The Canadian Armed Forces has temporarily closed its rifle range on Prince Edward Island for safety reasons.
Following an inspection last November, safety issues at the Alexandra Point Rifle Range east of Charlottetown were identified, said Capt. Jamie Donovan, senior public affairs officer at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown in New Brunswick.
Donovan said a number of repairs need to be made, and a more thorough inspection will happen around early August. One main repair is reinforcement to range butts, which are the mounds of earth near the target line where shots are fired.
"There's some build up that's required to those range butts ... to ensure the safe usage and into where those shots fired impact, that there's no deflection back to the users," Donovan said.
The range is used by the military, police and community groups for target training with handguns and rifles. The site, on Hillsborough Bay in Alexandra, has been a military rifle range since the Second World War.
Important training area
The range closed sometime in the last month or two, according to Donovan. He said because the site was not used often during the COVID-19 pandemic, the army did not reach out immediately to users of the range to advise them of the closure.
"It's only now where we start seeing folks wanting to use these facilities more and more that we've had to reach out and engage with folks to let them know that range work is required."
Donovan said the range in Alexandra is an important training area for reserve force units on P.E.I.
"They are very interested in having access again to that range so that they continue on with their training."
The army hopes to get the work done and reopen the rifle range by mid-fall.
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