sechelt, Port Hardy and Nanaimo some threatening homes. All it would take is a careless butt dropped on the ground during the Rave to start a fire in this isolated spot.
Do we who live on Cortes have a voice regarding such events as this during extreme weather conditions? Does anyone know what our options are to cancel this event if the fire hazard persists?
Hoping for rain!
From the Fire Chief to the organizers
Comment by Dan Pippin on 7th July 2015
To the organizers of the Carrington Bay Rave.
Congratulations for using common sense and postponing the scheduled rave.
The top priority of any Fire Department is responder safety and public safety. The remote location and limited access to and from the site could have trapped 300 people if
a fire were to break out for any reason, i.e. lightning, etc. The organizers put a great deal of thought into fire prevention and fire
suppression. In the end, they made the right choice.
Hopefully, this will spark, (bad pun intended), a wider discussion of the wildfire potential on Cortes Island and the need to mitigate risk and to talk about evacuation planning.
Residents can find information about what they can do to reduce risk around their home and in their own neighbourhood at https://www.firesmartcanada.ca.
There is a link on our website, www. cortesfire.org. Even small steps, like finding safe ways to deal with dead branches will help a great deal
If you see or smell smoke during the fire season, call 911. Tell the dispatcher what you see and they will contact the Fire Department for the appropriate response.
Keep hoses, tools and water buckets handy when working outside. Be especially careful with smoking materials as they cause many fires every year.
Stay safe this Summer,
Cortes Island Fire Rescue
250 935-6779 Office
250 295- 8584 Cell
Carrington Bay postpone/cancel official
Comment by ben howells on 7th July 2015
Carrington Bay “Rave”
Given this spring and summers extremely dry conditions as well as obvious and wholehearted community concern the collective of residents and lifelong Cortesians that organize this unique event, we have decided that unless we have a substantial amount of rain within the next couple of weeks we have to postpone this years festivities until further notice.
For the past month many of us have been discussing the potential of having to cancel and or postponing year 19 of the Carrington Bay camp out due to this dry weather. It looks like we have approached what many of us have been feeling. Quite simply if weather conditions stay the same it would be too unsafe for us to proceed with the event on July 31.
Carrington Bay is the longest running event of its kind in BC and is still completely free. Over the years we have worked on and off with all of the necessary stakeholders such as RCMP, parks services, fire warden, Cortes recycling center as well as FOCI to name a few. All of the core collective either live on Cortes, grew up or have spent a good amount of their lives there. We care very deeply for this place.
After 10 plus years myself I assure you our safety systems are sound, proven and have with stood the test of time. This event is approaching its 20th year. These systems are in place because we know how important they are. When you consider the general danger of that site, the track record over 18 years is sound and with that so are the systems. Apart from the numerous people who throughout the weekend keep an eagle eye out to ensure a safe environment, there is always butt cans, fire tools, buckets, at least one water pump but we planned on having 4 this year as well as over 1000 feet of hose. Other things we have talked about were limiting camping to within 200 feet of the water. We always leave it cleaner than when we found it. In addition, our culture in the bay is based around fire safety. In short it is not cool to be careless down there.
Please do not talk about this event on social media be it good things or bad. We have done a very good job of keeping this event a quiet one and would like to keep it that way for next year. We are looking into having some people posted in Campbell River for that weekend as well as some signage to prevent people who missed this memo from continuing the trip to the bay. We will be able to successfully put the word out to the right people but there could still be some stragglers. We are working on ways of mitigating that potential.
Your concerns are our concerns. As a close knit community we hope for direct communication. We encourage you to reach out with questions or concerns on any level in regards to Carrrington bay. When you are on the outside looking in things feel much scarier. As always you are always welcome to come see for yourself. We humbly ask you to think for a moment that we adore this place as much as you, that we've been doing this for a very long time, we always treat it as though it is a sacred space, and that the concerns of the current residents are also our concerns.
Wishing for rain for many reasons beyond our camp out. We hope everyone can get through this severe dry spell safely and without any further repercussions to our forests and homes.
Sincerely and with much respect
Comment by Peter Jackel on 6th July 2015
Yay, Carmen, yay Ben. I note that most of the commenters are slightly aged folk like myself. I, too, like them, worry about fire (I was a forest fire fighter for ten years). But like Kathleen (Kay Boas) I look to the best in the young and know they will do the right thing. Having been to a rave two or three times, and having experienced some magical moments, I know what a beautiful thing a rave can be. Let's trust the organizers and trust the spirit that suffuses Cortes and makes it the wonderful place it is.
Comment by Tom Behm on 6th July 2015
Having just read Ben the organizer of the Rave,s e-mail
Sir I applaud you for your last statement I am relived that you have our home and beautiful Island at heart I know you will do the right thing and put it to rest for this year.
Not this year.
Comment by Denise Gibbons on 6th July 2015
Unless conditions change dramatically, it would be too dangerous to hold such an event in our woods. We all need to practise extreme caution.
from the organizers
Comment by ben howells on 6th July 2015
Hello FELLOW Islanders.
