Local residents can plan to put their Christmas trees out on the curb soon as the Fort Frances Fire Brigade will hold its annual pick-up next Saturday (Jan. 8).
As in the past, the tree pick-up is being held on the first Saturday following Ukrainian Christmas, which this year falls on Friday, Jan. 7.
The tree pick-up—a tradition started here years ago by the now-defunct Jaycees—not only is a community service, but also a fire safety measure.
Since real trees dry out, the longer they stay inside a residence after the holidays, the more they’re a fire hazard.
While members of the brigade actually do the pick-up, which usually starts around 2-3 p.m., a number of local businesses lend trucks, trailers, and other equipment to make the transportation and destruction of the trees possible.
The trees will be chipped again this year by Daryl Eyolfson of Daryl’s Custom Landscapes Ltd.
Fire Capt. Joe Bobczynski noted trees should be put on the boulevard in front of houses because they won’t be going down back alleys.
The trees should be lying on their side so there’s no confusion as to whether the tree is for pick-up or if it’s planted in a front yard.
Residents also are urged to make sure their Christmas trees are easily identifiable. If they get covered in snow prior to Jan. 8, make sure they’re visible in time for pick-up.
Once again, residents who have their trees picked up are encouraged to give a donation to the fire department, either by giving it to the firefighters doing the collecting, leaving it in their mail box, or dropping it off at the fire hall.
The fire department is asking people not to attach donations directly to the trees, as some residents have done in the past, because they may not be seen and then accidentally get disposed with the tree.
Proceeds will go to a local charitable cause, which has not been determined yet, said Bobczynski.
In the past, they have included the Riverside Foundation for Health Care, “David’s Deli,” the “Risk Watch” fire safety program, and the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau’s annual community Christmas dinner.
They also have helped local families in need.
Anyone with questions can call 274-9841.