Regional districts pushes for fireworks ban

After the destruction of one of the worst wildfires in recent history, local politicians are looking at banning the sale of fireworks.

After watching the destruction that unfolded in Fort McMurray last month thanks to one of the country’s largest wildfires in history, local politicians are taking preventative action to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

One of those measures being contemplated is a province wide ban on the commercial sales of fireworks, according to Regional District of East Kootenay director Wendy Booth.

At the RDEK board meetings earlier this month, Booth put forward the request to request a meeting with the appropriate provincial minister about a potential ban at the Union of BC Municpalities convention in September this year. At this point, this request is nothing more than advocacy, starting at the grassroots, Booth said.

“We just had a fairly significant fire in Fort McMurray and we know we’re at risk for forest fires, no question about it,” she said during an interview last week. “We know we can’t control a lot of the lightning strikes that causes them however there are human causes forest fires that we can do what we can to try and prevent or minimize those impacts. That’s where it stems from.”

While still working out the logistics behind a potential ban, Booth said that the idea would be to continue to allow for controlled fireworks during events like Canada Day. Essentially, it would be a ban on backyard style fireworks situations in which people purchase fireworks and light them at their own leisure.

Currently, the sale of fireworks is illegal when a campfire ban is also in place. On July 4th, the Regional District will be imposing a campfire ban due to the dry conditions in hopes of avoiding a wildfire. Booth said that despite the ban’s limitations, people were generally accepting of it.

“We brought this in a couple of years ago and there was a little bit of pushback but really not much at all because the impact and the devastation that we can have from these forest fires is massive,” she said.

In 2014, Alberta considered a province-wide ban on fireworks but would have allowed cities to have a little more wiggle room. In Calgary, there’s a total ban on fireworks without a permit from the Calgary Fire Department. In Vancouver, individuals are banned using fireworks outside of a small window on July 4th from 9 a.m. to midnight. Any other use by individuals may be subject to fines starting at $250. B.C wouldn’t be the first province to propose a province-wide ban on fireworks.

Booth said that she received support from the rest of the RDEK board and local politicians and expects to receive similar support from local commercial stores where fireworks are sold. The next step will be contacting the appropriate minister to meet with at the UBCM later this year.

Still a grassroots idea, there is a long process before this can in fact become law, she said.

“I don’t know where it’s going to go, we’ll find out,” she said. “It’s early stages in the process and from a Regional District perspective, we’re not the decision maker on it, we can’t do it, what we want to do is lobby the provincial government to do it.”


Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by:
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read