The Heals Rifle Rage in Saanich will be in use during evening hours this weekend.
‘Night’ firing exercises will take place on July 20 and 21, beginning at 8 a.m. on both days and can be expected to conclude at approximately 8 p.m. each evening.
These exercises are common and part of regular training explains Capt. Jenn Jackson, public affairs officer at CFB Esquimalt. The infantry is required to be able to shoot at night.
Heals Rifle Range is located near Willis Point Road and Wallace Drive in Saanich. The range has been at its current location for a long time and it’s always busy, so anyone living in the area is aware of the regular firing, Jackson explains.
However, whenever firing will take place at the range after 5 p.m., the community is alerted in advance as a courtesy, she says.
In light of the upcoming firing exercise, CFB Esquimalt is reminding the public that the range is for authorized personnel only and Department of National Defence property is closed. Trespassing in the area is prohibited.
The reminder is cautionary due to recent evidence of trespassing in the area near the range, Jackson explains. Even if it’s just one person, CFB Esquimalt has to say something in the name of safety.
The Heals Rifle Range does have a fence surrounding it and many signs that warn against trespassing, says Jackson, so people are well warned.
The firing exercise is part of how CFB Esquimalt supports training for the military and for other various groups in the community including the RCMP.
CFB Esquimalt has worked to limit the impact of the firing exercise on the community by restricting the hours.