The use of fireworks and firecrackers is illegal in this city, reminds the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS).
“While fireworks have been advertised for sale within Abbotsford on the Sumas First Nations lands and in communities bordering the city, their use in Abbotsford is against city bylaws and will be strictly enforced,” said Mike Helmer, deputy fire chief.
He said only licensed and trained pyrotechnicians can apply for a permit to hold fireworks shows – and these will only be approved under strict conditions.
Helmer said that last year at least one Abbotsford youth was seriously injured when the device he was holding exploded in his hand.
“Fireworks are basically small bombs and are not safe for untrained citizens.”
The Abbotsford fireworks bylaw prohibits the sale, possession and discharge of fireworks within the city’s borders.
This bylaw was introduced in order to reduce the number of injuries and fires caused by their use.
The bylaw is enforced by AFRS members, Abbotsford Police and bylaw enforcement officers. Residents caught with fireworks will be subject to fines ranging from $200 to $1,000, and their fireworks will be confiscated.
Helmer said that this year the extreme dry conditions in the Fraser Valley are causing additional concerns to fire officials with the approach of Halloween and Diwali (a South Asian celebration).
Helmer said some fireworks burn at temperatures above 1,000 degrees C and will continue to burn even when doused with water.
“One single firecracker or sparkler could easily start a massive brush fire and extensive property damage could result.”
The City of Abbotsford banned fireworks in 2005, and Helmer said fires caused by their use have been significantly reduced but are still a concern.
For more information, visit abbotsford.ca/fire or call the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service at 604-853-3566.