The sale of fireworks will be prohibited in rural parts of the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) starting in May, one month later than originally planned.

“Following the Board’s decision in December to amend our Sale of Fireworks Bylaw to prohibit sales between April and November each year, we received input from both local businesses and a fireworks association regarding the impacts of an eight-month ban, particularly for those businesses who rely on fireworks sales,” said Rob Gay, RDEK Board Chair. “We heard their concerns and went back to assess when we have had fires in our region as a result of fireworks.”

The RDEK said no fires have been started as a result of fireworks in April, October or November. That said, fires and a concentration of complaints have been associated with fireworks between May and September of each year.

“This new bylaw amendment on the sale of fireworks will provide local retailers with three additional months to sell their products during a time of low risk,” said Gay.

The RDEK cannot regulate the use of fireworks as a municipality might. The Provincial Government includes a prohibition on the use of fireworks when a Category 2 Open Burning Ban in place.

“What that means is that if we have an unusually hot, dry fall where there is a risk of wildfire later into the season, provincial bans would likely be in place that would mitigate the risk of wildfire due to fireworks in those circumstances,” explained Gay.

The bylaw amendment will prohibit the sales and disposition of fireworks between May 1st and October 1st. The rules will apply to any person or business within rural Electoral Areas A, B, C, E, F and G.