Part of Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island has been closed to the public because munitions left over from the Second World War might be buried in the sand.

The closure follows the discovery of an unexploded mortar shell in the Wickaninnish Sand Dunes in February.

Pacific Rim Park, B.C.

Parks Canada said the dunes were used for a wide range of military ordinance practice in the 1940s and '50s before the park was created.

It said after the live shell was found, the Department of Defence was called in to check the area and has recommended it be closed to the public until a more thorough examination can be done.

Parks Canada is warning anyone who might find an unexploded shell to stay away from it, mark the location from a safe distance and call 911 or the police.