New signs have been posted next to Commonage Road warning that unexploded ordnances may be in the area.

New signs have been posted next to Commonage Road warning that unexploded ordnances may be in the area.

UXO signs spell caution

New signs located along fences on the side of Commonage Road warn of possibility of unexploded explosive ordnances still in the area

New signs located along fences on the side of Commonage Road warn of the possibility of unexploded explosive ordnances (UXO) still being in the area.

The new signs installed last week by the Department of National Defence (DND) join the already detailed signs located within Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park warning about the possible existence of leftover UXOs from the Second World War.

Both old and new signs outline the steps that should be taken if a UXO is found.

The Commonage and Coldstream area were both used as training facilities during the war.

“The Department of National Defence UXO and Legacy Sites Program is also working with landowners in the Commonage area to provide signage where required,” said Jennifer St. Germain, a DND communications adviser.

Since 2005, the UXO and Legacy Sites Program has been active in the Vernon area by installing warning signs, attending the Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition, conducting public information sessions and safety briefings to members of the public who may potentially come across UXOs.

This includes municipal, district and provincial employees, search and rescue officials, fire departments, recreational users, dive clubs and construction workers.

“In addition, DND plans to continue the Vernon Schools Program, which involves UXO awareness education, with in-class activities for more than 1,000 students in Grades 3 and 9,” said St. Germain.

As part of its commitment to ensure the public’s safety and address the presence of unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO) sites in Canada, the Government of Canada created the UXO and Legacy Sites Program in 2005.

The program team includes trained specialists who ensure that appropriate actions are taken efficiently and safely when UXO are found.

“A UXO does not look like it did when it was first made,” said St. Germain. “It will have been in the dirt or water for many years so it will likely look old and corroded.

“It may be missing parts so it could look like a piece of old pipe, an old car muffler, a pop can, or just small pieces of corroded metal. It is usually not lying neatly on the ground or underwater – it is usually partly exposed or completely buried.”

All UXOs must be considered dangerous, whether they look old or new. Disturbing it can make it explode, causing injury or death.

If members of the public think they see something that could be a UXO, the DND offers up the following recommendations:

Do not touch it;

Note the area where the UXO is and leave the same way you came;

Call 911 or law enforcement authorities.

More information on the UXO and Legacy Sites Program is available at www.forces.gc.ca/assets/uxocanada.html.