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Fireworks issue still explosive

Question of enforcement remains

It’s hard to understand the obsession humans have with fireworks.

They serve no great purpose other than to make a lot of noise and light up the night sky. There are probably more people irritated by them than actually enjoy them and then there’s the whole other question about pets.

Dogs want to run away and cats want to hide in places where you might not ever find them if they’re outside and it all seems like more trouble than it’s worth to disrupt things so much for a few big bangs.

It should be like a fad that comes and goes once you’ve seen them a few times, but fireworks continue to stand the test of time. There seems to be this thought process that no community event – and certainly not Halloween – is worth staging if there aren’t fireworks involved.

Municipal and city governments have long tried to ban fireworks in certain jurisdictions. By doing so, it brings up the need for enforcement and that’s often been the trouble. If you’re not going to enforce regulations with hefty fines or other penalties, then people are just going to keep those explosive situations alive.

This Halloween was certainly no exception and should have been the time to get tough on the use of fireworks. We’ve just come off a long, hot summer dry spell and the potential for fireworks to ignite wildfires was very real.

Just as that message was getting out and sinking in, along came some substantial rain during the last two weeks to quash those attempts at limiting fireworks. People went ahead because they felt the recent rainfall was enough to eliminate the worry.

With the provincial fire ban no longer in effect, the Cowichan Valley Regional District was still not issuing permits for Halloween on Oct. 31. The CVRD put out an appeal to residents not to use fireworks.

“No fireworks, please” was the message. Of course, when you say please, that implies there’s some leeway. No one was telling people they couldn’t use fireworks, just to kindly and thoughtfully not do it for the sake of the environment and consideration of other people.

That’s just not going to cut it. The message needs to be stronger.

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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