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Grande Prairie looking at banning public fireworks use

The City is considering banning the sale and use of fireworks by consumers within Grande Prairie.

A provincial fire code will come into effect soon that already enforces that ban, unless a municipality has a bylaw stating otherwise.

Fire Marshal James Kostuk says over the last ten years, 93 fires caused by fireworks have resulted in nearly three million dollars in damage in Alberta.

“We feel these stats are low because quite often fireworks fires are grass fires. We don’t report grass fires, so unless a building or a structure catches on fire, it goes unreported… so they’re dangerous; we want to keep the public safe.”

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If implemented, fireworks could only be set off by certified officials with a permit in city parks.

Kostuk notes other cities like Calgary, Lethbridge, and Edmonton have similar rules.

The proposed change is part of a new bylaw that would combine three existing bylaws that deal with open burning, fires, and emergency response fees.

It’s only in draft form, and is open to public feedback.

“We are going to have some open houses, get public consultation just to see what the community wants from a safety point of view, and then from there, there will be a little bit of a period to implement the new bylaw.”

The City is also looking for input on fire pits, and a proposed requirement of 2,500 metres between any open air burning like brush fires and residential communities.

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