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Stay home if you can and check on neighbours, suggests Oak Bay fire chief

Firefighters, other emergency personnel called out for several calls in challenging conditions
Things ground to a halt Tuesday morning after 25 to 30 centimetres of snow fell over Greater Victoria the night before. Now is a good time to check on neighbours, says Oak Bay Fire Chief Frank Macdonald. (Sonica Parmar/News Staff)

Things ground to a halt Tuesday morning after 25 to 30 centimetres of snow fell over Greater Victoria the night before and continued to fall.

In many communities, including Oak Bay, that meant adjusting operations from cancelled garbage, to snow-clearing and emergency responses.

The weather conditions created challenging road conditions impacting response capabilities for Oak Bay fire and other emergency responder agencies, Fire Chief Frank Macdonald said.

“This can result in delays in response or lengthy on-scene wait times for our fire crews to be released by other agencies,” he told the Oak Bay News.

Tuesday (Dec. 20) the department responded to eight incidents, including four medical first responses and four alarms. By Wednesday at noon, firefighters had been called to two incidents, one for a medical first responder and a non-emergency public assistance.

“We encourage the public to avoid driving until road conditions improve and keep sidewalks clean so people aren’t walking on the roadways. Additionally, this is a great time to check in on neighbours that may need assistance,” Macdonald said.

The District of Oak Bay itself echoed that sentiment on social media, noting crews were focusing on clearing main roads.

The weather also caused Oak Bay to cancel garbage pickup for a couple days meaning residents must wait for their next scheduled pickup.

Impending statutory holidays mean closures at municipal hall from Saturday, Dec. 24 through Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.

READ ALSO: Extreme cold warnings blanket Western Canada as winter officially arrives

Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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