The RDEK is banning the sale of fireworks in electoral areas between May 1 - Oct. 1. Trevor Crawley photo.

Regional district’s ban on sale of fireworks to begin in May

A ban on the sale of fireworks in rural parts of the East Kootenay region is set to take effect one month later than anticipated and will begin in May, according to the regional district.

Prohibiting the sale of fireworks in the Regional District of East Kootenay electoral areas is in effect between May 1 – and Oct. 1.

“Following the Board’s decision in December to amend our Sale of Fireworks Bylaw to prohibit sales between April and November each year, we received input from both local businesses and a fireworks association regarding the impacts of an eight-month ban, particularly for those business who rely on fireworks sales,” said Rob Gay, chair of the RDEK. “We heard their concerns and went back to assess when we have had fires in our region as a result of fireworks.”

In the past, there have been fireworks-related fires over the late spring and summer months, according to the RDEK. However, in recent years, there has not been any fires in April, October or November, that resulted from fireworks use.

“This new bylaw amendment on the sale of fireworks will provide local retailers with three additional months to sell their products during a time of low risk,” said Gay.

While the RDEK can restrict fireworks sales in rural electoral areas, municipalities have the power to create their own bylaws and regulations relating to fireworks use. However, the province still can prohibit fireworks use anytime there is a Category 2 open burning ban in place.

“What that means is that if we have an unusually hot, dry fall where there is a risk of wildfire later into the season, provincial bans would likely be in place that would mitigate the risk of wildfire due to fireworks in those circumstances,” adds Gay.