Search for unexploded munitions in North Vancouver to close some popular trails

Click to play video: 'Search for unexploded munitions forces closures of North Vancouver trails'
Search for unexploded munitions forces closures of North Vancouver trails
WATCH: Several popular hiking and mountain biking trails in North Vancouver are closed while crews search for unexploded World War II-era explosives.. Grace Ke reports. – Sep 27, 2023

The search for unexploded grenades and shells that date back before the Second World War has forced the closure of some popular North Vancouver trails.

Crews will be working in a 17-hectare site that used to be part of the Blair Rifle Range and is now a heavily used wooded area wedged between Mount Seymour Provincial Park, Northlands Golf Course and the McCarthy Woods subdivision.

The rifle range was used by the Canadian Armed Forces for military training from the 1930s to the 1960s.

This training involved the use of ammunition that contained explosives, some of which did not function as intended, the Department of National Defence explained in a statement. These old military munitions are called unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO). UXO may still be present at the former Blair Rifle Range and can be dangerous if disturbed.

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The department said crews will be returning to the site from September to May and clearing approximately six to eight hectares of land, meaning trails will be closed on a rotating basis while work is underway.

Click to play video: 'Okanagan Indian Band pushes for action on UXO'
Okanagan Indian Band pushes for action on UXO

The Department of National Defence said anyone in the area should stay on designated trails and avoid digging any soil.

If anyone sees something that looks like it might be a UXO, they are asked to refrain from touching it, leave the area the same way they came in and call 911.

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