News

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Corbin Area Evacuation ORDER Downgraded to ALERT

August 14, 2018 - 9:17am

The evacuation ORDER for the Corbin area has been downgraded to an evacuation ALERT for 10 properties in the community of Corbin and Teck’s Coal Mountain Mine property. It is important for people within the alert area to remain prepared and follow updates on the Leach Creek Fire. In addition, anyone wishing to remove recreational vehicles from the area is encouraged to remove them now in the event that conditions worsen and an order needs to be re-issued. A map of the alert area is available on the RDEK’s website and includes the portion of Corbin Road…
Precautionary Evacuation Alert Issued for Nine Properties in Cross River Area

August 09, 2018 - 9:31am

A precautionary evacuation ALERT has been issued for 9 properties as the Cross River wildfire continues to burn. “An evacuation alert informs residents of the threat of a potential or impending danger. It is intended to give people time to gather things and prepare themselves so that they are ready to go should the situation worsen and an Evacuation Order be issued,” explains Information Officer Loree Duczek. “We encourage people within the evacuation alert area to put together important papers (like insurance papers), medications, valuables, supplies for children and pets, and other important items so that in the…
Small Grass Fire Quickly Extinguished in Fairmont This Afternoon

August 07, 2018 - 4:40pm

Members of the Fairmont Fire Department responded to a small grass fire in the Fairmont Area this afternoon. “Residents in the area were knocking down the fire with hoses and extinguishers when we arrived on scene,” says Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Drew Sinclair.  “Our firefighters were then able to fully soak the area to ensure hot spots were dealt with.” Although the exact cause of the fire is under investigation, it is suspected to be the result of a faulty transformer.  “While on scene,…
Regional District of East Kootenay and City of Fernie Celebrate Completion of West Fernie Servicing

July 25, 2018 - 8:33am

The completion of the largest construction project in the history of the Regional District of East Kootenay was officially celebrated in West Fernie today. The West Fernie Servicing and Restructure Project provided West Fernie residents and businesses with upgraded water and new stormwater sewer and sanitary sewer systems. The work included the rehabilitation of approximately 4.1 kilometres of potable water mains, approximately 3.4 kilometres of sanitary sewer and 3.3 kilometres of stormwater mains, and repaving of all the roads. The upgraded water system replaces the previous system that was more than 50 years old and in deteriorating…
Structure Fire Quickly Extinguished in Jaffray Area

July 21, 2018 - 4:25pm

Members of the Jaffray Fire Department responded to a small structure fire earlier this afternoon in a pump house on a property along Highway 3/93 near Little Sand.  The fire was actioned by the landowner until the fire department arrived and was the result of a pump failure.  “This is another example of how quick actions by both the landowner and the fire department helped prevent a fire from becoming a much more serious situation,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Service Fire Chief Dave Boreen. “It was a hot day with gusting winds…
Funding Awarded for Hill Road Erosion Control Project

July 20, 2018 - 2:34pm

The Hill Road Dike south of Fernie will be getting some additional erosion protection after the Province announced it was providing nearly $750,000 in funding through the Community Emergency Fund (CEPF). The Dike was damaged during flooding in 2013 and has been repaired; however, this project will complete erosion protection in front of the dike. “I’d like to thank the Province and Union of BC Municipalities for supporting this important project,” says Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski. “The RDEK will also be contributing approximately $350,000 to the project from the Electoral Area A Flood Control Service to…
Kimberley Transfer Station to Re-Open on a Limited Basis Starting Tomorrow

July 17, 2018 - 4:37pm

Five days after a fire tore through the building at the Kimberley Transfer Station, the site will partially re-open tomorrow on a limited basis. “We are re-opening the recycling and reuse areas and will have a small area for the disposal of household garbage,” says Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “The garbage disposal area has limited capacity, so we are asking residents to bring only small household loads. Any larger or commercial loads will have to be taken to the Cranbrook Transfer Station or Central Subregion Landfill until further notice.” The Reuse Shed will be open and…
South Country Fire Departments Respond to House Fire in Rosen Lake Area

July 17, 2018 - 9:27am

A residential house fire in the Rosen Lake area was extinguished by firefighters last night. “The crews did an excellent job of getting on the fire and were able to keep it confined to the one room of origin. The homeowner had closed the door to the room and his quick thinking also made a big difference in the outcome of the call,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Dave Boreen.  “Once the fire was out, the crew worked on ventilating the structure to lessen the effects of smoke damage.” The occupants…
Kimberley Transfer Station Remains Closed, Plans For Partial Re-Opening in the Works

July 16, 2018 - 12:40pm

Insurance investigators are sifting through the ashes and debris at the Kimberley Transfer Station today as the focus moves to securing and partially re-opening the site following Friday night’s fire. “There are a number of steps we have to complete before we can look at a partial re-opening,” explains RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “Once the investigators have completed their work, we will have a structural engineer assess the building structure and begin moving out the rubble and burned debris and securing that area of the site.” The RDEK then hopes to…
Highway 3 Re-Opens East of Galloway Following Vehicle Fire

July 13, 2018 - 2:17pm

Highway 3/93 was temporarily shut down this afternoon after a truck hauling a fifth wheel trailer burst into flames. “The vehicle and trailer are both a total loss,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Dave Boreen.  “We closed the highway to allow our crews to safely access the scene and work to prevent the spread of the fire to the ditch and beyond.” The occupants of the vehicle were all able to escape safely and there were no injuries. At the same…
Quick Action and Cooperation Combine to Stop Wildfire in South Country

