EDITORIAL – Banning New Year’s Eve fireworks would avoid many tragedies

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

WHAT WOULD New Year’s Eve be without fireworks?

Well, pets and livestock would be more content and a lot safer, for one thing. And, there would be fewer injuries, less property damage, less harm to the environment, and less harm to human health.

A Kamloops family, for example, is mourning the loss of their beloved border collie, who panicked when New Year’s Eve fireworks were set off in the neighbourhood, escaped from her yard and was killed by a car.

And there’s the ranching family whose horse broke through a fence and suffered a serious injury. At the Coast, there was an even worse incident in which a panicked horse got onto a highway and was struck and killed.

Such incidents are all-too common on Halloween and New Year’s Eve — fireworks are absolutely traumatic for pets, wildlife and livestock.

Animals aren’t the only victims — fireworks have resulted in fires and injuries and have triggered PTSD episodes among some people.

Regulations vary from one community to another. In Kamloops, with notice to Kamloops Fire Rescue, residents are allowed to set off fireworks between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1 (which matches provincial law) and between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

However, several B.C. municipalities have banned them altogether.

Setting off fireworks is fun for families but they aren’t worth it. They’re fine when professionals do it on Canada Day and other major community events but localized private fireworks need to be banned.

The place to do it is at the source — that is, point of sale — because that’s the best way to enforce it.

The B.C. SPCA is sponsoring a petition to Parliament asking that consumer fireworks be banned nationwide. It points out that such fireworks are a source of pollution and toxic debris, stretch police resources, panic animals, have caused many injuries and even deaths, and have set off wildfires.

You can sign the petition until Feb. 25 — just Google it.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at


TEASER: Ringing in the New Year with fireworks might be fun but those spectacular light displays cause a lot of tragedies….. I’ll make the case for a national fireworks ban…. on the Armchair Mayor.

About Mel Rothenburger (9510 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Banning New Year’s Eve fireworks would avoid many tragedies

  1. R Marcus Lowe // January 4, 2022 at 10:09 AM // Reply

    Wild Lights @ Kamloops core; this is an opportunity to integrate the wild success of this idea into the new high-rise construction. Done all over the world, with a little foresight, new construction in Kamloops could easily be made home to a world class display for the holiday season, and other special events. Not much cost, just good engineering and talented artists…

  2. I did sign it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Now let’s target the Harleys’ and the rest of the unmuffled. We don’t need any more additional noises in our already clustered city.

  3. John Noakes // January 4, 2022 at 6:55 AM // Reply

    Thanks for this editorial, Mel.
    I contacted our local branch of the BCSPCA the day after Halloween this past fall. I signed the petition and ran off a copy to leave at our dog daycare for patrons to sign.
    On July 1st, when the interface fire was happening on the south shore of Kamloops, someone in our subdivision set off firecrackers. There was a Provincial ban on fireworks at the time.
    Too stupid, too often. We can get along quite well without fireworks.

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