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Video shared sparks conversation about fireworks in Fort St. John

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John Fire Department recently shared a video to spark conversation about why recreational fireworks aren’t allowed in city limits.

The video posted to the department’s Facebook page shows sparks raining down on a local home after a neighbour set off fireworks on January 1st.

Deputy Fire Chief Matt Troiano said it is an excellent visual that shows the hazards associated with firework use.

“As you can see in the video, there was an abundance of sparks that fell down, both on the house, but also we have a camera view of the shop area, on the back end of the property,” Troiano explained.

He said it was the middle of winter, which limits the possibility of igniting a fire, but it would be a different case if it were in a dryer season.

“That could have easily turned into a sparked fire and turned into a structure fire, which would’ve had a far worse outcome than what we saw here,” he explained.

The city has a bylaw that prohibits firework use within city limits, though Troiano said the City of Fort St. John hires professionals to provide firework entertainment throughout the year.

The city’s fire prevention bylaw prohibits residents from selling, giving, or setting off fireworks. Those caught going against the bylaw could face a $100 fine.

Under the bylaw, only the fire department can set off firework displays with the proper permits. In the past, fireworks were only set off on Canada Day, but this year, the city had its first New Year’s Eve display in hopes of decreasing the use of illegal fireworks.

“We wanted to attach that video and send it out to the public to show these are the reasons why we don’t allow fireworks to be set off within the city limits. Fireworks are great, but we wanna leave that to the professionals.”

Troiano notes that the department received permission from the owner of the video to share it on social media.

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