Illegal fireworks still a problem in Abbotsford

Officials confiscate about 50 pounds of fireworks on Halloween.

Abbotsford Fire Chief Don Beer displays some of the illegal fireworks seized on Halloween.

On Halloween night, Abbotsford Fire Rescue and city bylaws officials confiscated approximately 50 pounds of fireworks.

Members of these agencies joined Abbotsford Police on patrol on Oct. 31 to target fireworks infractions.

The possession of fireworks without a permit is against city bylaws.

“With Halloween over, fire rescue, bylaws and police are preparing for further enforcement over illegal fireworks use, and caution Abbotsford residents as they make plans to celebrate Diwali,” said Deputy Fire Chief Mike Helmer in a press release.

No serious injuries or damaged structures were reported as a result of fireworks discharge, but officials responded to the report of a 15-year-old girl who was reportedly targeted by unknown youths using fireworks. The girl’s clothes were burned after fireworks were lit near her. She was not injured, and the incident was investigated by police.

“Residents and especially parents of younger children and teens need to be aware of the risks associated with fireworks use,” said the release. “Fireworks are essentially small explosive devices that can produce devastating injuries that often result in permanent damage and disfigurement or even death.”

The unauthorized use of fireworks in Abbotsford includes possession, sale or discharge, and is strictly prohibited. The bylaw allows for a fine of $200 for unlawful possession or discharge, and $500 for selling or failing to surrender.

The Fireworks Control Bylaw restricts possession and use of fireworks to people holding a valid fireworks operator’s certificate, issued by Natural Resources Canada, and requires a permit to discharge fireworks.

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