Chilliwack Fire crews at hedge fire sparked by fireworks in Chilliwack on Oct. 31, 2021. (Chilliwack Fire Department)

‘Extreme fire risk’ leads Chilliwack fire chief to issue warning against all fireworks

To report fireworks or firecrackers, call the City of Chilliwack Bylaw Enforcement Department

Even though the rain was falling Friday morning the Chilliwack Fire Department issued a public safety warning against the use of fireworks and firecrackers as Halloween approaches.

Prolonged heat and drought have brought the region “a higher than normal fire risk” for this time of year, according to fire chief Ian Josephson.

“We all share a responsibility to prevent human-caused fires, and right now there is an extreme fire risk in our region due to prolonged dry conditions,” said Josephson in a news release. “You can help reduce the chances of a fire or wildfire by keeping fireworks out of your Halloween celebrations this season.”

Every year officials have to warn the public “that the sale, purchase, possession, and use of fireworks and firecrackers within city boundaries is prohibited.”

The entire Fraser Valley is still at Drought Level 5 even though the rain started. It would take 100 millimetres of rain to reverse the drought, so conditions will stay extremely dry and adverse effects are likely.

No open burning is allowed in Chilliwack at the moment. If you see smoke or fire, call 911 immediately.

To report fireworks or firecrackers in Chilliwack, call the City of Chilliwack Bylaw Enforcement Department at 604-793-2908 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or the RCMP non-emergency line after hours at 604-792-4611.

For more information about the City of Chilliwack’s Fireworks Regulation Bylaw, visit chilliwack.com/fireworks.

It’s been illegal to sell or set off any fireworks within the city limits for years, but they are still available to buy in neighbouring communities.

Use was banned but possession of fireworks within Chilliwack city limits was not prohibited until 2021. The bylaw required catching someone in the act of discharging the fireworks led to challenges trying to enforce it, so this was the new strategy adopted last year.

Bylaw amendments now make possession of fireworks in Chilliwack illegal, allowing seizure of prohibited fireworks, and increased fines from $100 to $500.

RELATED: Pushback coming for setting off prohibited fireworks

RELATED: Fireworks lit up both sides of town in 2020

Do you have something to add to this story, or a news tip? Email:
jennifer.feinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
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