Chilliwack Fire Department crews attending to a hedge fire sparked by fireworks at a home in the downtown area of Chilliwack on Oct. 31, 2021. (Submitted)

VIDEO: Busy Halloween night for Chilliwack RCMP responding to fireworks calls

6 hedge fires, 45 fireworks calls, and several intoxicated people in public among complaint calls

Almost half of the calls that came into Chilliwack RCMP on Halloween night were related to fireworks.

There were hedge fires, fireworks, and intoxicated people in public among the police calls, but only one person was fined under the new City of Chilliwack bylaw prohibiting possession of fireworks in Chilliwack.

One resident of a downtown neighbourhood Tweeted a video allegedly showing fireworks going off in a neighbour’s backyard and lighting older cedar hedges on fire.

Flames could be seen above the garage, and the Chilliwack Fire Department attended and put out that fire.

There were 103 calls for service logged by Chilliwack RCMP between noon on Oct. 31, and 4 a.m. on Nov. 1, said Cpl. Mike Rail of Chilliwack RCMP.

Of that total, 45 were related to complaints about fireworks or firecrackers.

“It was busy,” Rail said about Halloween night 2021.

It was the first year possession of fireworks was prohibited in Chilliwack, and enforceable with a possible fine of up to $500.

RELATED: In 2020 there were 250 fireworks related calls

One 17-year-old was caught with fireworks and liquor in a park near Sardis Secondary, Rail said, which netted him a bylaw ticket for the fireworks, and another under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act.

He was released into his mother’s custody.

Several calls were for groups of youths setting off fireworks and firecrackers, only to find when officers arrived on-scene that the youth had dispersed.

Several calls were for intoxicated people in public places.

Chilliwack Fire Department responded to 22 incidents over a 24-hour period, between 8 a.m. on Oct. 31 to 8 a.m. on Nov. 1.

There were six hedge fires reported, which were all fireworks related, according to Chilliwack Fire Chief Ian Josephson.

One of the hedge fire incidents saw flames reach the edge of a house, but they caused only minor damage to the exterior, he said.

“Appears at this time, it was only the six hedge fires that were directly related to the illegal use of fireworks,” Josephson said. “Fortunately there were no firefighter or civilian injuries or deaths.”

As well the fire department logged calls for:

• 4 motor vehicle incidents (MVIs)’

• 4 building fire alarm activations;

• 3 dumpster/garbage can fires;

• 2 outdoor/nuisance type fires – garbage/refuse ignited;

• 2 medical aid incidents; and

• 1 public service check smoke alarm.
RELATED: Almost 100 calls about fireworks Halloween 2020

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City of ChilliwackHalloween

 

Almost half of the calls that came into Chilliwack RCMP on Halloween night were related to fireworks. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Almost half of the calls that came into Chilliwack RCMP on Halloween night were related to fireworks. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)