News

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Windermere Fire Responds to Garage Fire

December 10, 2018 - 10:19am

It was an early start for members of the Windermere Fire Department as they responded to a structure fire call just after 5:00 this morning.   “When we arrived on scene, there was a fully involved fire in a detached garage,” explains Columbia Valley Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Drew Sinclair. “Our firefighters did a great job of keeping the fire isolated to the garage so it didn’t spread to the nearby home or other structures.”   Seven firefighters and two pieces of apparatus responded to the blaze, along with support from BC Hydro, the RCMP and BC Ambulance Service.  There were no...
Lions Club Crafts New Washrooms for Wycliffe Park

November 23, 2018 - 3:46pm

Wycliffe Regional Park is now more accessible than ever thanks to the hard work of volunteers from the Cranbrook Lions Club who teamed up to build new wheelchair accessible outhouses. “Having these units allows all residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the park and not worry about needing to use the washroom”, says Jamie Davies, RDEK Recreation & Control Services Supervisor. The crew of eight Lions used materials purchased by the RDEK and the old Tembec mill as their workshop. In total, they spent about 40 hours crafting the structures, which are seven feet tall and six...
Tie Lake Dam Project Substantially Complete

November 20, 2018 - 11:39am

The Tie Lake Dam project is substantially complete and the new dam structure is in place. Construction started earlier this fall and included raising the height of the dam to allow for more freeboard; installation of seepage control and a new spillway. “The larger size of the dam has reduced the risk of the dam being overtopped by high water as has nearly happened a couple of times in the past few years,” explains Engineering Technician Brian De Paoli. As part of the project, the weir, known as a Cippoletti weir due to the v-shaped notch in its design, has been fenced. Although the...
Vandals Destroy Equipment at Wasa Transfer Station

November 15, 2018 - 10:37am

A senseless act of vandalism has the Regional District of East Kootenay looking for answers. Sometime between 6:30 PM on Tuesday evening and 8:30 AM Wednesday morning someone purposely lit an excavator on fire at the Wasa Transfer Station. “Our contractor had been at the site cleaning up the metal pile for a few days and each night parked the machine well away from the metal pile.  The operator worked until last light Tuesday evening and when he arrived back to finish up Wednesday, he found the burned out remains of the machine,” explains RDEK Solid Waste Superintendent Jim Penson....
RDEK Chair and Vice Chair Elected for 2019

November 09, 2018 - 11:29am

The annual election of RDEK Chair and Vice Chair was held at the Regional District of East Kootenay this morning and Electoral Area C Director Rob Gay will continue on as Chair for 2019. This will be the Electoral Area C Director’s eighth term as RDEK Chair. He has served on the Board since 2005. “I am excited for the year ahead,” says Gay. “We have a number of new Directors joining us around the board table and an ambitious work plan. I am grateful for the ongoing support of my fellow Directors and look forward to working closely with them and the RDEK staff to continue to move our...
RDEK Initiates First Step in Creation of Closure Plan for Old Kimberley Landfill

November 09, 2018 - 10:54am

The old Kimberley Landfill, located on land surrounding the present-day Transfer Station, was closed to public use several years ago; however, the site has not yet gone through a formal closure process. While a formal closure is still not in the works, the RDEK is taking steps to create a formal plan, which would guide a future closure process. “We just hosted an open house in Kimberley to help raise awareness about the need for a closure plan so that we are prepared when the time comes to formally close that old site,” explains RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “We...
Kimberley Transfer Station Re-Construction Begins

November 02, 2018 - 8:16am

The repair of the main building of the Kimberley Transfer Station is now underway as crews remove the exterior siding and begin the reconstruction process. The building sustained extensive damage when a fire broke out inside the structure in July.  “We have been working with the insurance adjusters, structural engineers and our construction contractor and have been given the green light to begin the re-construction,” says RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. The first step in the re-construction is to remove the damaged siding before re-cladding the exterior. “We want...
Westview Fuel Treatment Project Continuing

October 18, 2018 - 11:26am

This is the latest update on the ongoing wildfire prevention project that has been underway since late 2016/early 2017 in the Westview area southwest of Cranbrook.  Soil and weather conditions during various phases of the project have delayed its completion; however, we are on track for completion by the end of the year. As outlined on the map at the bottom of this update, the project is divided into four Treatment Units (TU): TU 1b - a 100m wide strip adjacent to the community TU 1, 2, 3 - the remaining 40 hectares beyond the 100m strip TU 1b was completed just over two...
RDEK Takes Over Ownership of Parr Utilities’ Assets