July 12, 2018 - 7:40pm

The Chief of the Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Service is crediting the quick actions by campground staff and campers for controlling a wildfire at Aye’s Ranch Campground near Baynes Lake this afternoon. “The campground had done some preparedness planning and the staff and campers did a good job of controlling the fire until we arrived on scene,” says Chief Dave Boreen.  “Our firefighters were then able to complete a guard around the perimeter of the fire and extinguish hot spots.  There were no injuries and we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome…
New Park to be Established at St. Mary Lake

July 10, 2018 - 12:50pm

St. Mary Lake Regional Park will soon become the newest park in the RDEK following a new agreement between the local government and a private property owner. “St. Mary Lake is a beautiful and popular recreation spot for residents and visitors and I am so pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement with the property owner to allow for continued public use of this area,” says RDEK Electoral Area E Director Jane Walter. The property, which is located on the east end of St. Mary Lake, was sold by Tembec to Mt. Evans Land…
2018/2019 Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs Funding Approved

June 08, 2018 - 1:58pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors has approved funding for 156 projects around the region over the coming year. The funding comes from Columbia Basin Trust’s Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs, which are administered by the RDEK.  “We approved a total of $1,084,126 for 2018/2019. The approved projects cover everything from environmental education initiatives to health & safety programs, community enhancement, and youth related projects,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.  “Without this funding, so many important community-based projects would not be possible and we are deeply grateful to Columbia Basin Trust for…
Electoral Area G Volunteer of the Year Recognized

June 05, 2018 - 10:37am

Michael Hutchinson was officially recognized as the 2018 Electoral Area G Volunteer of the Year at a Town Hall Meeting last night. Hutchinson and his wife Karel own Pips Country Store in Edgewater and are both known for their kindness and cheerful dispositions. “Michael is always willing to help, no matter what time of day. He goes above and beyond to help anyone in need,” says RDEK Electoral Area G Director Gerry Wilkie. One of the nominators spoke to Hutchinson’s kindness sharing examples of seeing him give gas and food to those down on their luck or having…
RDEK Purchase of Parr Utilities to be Delayed

May 30, 2018 - 12:33am

Just days before the RDEK was set to finalize the purchase of Parr Utilities' assets, the purchase has been delayed due to a possible historical, unsurveyed road on the property where the water treatment plant is located. “This is an unanticipated hurdle,” says Area F Director Wendy Booth. “This is an extremely complex process and staff have been working diligently through every step, focused on our May 31st goal. Staff and the property owner have been working on amending the agreements and negotiating the required leases to gain final approvals. Every step of the way, we have remained…
Strong Turnout to Moyie Meeting

May 28, 2018 - 2:21pm

Over 150 people turned out to a meeting in Moyie Saturday afternoon to learn more about the various options available to preserve the Narrows on Moyie Lake. “Through the early stages of the Moyie & Area Official Community Plan (OCP) process, the community has been very clear that the preservation of the Narrows is a high priority.  With the combination of private land, Crown land and the waterway itself, there are a number of different options and jurisdictions to consider. Our goal with the meeting was to bring all those parties together and provide the community…
RDEK Monitoring Flood Conditions as Melt Continues

May 17, 2018 - 1:10pm

On the heels of another warm week followed by a thunderstorm system, the BC River Forecast Centre has upgraded its High Streamflow Advisory to a Flood Watch for the Kootenays. While the biggest impact is expected in the Kootenay Boundary and West Kootenay, RDEK staff are continuing to monitor local conditions and are prepared to respond in the event we experience wide-scale flooding. “We are seeing an expected rise in local streams and tributaries as the mid and higher elevation snow melts and are urging residents who are in flood-prone locations to be proactive in protecting their…
BC Parks Land Acquisition Announcement Includes Special Baynes Lake Property

May 03, 2018 - 9:07pm

Summary of a news release from the Provincial Government: The B.C. Government has announced more than 190-hectares of ecologically sensitive land on six different parcels around the Province has been acquired as new parks or additions to existing parks, including one very special piece of property in the Baynes Lake area. “Parks benefit our environment, our economy, and make life better for people in B.C. every day,” said Premier John Horgan. “By protecting these lands today, we’re expanding the beautiful parks B.C. is known for around the world, and making sure this land will be here for…
RDEK Encouraged by Strong Turnout to Planning Process Meeting

April 30, 2018 - 9:47am

Over 100 people filled the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, April 21 to take part in a community planning workshop for the review and update of the Lake Windermere Official Community Plan (OCP). “The main purpose of the workshop was to gather comments on proposed policies and questions around various land use topics and to allow people to share their thoughts on where preservation or changes could occur,” says RDEK Area F Director Wendy Booth.  “We have really been trying to emphasize the importance of community involvement, so I was very pleased to see so many…
Grass Fire in Baynes Lake a Reminder of the Dry Conditions

April 22, 2018 - 11:54pm

UPDATED: The BC Wildfire Service is on site and will continue with mop up following yesterday's grass fire in the Baynes Lake area. There are still a number of hot spots in some of the driftwood, which is generating some smoke. A big thank you to all of the responders who answered the call - and to our fire watch team who spent the night on scene. We are so lucky to have such dedicated members of our community serving as firefighters. ORIGINAL RELEASE: Crews remain on fire watch tonight after a grass fire burned…

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