News

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Rushmere Achieves FireSmart Status

February 10, 2016 - 10:20pm

Reposted from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations The small community of Rushmere has taken some big steps to protect residents from harm, using FireSmart principles to proactively reduce wildfire threats on private land on the west shore of Windermere Lake. FireSmart Canada acknowledged all that hard work on Feb. 9, 2016, with the official presentation of a Community Protection Achievement Award and the installation of a FireSmart sign at the entrance road to Rushmere. The award presentation was attended by BC Wildfire Service staff, a provincial...
No Water Use Day in Windermere Feb 9th

February 03, 2016 - 2:32pm

The reservoir project is nearing completion in Windermere.  On Tuesday, our contractor (Border Holdings Ltd) will be installing secondary chlorination for the Windermere Water System.  As a result, there will be one more “no water use” day for anyone on the Windermere Water System Tuesday, February 9, 2016 from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. During this time, residents are asked to use as little water as possible from the system.  As with the work in late January, we need to have all the water in the system during this process, and the water system cannot be fully shut down.  Turning on a tap,...
Draft Toby Benches OCP Unveiled

January 04, 2016 - 5:01pm

Almost exactly one year ago, the RDEK started working on an Official Community Plan (OCP) planning process for the Toby Benches area. The draft OCP is now available for review and comment. “We have been working with residents and other stakeholders every step of the way and are excited to be at this point in the process,” says RDEK Planner Kris Belanger.  The draft OCP and map schedules are posted on the RDEK’s website and Belanger says they have an Open House planned for mid-January to provide more information to the community. “At the Open House we will review the draft OCP and...
New Funding Announced for Elk Valley Trail Project

December 17, 2015 - 10:07am

The Elk Valley Community Directed Funds (EVCDF) Committee has allocated $430,000 to the Elk Valley Community Trail project.  Efforts are now underway to secure matching funds through Trans Canada Trail, which if approved, would bring the total value of the project to almost $900,000. “From the very beginning our Committee was hopeful that we could use the Community Directed Funds to support a single project that would have a lasting and notable impact on the Elk Valley.  With the ability to receive matching funding from the Trans Canada Trail to develop this route through the Elk...
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 being Vice Chair and look forward to continuing...
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 load in the area and reduce the risk of...
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 Manager for the Kerr Wood Leidal /...
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 of existing...
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 and programming that will benefit...
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 in future flood events....
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,...
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: https://www.rdek.bc.ca Wildfire suppression efforts were aided by the Cutts Pasture...
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 Emergency Social Services team, 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...
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 Kootenay, visit the BC...
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 work is underway....
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 seeking the community’s input on the...
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 fully dealt with. The fire may cause some additional smoke in the air this evening (there is also a...

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