Some Parksville residents are frustrated with fireworks being set off within city limits. One concerned citizen said the noise wakes up her young daughter and frightens her dog.
“The other night my pup — she’s 14-months-old — she was outside when it happened and she took off over the fence, running toward the Alberni Highway. Luckily she came back, but it could have been a disaster for us,” said Jessica Reid.
She said she has called the RCMP’s non-emergency line, but the police told her when they investigated they did not see anything. She said she is concerned fireworks are being sold in Parksville without a permit and would like to see the bylaw enforced more strictly.
Parksville Bylaw No. 1427 prohibits people from possessing, storing or discharging fireworks within city limits. Fireworks can only be sold for purposes of wholesale to licensed businesses outside the city and must meet conditions regarding safe storage.
“Whatever channels are out there right now are not working. [Friday] night there were more of them,” said Reid, adding she believes it is not always the same people and that the fireworks can be shot off as early as 8 p.m. and as late as midnight.
Reid said she vented her frustration about the situation in a Parksville-Qualicum Beach Facebook discussion group and found she was far from the only person upset with the fireworks in the area.
“There have been more incidents, for sure, and complaints,” said Deb Tardiff, communications manager for the City of Parksville.
Reid said she has safety concerns about the use of fireworks, in addition to the noise.
“This is kind of dangerous, there’s lots of old trees around in the older part of Parksville and my neighbourhood and it’s really dry. It’s a total fire hazard,” she said.
Anyone guilty of discharging fireworks in Parksville risks a fine of $150 under Bylaw No. 1427, according to the city’s website.
Reid said she would like to see discussion in the community about the issue.
“There are serious consequences for neighbours and potentially entire communities and I just wish they weren’t so readily available,” she said.
Oceanside News requested data from the city about complaints regarding fireworks and will update this story if and when new information becomes available.