News

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Chair Elected as RDEK Celebrates 50th Anniversary

December 04, 2015 - 12:54pm

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 2016. “I appreciate the confidence of my fellow Directors in re-electing me as Chair and I look forward to another productive year,” says Gay. This will be the Electoral Area C Director’s fifth term as RDEK Chair.  He has been on the Board since 2005. Electoral Area F Director Wendy Booth was re-elected as Vice Chair for a fourth term.  “I have really enjoyed…
Baynes Lake Area Fuel Treatment Slash Piles to be Burned if Conditions Permit

November 18, 2015 - 3:24pm

The RDEK recently completed an interface fuel treatment project on Crown land in the Baynes Lake Area. The last step in the process is to pile the slash and burn it.  Contractors will be on site to begin building the piles November 19th.  If the conditions are right and the venting index is good, we will begin burning the piles November 19th. The work is expected to take approximately two weeks to complete. The piles are located along the Jaffray-Baynes Lake Road near the Strawberry Hill area. The goal of this project was to reduce the fuel…
Good Turnout to West Fernie Servicing Open House

October 30, 2015 - 3:08pm

Over 50 people took in the West Fernie Servicing Project Open House Thursday. “It was great to see so many people come out and participate in the Open House,” says RDEK Engineering Services Manager Brian Funke. “We know there is a lot of information to share and our goal is to make sure residents feel informed every step along the way. Having information sessions like the ones this week allows us the opportunity to be able to meet directly with the community, answer questions and also hear their ideas about the project.”  At the meeting, the Project…
Strong Turnout to Initial Area B OCP Meeting

October 16, 2015 - 2:50pm

Approximately 90 people took in the introductory meeting for the Electoral Area B Official Community Plan planning process in Jaffray on Wednesday night. “It was a great turnout and I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to participate in our first meeting,” says RDEK Electoral Area B Director Stan Doehle. “Having strong participation from the community is a critical part of this process, so it was fantastic to see so many people come out to share their values, concerns and vision for the area.”  At the meeting, RDEK Planner Karen MacLeod provided an overview…
RDEK Directors Elected to UBCM Board

September 28, 2015 - 12:12pm

The East Kootenay will have representation on a Provincial level after two RDEK Directors were elected to positions on the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Executive this week. “On behalf of the RDEK, I want to congratulate Electoral Area F Director Wendy Booth on being elected Second Vice President and Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft for his election as Director at Large,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “It is going to be an exciting year for both of them, and we are so fortunate to have them representing us at the UBCM level as they work on policy-making…
New Bench Commemorates West Fernie Dike Project Completion

July 23, 2015 - 9:15pm

Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski is pictured with RDEK Engineering Services Manager Brian Funke at a newly commissioned bench, which commemorates the recently completed West Fernie Dike.  The $2.6 million multi-phased dike project is one of many projects Funke and his department have overseen in Electoral Area A and the RDEK.  
Two Elk River Erosion Control Projects Set to Begin

July 23, 2015 - 8:00pm

Repairs and reinforcement will soon be underway at two separate sites along the Elk River. “We have two projects that we will be starting within the next week: one at the Elk Valley Airport and one in the Hill Road area near Fernie,” explains RDEK Engineering Services Manager, Brian Funke. “Both of these projects are a result of damage that occurred during the flooding of 2013.” The work at the Elk Valley Airport involves building setback erosion protection on the bank of the River, which will tie into the existing bank armouring to help protect the airport…
Community Weed Pull for St. Mary Lake, Meadowbrook, Wasa Area This Sunday

July 15, 2015 - 3:50pm

Residents of Wasa, Meadowbrook and St. Mary Lake are being encouraged to break out the gloves and join in a community weed pull this week. “We are targeting three common invasive plants in Area E: Spotted Knapweed, Diffuse Knapweed and Baby’s Breath,” explains RDEK Electoral Area E Director Jane Walter. “We are encouraging people to get together and pull anytime between now and Sunday. On Sunday afternoon we will have a wind up appreciation barbecue at the Wasa Community Hall for everyone who participates.”  The community barbecue will be held at 4:00pm this Sunday afternoon at the…
High Speed Internet Coming to the Kootenays

July 08, 2015 - 8:14pm

REPOST from Industry Canada - High-Speed Internet Coming to the Kootenays MP David Wilks and Minister James Moore announce major investment that will bring fast, reliable Internet services to 11,000 homes in the Kootenay region July 8, 2015 – Cranbrook, British Columbia Everyday tasks that were once done in person, such as shopping, communicating, learning and banking, are now done online. To help Canadians have better access to these and many other online opportunities, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, and David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay–Columbia, today…
REPOST: Prescribed Burn Aids Fire Suppression Activities on Baynes Lake Area Fire

July 08, 2015 - 2:26pm

REPOST from SE Fire Centre CASTLEGAR - The wildfire east of Lake Kookanusa and south of Cutts Road toward the Elk River is now 100% contained. This fire was discovered on July 4, 2015 and grew quickly and aggressively, prompting the evacuation of 200 people near Kragmont and further evacuation alerts in nearby communities. All evacuation alerts or evacuation orders issued by the Regional District of East Kootenay for areas around this wildfire have now been lifted. For more information, visit: http://www.rdek.bc.ca Wildfire suppression efforts were aided by the Cutts Pasture Ecosystem Restoration burn, which…
Crews Thanked as Evacuation Alert Lifted

