N.L. fireworks ban puts damper on Canada Day preparations
The Newfoundland and Labrador government has put a temporary ban on backyard fireworks, just days before Canada Day, because of dry forest conditions.
The fireworks ban was added to an existing ban on Tuesday afternoon, which already nixed backyard fire pits and open fires of any kind.
Weeks of dry weather across Newfoundland and Labrador have turned forests into tinderboxes, with wildfires already wreaking havoc in Labrador.
Eric Young, the director of Forest Engineering and Industry Services with the province's Department of Natural Resources, said he didn't want to take any chances.
"We're going to include the use of fireworks because these are incendiary devices," said Young. "Given the conditions in the forest in that it's so dry, and the fire fuel moisture code is so high, that it doesn't take much to start these fires."
Municipal fireworks displays put on by trained and licensed professionals are not included in the ban.
Ban vexes fireworks vendors
The ban has been putting a damper on business for people who sell backyard fireworks.
Paul Tracey has been selling fireworks from his trailer at the intersection of Torbay Road and Major's Path for the past four years.
Canada Day firework sales make up his second-largest sales period of the year, right behind New Year's Eve.
"We've got the cost of the trailers. We've got the inventory we brought in, you got your staffing, so we've got a fair bit of investment on hand here, right," fretted Tracey.
The only thing that could help Tracey's business would be rain. If enough rain falls in Newfoundland and Labrador before July 1, provincial officials said the ban could be lifted.
Tracey said he's praying for a wet few days.
But if divine intervention doesn't work, Tracey said he plans to carefully store his stock of fireworks in a cool, dry place, and he will try to sell them in six months' time for New Year's Eve celebrations.