The District of Sicamous council voted to place a ban on the sale, use storage or transportation of fireworks in the district. (File Photo)

District of Sicamous to set ban on consumer fireworks

Professional displays for Canada Day and other district-run events will not be affected

The District of Sicamous is proceeding with a ban on the sale, transportation, storage and discharge of fireworks.

The ban will pertain only to commercial/public sales, storage and use of fireworks, and will not affect the Canada Day and Christmas tree light-up fireworks shows. The rules surrounding professionally handled display fireworks at large community gatherings will remain the same, with a certified fireworks supervisor required and permits signed off on by the fire chief.

“They have the proper insurance, they have the proper skills and training. Those people are the professionals who I feel should be the only ones shooting them off,” commented district Fire Chief Brett Ogino.

The decision to proceed with the ban stemmed from a report by Ogino, received by Sicamous council at the Jan. 16 district committee of the whole meeting. The report outlined several possibilities including an outright ban on fireworks sales.

Ogino reported at the Jan. 16 meeting that the current fireworks bylaw, which requires businesses to pay an annual $500 fee for the right to sell fireworks and record all their fireworks sales, is difficult to enforce. The current bylaw has customers write a safety test and buy permits from the district allowing them to purchase and set off fireworks.

An option of limiting fireworks sales and discharge to Halloween and New Years only was raised in Ogino’s presentation, with a ban placed on the sales, storage and transportation of fireworks the rest of the year, with significant penalties enforcing the regulations. Although Halloween and New Years are outside the main fire season, Ogino noted dangers and challenges still remain.

Related:Fireworks and fires over a half-metre banned Friday in Kamloops centre

A total ban on consumer fireworks was the fire chief’s recommendation to council. Council directed district staff to draft a new bylaw to implement the ban. Ogino recommended fines of $500 to $2,000 per offence.

Ogino said with the current prevalence of fireworks, his firefighters need to be wary when responding to fires, both at houses and vehicles where the fireworks may be stored in the trunk. He said there have been a few incidents where fireworks or firearm ammunition stored in structures on fire has made the job of firefighting more hazardous.

The fire chief also noted incidents when fireworks have started fires which threatened homes. He recalled one incident approximately three years ago when unsafely-handled fireworks started a brush fire in the Bayview area which burned close to houses.

“Fortunately, it was between houses and we were able to get onto it quite quickly. We had a hydrant right next to it so we were quite fortunately that way,” Ogino said.

“I’ve been trying to do some control on fireworks for almost 10 years now so it’s not something new.”

Ogino said he doesn’t anticipate too much opposition to the new bylaw from the community, but the two retailers who still carry fireworks might not be happy with the district’s move.

Related:Canada Day fireworks back on at Beach Park

Columbia Shuswap Regional District Bylaws have prohibited the sale and discharge of consumer fireworks in Electoral Areas C, E and F, spanning most of the Shuswap’s rural areas. In areas C and F, a permit can be purchased allowing fireworks discharge, recognizing celebrations such as Halloween and New Years Eve.

Jim Nickles, the Salmon Arm Fire Department’s fire prevention officer, commented fireworks are not banned in Salmon Arm because the city has never had a problem with their misuse. When burning bans go into effect due to fire hazard levels, Salmon Arm places a temporary ban on fireworks.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Highway 97 near Penticton reopened after serious crash

Accident closes highway in both directions

Nominations open for 32nd Annual Business Excellence Awards

The theme of this year’s gala is “Mad about Plaid” thanks to the event sponsor, McPhail Kilt Makers

Penticton RCMP utilize dogs, helicopter to catch alleged boat thieves

Officers responded to a report of a boat theft at 7 a.m. today at Red Wing Resort

Penticton hires new economic development specialist

Andrew Kemp started his new role on June 17, alongside Jennifer Vincent who holds the same title

Now hiring: cannabis consultants in Penticton

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch fair is on July 2 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Kelowna Rocket invited to Hockey Canada National Under-17 Development Camp

The 16-year-old was selected by the Rockets 18th overall at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Okanagan RCMP serve up slices and support for Special Olympics B.C.

Last years inaugural campaign raised more than $12,000

Car window smashed with a bike in Kelowna

A staffer working in the area on the incident says vandalism is a reoccurring problem

Kelowna Mayor’s walking tour of Rutland cancelled

Growing issues surrounding supportive housing leads to rescheduled meeting with concerned resident

Hergott: Moral obligations and your will

Lawyer Paul Hergott discusses wills and moral obligation

Shots fired at metal sign in Central Okanagan

A road sign was shot at and damaged, but nobody was hurt

Okanagan marathoner bests former Canucks at Vancouver race

Vik Bains raced Daniel and Henrik Sedin and finished just ahead at the 2019 Scotiabank Half Marathon

Most Read