The Campbell River Fire Department is reminding the public of a fireworks ban as the Canada Day weekend approaches.
Fireworks are one of a few items covered by a recent British Columbia Wildfire Service ban, though Fire Chief Ian Baikie points out there will be fireworks as part of the regular community Canada Day celebrations.
“Rather than light your own fireworks, come out and enjoy the community celebration, which will be big and bright, and safely ignited and extinguished,” he said in a news release.
The British Columbia Wildfire Service has prohibited category 2 open fires within the Coastal Fire Centre region. This means only recreational fires such as camp fires are permitted if they are smaller than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high.
Along with fireworks, firecrackers and sky lanterns, the ban covers larger fires, which are also subject to the municipality’s Clean Air Bylaw; burning barrels or burning cages typically used for backyard materials; and binary exploding targets – for example, for rifle target practice.
“Some people are tempted to enjoy sky lanterns and private fireworks for Canada Day, but these restricted activities can cause serious injury and property damage,” Baikie said. “When they return to earth – wherever the wind carries them – they can ignite fires, threatening homes, property, forests and wildlife. Similarly, fireworks and firecrackers can easily spark a wildfire during dry conditions.”
Recreational fires are currently allowed in Campbell River as long as these are no larger than 24 inches (60 centimetres) in diameter. Other conditions and recommendations include:
- Recreational beach fires are still permitted within city limits but must be lit below the high-tide line.
- Maintain a fireguard around the fire – a fuel-free area where all flammable materials have been removed.
- Ensure you have easy access to at least eight litres of water and/or a shovel for fire control.
- Completely extinguish the fire so that ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- CSA or ULC-rated cooking stoves and portable campfires that use gas, propane or briquettes are allowed.
Although recreational fires are currently permitted, during dry, hot conditions the Campbell River Fire Department may restrict or ban them. The fire department asks people to check local and provincial fire restrictions before lighting any fire.