July 08, 2015 - 1:31pm

The BC Wildfire Service is being thanked for its efforts on the Baynes Lake area wildfire. The fire has been contained and an evacuation alert that has been in place since Sunday has been lifted. “This is a good day,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “Things escalated very quickly on Saturday night when the fire broke out, and we are grateful for the tireless efforts of the crews, who have worked around the clock in trying conditions to bring the fire under control and protect our residents.  I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our…
Erratic Winds Fuel Fires

July 05, 2015 - 3:40am

An Evacuation ORDER has been issued for the community of Kragmont and a surrounding area to the south due to a wildland fire that broke out yesterday afternoon. The Evacuation Order covers properties south of 1347 Waldo Road, including Conroy Road, Tranquility Road, Gavin Road, Fitzpatrick Road, Canyon Cut Off, Grasmere-Dorr Road, Dorr Cut Off Road, and Elko Grasmere Road. “Everyone in the affected area should evacuate immediately. This order has been issued to protect the safety of the public,” says Information Officer, Loree Duczek.  A reception centre has been set up at the Jaffray Community…
Two Fires of Note Burning in SE Fire Centre

July 04, 2015 - 9:04pm

The Jaffray and Baynes Lake Fire Departments and BC Wildfire Service are actioning a fire south of Baynes Lake. Earlier today,  air tankers were used on the blaze which is burning near the Elk River.  Helicopters are continuing to drop water, and ground crews and heavy equipment are on site.  In the Columbia Valley, BC Wildfire Service crews are actioning a fire in the Spillimacheen area. Two Initial Attack crews, two helicopters and a water tender responded to that fire earlier today.  To get the latest information on forest fires and fire bans in the East…
Phase 1 of West Fernie Servicing Project Launched

June 26, 2015 - 1:27pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) officially launched the first phase of the West Fernie Servicing & Restructure Project with about 40 residents at an information session June 23rd at the Fernie Stanford Resort. Attendees were introduced to the project team and GroundWorks branding, and learned about project history, objectives, timelines, contacts, and information sources. “This is an important milestone,” says RDEK Electoral Area A Director, Mike Sosnowski. “The project team is in place, we’ve introduced the GroundWorks campaign, and the engineering…
Discussion Begins on Future of Selkirk Park in Wilmer

June 26, 2015 - 8:05am

20 people turned out to a community meeting in Wilmer Wednesday night to discuss their vision for the future of the parcel of land historically known as Selkirk Park. “We started the night off with an overview of the RDEK parks system, followed by a history of the Selkirk Park property,” explains RDEK Electoral Area G Director Gerry Wilkie. “We then opened the floor up and had a really good community discussion about the future of the park and what people would like to see done with the property.”  The community meeting was the first step in…
ADVISORY - Fire in Wood Piles at Wasa Transfer Station

June 25, 2015 - 7:09pm

There is a fire burning in the wood piles at the Wasa Transfer Station.  The fire is currently contained to the three or four piles on west side, which have good road buffers around them. We have a water truck en route as well as the contractor who has his machine on site from unrelated work in the area. He can use the hoe to provide additional guarding if we need it.  So, at the moment, things are looking good – and we continue to ask everyone to stay away so we can get the situation…
2015/2016 Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs Funding Approved

June 04, 2015 - 9:09am

The Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors has approved funding for 140 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 $1,063,163 for 2015/2016. The approved projects cover everything from education programs to community hall upgrades, sports programs and history projects,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.  “On behalf of the RDEK Board and our residents, I want to thank the Trust for providing this funding for so many different community-based projects,…
Off-Road Vehicle Registration Deferred to November

May 29, 2015 - 3:20pm

NOTE: The following information is being REPOSTED from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations / BC Government Newsroom.  With a number of ORV owners in the East Kootenay, we thought it was relevant to pass along. Mandatory off-road vehicle registration is being deferred from June 1 to November 1, 2015. The extra time provides additional time for off-road users to prepare for the mandatory registration, while the regulatory details are finalized on both registration and safety. These links provide additional information for ORV drivers: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2015/05/voluntary-orv-registration-extended-to-nov-1-2015.html
Emergency Preparedness Fair Set to Go in Columbia Valley

April 23, 2015 - 3:03pm

The old Windermere Fire Hall will be the hub of activity May 2nd as the Emergency Preparedness Fair gets underway. “The focus of the day will be on helping people prepare for an emergency, but we will have all kinds of fun and activities as well,” explains Columbia Valley Emergency Support Services Director / Deputy Emergency Program Coordinator Sharon Pasowisty. “There will be demonstrations, draw prizes, activities for the kids.  It’s going to be a fantastic day and we hope to see a strong turn out.” Representatives from BC Ambulance, the RCMP, Columbia Valley Search & Rescue,…
Smoke From Pile Burning Could be Visible in South Country

March 20, 2015 - 2:00pm

The following information was released by the Southeast Fire Centre on Friday, March 20, 2015. We have posted it as the burn is taking place in Electoral Area B and will be of interest to our residents. CRANBROOK – Crews from the Southeast Fire Centre plan to burn piles of waste wood near Baynes Lake from March 23 to April 30, weather conditions permitting. Smoke may be visible in the area during this period. The Wildfire Management Branch intends to burn slash piles that accumulated last fall during fuels management work. This is part of a…

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