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COVID-19 pandemic douses Halloween bonfire in Oak Bay

Annual Oct. 31 gathering in Firefighter’s Park cancelled for second consecutive year
An Oak Bay firefighter and child hose down the massive Halloween fire in Firefighter’s Park during a previous event. (Black Press Media file photo)

The annual fire that flares up in Firefighter’s Park in Oak Bay each Halloween fizzled Monday night at council.

By mid-October each year a pile of wood pallets usually fills a space in the park off Monterey Avenue. On Oct. 31, firefighters and children wield hoses to control the fire and Kiwanis hands out hotdogs and popcorn from the adjacent scout hall.

Without public health orders in place that would prevent the event, council was tasked with considering the safety of hosting it.

Oak Bay Kiwanis voiced concern to Coun. Hazel Braithwaite over their ability to maintain protocols and hand out more than 700 hotdogs to kids from the small scout hall building.

READ ALSO: CRD gives employees mid-December deadline to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19

With safety concerns at top of mind, council agreed to cancel the event for a second consecutive year.

The Oak Bay Business Improvement Association also cancelled its annual trick-or-treating event on Oak Bay Avenue due to safety concerns in the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

In B.C., as of Wednesday, Oct. 13, there were 374 people in hospital with active COVID-19 infections with 153 in intensive care. Of those, there were 92 new cases in Island Health with 640 active.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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