October 05, 2018 - 1:25pm

It was a full house Monday night as the RDEK and community came together to celebrate the purchase of Parr Utilities’ assets and a major step forward for the Windermere Treated Water project. “This is such a pivotal milestone for the community and the team that has worked on this project for so many years,” says Electoral Area F Director Wendy Booth. “Today is the result of lots of creativity, patience and hard work. I want to thank everyone who has been part of this journey from the community and the members of our Utility Advisory Commissions who’ve helped guide this project, to the...
Overnight House Fire in Tie Lake Quickly Actioned

September 18, 2018 - 2:44pm

Members of the South Country Fire Departments sprang into action overnight after a fire broke out a home in the Tie Lake area near Jaffray. “The homeowner and neighbours called in the fire immediately, our crews responded quickly and the wet conditions helped prevent the fire from spreading to the neighbouring trees. All of those factors helped contribute to the great outcome,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Service Deputy Chief, Michael Hockley. A total of 17 firefighters and 8 pieces of apparatus from the Baynes Lake, Jaffray and Elko Fire Departments...
Life-Changing Call for Elko Firefighters

September 03, 2018 - 11:26am

After busy few weeks of emergency callouts, the members of the Elko Fire Department immediately jumped into action when their pagers went off in the wee morning hours of August 2nd. What they didn’t know at the time was that this call was going to change their lives forever. “We got the call that a first-time mother to be was in labour and that the baby was coming,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Fire Deputy Chief Michael Hockley.  “We arrived on scene and dad Ian was doing a great job. Minutes later at 1:56 am, a beautiful, healthy baby girl was born. It was surreal moment and...
Jaffray Fire Department Responds to Overnight Car Fire

August 30, 2018 - 5:09pm

Members of the Jaffray Fire Department were on scene of a car fire last night assisting the BC Wildfire Service. “The call came in just before midnight and the Wildfire Service requested our help as their crews aren’t equipped to battle vehicle fires,” explains Deputy Fire Chief Michael Hockley. RCMP and the Conservation Officer Service responded to the initial call on Highway 3/93 near Wardner and an Initial Attack crew was dispatched as the fire spread from the car to the surrounding grass. Jaffray responded with an engine and tender and 7 firefighters in total.  “The quick work by...
Evacuation Alert RESCINDED for Ta Ta Creek Area as Crews Make Progress on Lost Dog Complex

August 26, 2018 - 5:35pm

The evacuation alert that had been issued for 121 properties in the Ta Ta Creek area as a result of the Lost Dog Complex Fire has been rescinded. “The BC Wildfire Service has made great progress on the Lost Dog Complex Fire. The fire is largely contained and they felt it was safe to lift the evacuation alert,” says RDEK Emergency Information Officer Loree Duczek. “We are grateful to all the men and women on the front lines and behind the scenes who have been working to get the fire contained and would like to extend a special thanks to the residents who have been affected since the...
Evacuation ALERT Issued for City of Kimberley

August 16, 2018 - 11:06pm

The City of Kimberley has issued an evacuation ALERT for all properties within the municipal boundaries effective 11:00PM (MST). “The purpose of an alert is to give people the time to prepare and that is the intent tonight,” explains EOC Director Terry Balan. “With an evacuation order issued earlier tonight for rural residents in the St. Mary Valley, the BC Wildfire Service has recommended implementing an alert for the City of Kimberley to give residents the opportunity to prepare now should conditions worsen and they be asked to leave on a moment’s notice.” A map of the alert area...
Evacuation ORDER issued for 65 Addresses in St. Mary Valley

August 16, 2018 - 9:08pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay has issued an evacuation ORDER for 65 properties in Electoral Area E in the St. Mary Lake Area. “High winds and an increase in fire behaviour have prompted the BC Wildfire Service to recommend the RDEK issue an Evacuation Order,” explains EOC Director Terry Balan. “Our first priority is public safety. These decisions are not made lightly and everyone within the evacuation order area needs to leave immediately.” The evacuation ORDER area includes: •     St Mary’s Lake area from the West boundary of the City of Kimberley to the Redding Creek...
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 in Electoral Area A and the...
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...
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, our firefighters heard a buzzing and snap sound from above and saw a...
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...
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 and everyone involved did a great...

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