I sit here staring out over the smoke filled ocean reading all the new fire reports I assure you there is no other person as concerned with fire as myself.
We have been discussing the potential of canceling year 19 for the last 3 weeks.
Inspite of the fact that we have aquired 3 extra water pumps and more than 1000 feet of hose as well as planned on limiting camping to within 100 feet of the water with out a week of rain its appears a cancel will be in order.
I realize some folks on the island feel they have no power in this decision or perhaps do not know the proper people to communicate with about their concerns. I am that person. 250 650 5447
Your concerns are our concerns.
If there was an authority that could stop this event it would have years ago. The true authority in this situation is logic and local concern. Logic clearly states that without at least a week or rain it is much too dangerous to proceed.
We care about this island greatly as well as all the residents. Your concerns over the years (the valid ones that exist in reality that is) are very real and are important to us.
As a child of Carrington Bay we open this space to others that are children of the Bay, we do this because that space is sacred to us.
more info on this to come soon.
re the rave concerns.
Comment by MARG SULLIVAN on 6th July 2015
If the fire condition is extreme at the time of the rave it makes a lots of sense to cancel the event. We were looking at the dry grass at Smelt Bay yesterday and also wondering about BBQs for Cortes Day. Perhaps a postponment if this extreme fire danger continues to exist. The very heavy smoke last night and again today completely covering the Gorge really makes us stop and think.
Cancel the rave this year
Comment by Karen on 5th July 2015
I support contacting the BC Forest Service or the Cortes Fire Department to have the Carrington Bay area closed for the Rave -- at least until the fire hazard has been minimized by some RAIN. We were out on our boat this evening and watched the smoke haze slowly settle over all the islands around Cortes. We need to do all we can to prevent forest fires on Cortes.
Who wants to take the risk?
Comment by Julia Linnay on 5th July 2015
The risk isn't worth the party, in my opinion. Islanders/bc residents are concerned enough already with these conditions.... and we arent even in the depths of summer.
Who are the individuals in the community that need to be consulted about this issue and have the authority to stop it ? ? ?
Please Defer the Rave
Comment by Greg Cawston 250 935 6977 on 5th July 2015
I fully support the Rave at Carrington as a great venue for our youth to express themselves freely in a safe environment. I also spent 35 years with the BC Forest Service and responded to hundreds of wild fires. All too often I would be called to an organized party in the bush where an idiot or accident would cause a fire and ruin everyones fun. Carrington is too dry and the risk of ignition is too high despite the fire ban. If a westerly is blowing with temperatures near 30deg and humidity below 30% extreme fire behaviour can be expected and spreading so fast trained fire fighters can not safely approach the leading edge of a fire. Aircraft response from when their called will likely be too late to contain a small fire. I hope the Rave gets deferred until safer conditions return.
no name/contact --> comment won't show
Comment by Ester on 5th July 2015
If you are not providing your name and contact info, your comments, which are all very valid, will not get posted.
Comment by Mae Sherwood on 5th July 2015
I agree with all the comments. The Rave should be cancelled this year.
Fire management plans for rave
Comment by Carmen on 5th July 2015
Before we call for the cancellation of what is a much loved and appreciated event, perhaps the organizers of the rave could come forward with their plans for monitoring activities at the rave, and ensuring that fire safety is paramount?
Let's be fair here: the organizers have been responsible stewards in the past, and deserve to be consulted.
Comment by Diane Daly on 5th July 2015
Has anyone contacted our own fire department?
Can BC Forest Sevice or Cortes Fire close the area.
Comment by Wilson Baker on 5th July 2015
Can the BC Forest Service close the area for the Rave?
Can CIFFA cancel the Rave due to the EXTREME fire hazard?
Who has the authority here to prevent a wildfire disaster on Cortes.
Yes, please cancel the Rave this year!!
Comment by Becky Knutson on 5th July 2015
Island fire is a VERY real concern this year. Can you imagine having to evacuate Cortes? We cannot have our fire dept just standing by when they might be needed elswhere. It is very scary to think of our island burning. If one of the organizers could respond here, that would be great.
Comment by Dayna Davis and Mark Appleyard on 5th July 2015
Thanks Ray and Nancy, we also are concerned about this. This location is too remote to take a chance on fire.
Danger of Fire - at the Rave
Comment by Catharine Bushe on 5th July 2015
I agree totally with Nancy Kendall's concerns of a fire on Cortes during the Rave. Due to the horrors in Saskatchewan and the interior of BC at the moment, any large gathering such as the Rave should, in my opinion, be cancelled. Once a fire were to start here, the whole island would be affected with small hope of extinguishing it before a great portion of the Island would be in grave danger.
Please reconsider holding this event this year
Cancel the Rave
Comment by Peter Henbury on 5th July 2015
This year is so dry that any spark could set the forest ablaze. With so many people the danger is extreme. Cancel the Rave for 2015
Comment by Cali Waddell on 5th July 2015
The Rave should definitely be cancelled this year, even if we do get rain the forest will be far too dry for crowds of people to be partying where fire control is not available. We don't need our fire department tied up to monitor Carrington Bay camp ground.