Sooke Fire and Rescue has been hot on its heels after seeing a spike in emergency and non-emergency calls this month.
The fire department has so far received 71 calls – compared to 41 around the same time last year.
Four calls alone were for chimney fires, which is why Sooke Fire Chief Kenn Mount is reminding residents to do an annual inspection of their chimneys as part of fire safety.
“Deferred maintenance is the typical issue, so make sure they get cleaned, even if they’re not in use,” he said. “At least inspect it, in case a rodent got in there, or a nest or a blockage has formed.”
Among the calls were several motor vehicle accidents, including a rope rescue of an elderly woman who fell into a ravine while walking her dog.
Not all calls were emergencies.
Mount said the department received 23 non-emergency calls for service, including inspections, inquiries and complaints from Sooke residents.
Part of it is also Sooke Fire’s ramped-up initiative for preventative fire safety measures.
“You may see us around town more, we have boots on the ground doing more fire inspections, getting up to speed with hitting all the businesses that need them,” Mount said.
Sooke Fire will also have a fire prevention Q&A and information tent set up at the Sooke 10K Run on Feb. 5 where visitors and locals can meet and chat with the fire department’s support services team and the fire chief.