Fireworks scare animals raising their young, says Lisa Wegner

Ban fireworks in Rossland, urges community activist

Noise, pollution from pyrotechnics harmful to humans, wildlife

A Rossland community activist is setting her sights on banning fireworks in the city.

“It’s because of the impact,” says Lisa Wegner. “They make a lot of noise, obviously, scaring wildlife, they can be a fire hazard, but they also emit a lot of particulates, harming air quality.”

Wegner, who’s lobbied for several years to see plastic bags banned from the city, says fireworks are bad for the environment and wildlife.

“When people have personal use of it — rather than some city event like carnival — it’s too random, it comes in year-round,” she says. “And we have animals like deer raising their fawns in the area, for example.”

Provincial legislation sets out that fireworks should only be sold in late October to early November, but Wegner says she’s seen a proliferation of fireworks use year-round.

“They don’t seem to be used as much at organized events,” she says. “But with people having access to them for personal use, I’m finding in my neighbourhood alone they’re being set off not on holidays, but randomly throughout the year — like on birthdays.

“It affects the immediate area I’m in, because of the amount of noise fireworks make carries through the valley and affects the entire area.”

She says other municipalities have taken the leap, including Vancover and most Lower Mainland cities and regional districts like in the Shushwap. Fireworks are often banned for part of the summer to prevent wildfires and even Banff has moved to low-sound fireworks.

It’s enough to get Wegner planning to speak with city council on the issue Monday.

She says it’s too late to try to get a ban in place by New Year’s, but she hopes residents will see an end to fireworks displays — both formal and informal — by the summer.

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