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RDKB granted power to regulate fireworks

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary can now crack down on fire crackers in rural areas.

The provincial government has given its approval for the regional district to pass a bylaw that would regulate the use of fireworks.

While municipalities have that power, regional districts must request it. Only a couple of other regional districts in BC have passed fireworks bylaws.

Christina Lake regional director Grace McGregor, who was among those calling for such a bylaw, says it will take a few months to write and enact.

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“We were never trying to stop fireworks completely,” she says. “We were trying to control it a bit.

“What happened at Christina Lake during the heat dome and when the fires were on [last year], was people were letting off fireworks and firecrackers anytime they wanted to. It was pretty scary for the neighbours and animals, not to mention the fire hazard associated with that.”

While McGregor says the details still need to be worked out, the basic idea is that anyone who wants to set off fire works will have to talk to their local fire chief first and get a permit. Those who don’t could be subject to a fine, although McGregor says the board will have to set the amount, and there will need to an adjustment period to let people know about the bylaw.

She says prior to seeking provincial approval, the RDKB did some public consultation and found that 70 per cent of those who responded said they favored local government having control over fireworks.

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