Temporary Area Closure in Long Beach Unit
Portions of the Wickaninnish Sand Dunes of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are closed as of April 28, 2012 until further notice. This closure is to ensure public safety as a result of the possible presence of unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO).
© Parks Canada
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Parks Canada closing part of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve?
What is an UXO?
Why are UXOs being found in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve?
Can I still visit the park this summer?
Can I walk on the beach?
How long will access to the Wickaninnish Sand Dunes be closed?
What should I do if I see a bomb or a possible UXO?
1. Why is Parks Canada closing part of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve?
Recently, an Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO) was found in the Wickaninnish Sand Dunes. To protect visitors, Parks Canada has temporarily closed the Sand Dunes, due to the possible presence of UXOs dating back to World War II. The closed area is approximately the size of three football fields and is well signed. The rest of the park remains open to visitors.
2. What is an UXO?
UXO stands for “unexploded explosive ordnance”. It is an explosive weapon that has been armed and deployed, but remains unexploded by malfunction or other reasons. UXOs are potentially hazardous and should not be disturbed or handled.
3. Why are UXOs being found in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve?
During the 1940s and 1950s, manoeuvres were carried out in what is now Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s Long Beach Unit. Two areas in the park were used as military training grounds: Wickaninnish Sand Dunes and Florencia Island and its surrounding waters. Both areas are currently closed to protect visitor safety.
In February 2012, an unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO) from the World War II era was found by a park visitor in the Wickaninnish Sand Dunes in the Long Beach Unit of the park. This prompted an examination of the area by the Department of National Defence (DND) and UXO & Legacy Sites Program.
4. Can I still visit the park this summer?
Yes, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is open and operating as usual. The campground, West Coast Trail, Kwisitis Visitor Centre, and most popular parts of Long Beach are not affected by the closure.
5. Can I walk on the beach?
Yes, the majority of the park remains open as usual, including the Long Beach Unit. The ONLY closed area is the Wickaninnish Sand Dunes, located north of the Kwisitis Visitor Centre. The dunes are clearly marked with closure signs.
6. How long will access to the Wickaninnish Sand Dunes be closed?
The duration of the closure is currently unknown. The Department of National Defence will undertake further research and assessment of the area during this summer and fall. Visitor safety is the top priority; therefore the closure will remain in effect until the area is determined to be safe.
7. What should I do if I see a bomb or a possible UXO?
For your safety, the Wickaninnish Sand Dune area is temporarily closed. Should you find something that could be an UXO:
- do not touch it;
- remember or mark the location from a safe distance;
- leave the area; and
- call 911 or local police as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Park Superintendent at 250-726-3510 or 604-897-9033.