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Regional RDEK Firefighter Recruitment Drive Underway

October 18, 2016 - 10:22am

A region wide firefighter recruitment drive is underway in the Regional District of East Kootenay. “Our fire departments play a pivotal role in our rural communities,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Fire Chief Dave Boreen. “To keep these departments running and able to answer the call, we need to have a dedicated core of firefighters and are looking to bolster our numbers in every department.” The RDEK has fire departments in Jaffray, Baynes Lake, Elko, Hosmer, Fairmont, Windermere, Edgewater and Panorama and the goal of the campaign is to recruit 10 new members to each department…
RDEK to Provide Update on Windermere Water

August 12, 2016 - 2:31pm

The RDEK is encouraging residents and property owners in Windermere to attend one of the two upcoming Open Houses they have scheduled regarding the status of the Windermere Treated Water Project. "The goal of the Open Houses is to provide residents with an update on where things are at, including the current options for treated water,” says RDEK Project Supervisor Elizabeth Ahlgren. “Another important aspect for us is the feedback. We are looking for input from residents as we move closer to bringing an option out to the community through a formal assent process.”
Road Construction May Lead to Delays for Elk Valley Transit

August 09, 2016 - 8:46am

The current road construction between Sparwood and Fernie may add an additional 1/2 hour to your trip in both directions. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. For up to date information on issues that may effect the Elk Valley Transit System, please visit
New Composting Pilot Project Underway

July 22, 2016 - 2:22pm

Residents of the Columbia Valley and Elk Valley are being encouraged to take part in a new pilot composting project being coordinated by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) this summer.  “Residents are now able to drop off their household kitchen waste at the Columbia Valley Landfill, and Sparwood and Fernie Transfer Stations,” explains RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “The composting bins for the public are specially marked and will be available through the end of October.” The program accepts nearly all kitchen scraps. While many residents in the East Kootenay already compost fruits and…
Public a Key Part of Identifying 9-1-1 Service Concerns

July 20, 2016 - 10:34am

Recent follow-up by a Kimberley resident with concerns about a 9-1-1 call he placed has helped the RDEK identify and correct an issue with dispatch terminology. “We had a resident contact one of our South Country Rural Fire Departments recently after he called to report a vehicle fire on a rural road and the local fire department didn’t respond,” explains RDEK Emergency Services Coordinator Travis Abbey. “We have a system in place to follow up on questions or concerns regarding both 9-1-1 and fire dispatch, and during the investigation into this complaint, it was discovered that there was…
Quick Action by Fire Department and Neighbours in Suzanne Lake Area

July 18, 2016 - 8:40pm

Jaffray firefighters are currently on the scene of a small lightning caused fire in the Suzanne Lake area.  The fire was first reported at approximately 7:00pm and was initially actioned by local residents until fire crews arrived.  We have six Jaffray firefighters on scene and a BC Wildfire Service crew is en route. The fire is not threatening any structures and is guarded and under control. A big thanks to the residents and firefighters for their quick action this evening!  Pictured: …
Idle Wild Dam Rehabilitation Project Made Possible Thanks to Federal Gas Tax Fund

July 05, 2016 - 4:37pm

Reposted from the City of Cranbrook Enjoying Canada’s vast green spaces and parks is a favourite pastime for Canadian families as a way to meet with relatives and neighbours, appreciate nature and share some quiet time. Residents and visitors to the City of Cranbrook area will soon be able to enjoy the restored and enhanced Idlewild Lake and park areas thanks to a project that will rehabilitate the Idlewild Dam. The work is being completed thanks to $2.8 million provided through the federal Gas…
Cherry Creek Falls Regional Park Officially Opened

June 15, 2016 - 9:09am

Cherry Creek Falls Regional Park Officially Opened Over 100 people attended the official opening of the Cherry Creek Falls Regional Park over the weekend. “It was wonderful to see so many people come out to celebrate. The number of people who came out to mark the grand opening speaks to how much this landmark is treasured,” says Electoral Area E Director Jane Walter. The evolution of the park from a landmark known and used by locals to a protected regional park occurred over a five year period and involved the community and all levels of government. In April 2011, an application was submitted to…
Funding Secured for Completion of Cranbrook to Wardner Trans Canada Trail

June 10, 2016 - 10:46am

REPOSTED FROM TRAILS BC Trails BC is pleased to announce that funding has been secured for Phase 3 and the completion of the Cranbrook to Wardner Trans Canada Trail project. At a ceremony on Wednesday, June 8th at one of the current work sites off Ha Ha Road, an announcement was made by multiple funding partners. The Trans Canada Trail (TCT) -- represented by Sarah Meunier, TCT Trail Coordinator, British Columbia -- confirmed that TCT will provide $263, 000 in…
49 Years of Volunteerism Celebrated

May 31, 2016 - 5:28pm

Dorothy Durham was recognized as the 2016 Electoral Area B Volunteer of the Year at a Town Hall Meeting in Jaffray Monday night. Durham is an outstanding leader who has been volunteering in the South Country since 1967. “It is difficult to summarize Dorothy’s contributions to our community,” says Area B Director Stan Doehle. “Her impact on the people of Area B can’t be measured by a specific position or time given to an organization because she has given so much to so many.” …
Electoral Area F Volunteers of the Year Recognized

May 31, 2016 - 5:25pm

Graeme and Noelene Anderson have been officially recognized as the 2016 Electoral Area F Volunteers of the Year. The Andersons are passionate and caring volunteers and are well known to hockey enthusiasts in the Valley. “Graeme and Noelene spend countless hours fundraising and organizing volunteers for every Columbia Valley Rockies game, in addition to the hours they spend personally volunteering,” says Area F Director Wendy Booth. Graeme is currently the President of the Rockies. In the past year he has organized the annual golf…
Category 3 Open Fires to be Banned Effective Friday at Noon (PST)

May 31, 2016 - 3:36pm

Category 3 open fires to be prohibited within the Southeast Fire Centre (REPOSTED)   CASTLEGAR– Effective at noon PDT on Friday, June 3, 2016, Category 3 open fires will be prohibited in the Southeast Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. Anyone conducting a Category 3 open fire anywhere in the Southeast Fire Centre must extinguish any such fire by noon on June 3, 2016. This prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified. A map of the affected area is available online at: Specifically,…
$1.47 Million in Funding Announced for Fairmont Flood/Debris Flow Mitigation

May 20, 2016 - 4:03pm

Fairmont Hot Springs - As part of the public-safety funding announced in the 2016 provincial budget, the Province is committing $1.47 million in funding toward a flood-mitigation project near Fairmont Hot Springs that will protect the important economic area from flood damage. The project builds on earlier work done by the Regional District of East Kootenay to widen the Fairmont Creek channel following significant debris flow events in 2012 and 2013 triggered by high water levels and which impacted residences and businesses. The 2012 event forced the closure of the highway and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and cut…
Small Grassfire Quickly Contained

May 04, 2016 - 10:04am

A small grassfire at the Fort Steele Transfer Station was quickly contained yesterday afternoon. “We had a grass fire on our transfer station property yesterday afternoon when a controlled burn of a small brush pile got away,” says RDEK Solid Waste Superintendent Jim Penson. “Thanks to the swift action of a BC Wildfire Service crew, staff, contractors and a neighbour we were able to extinguish the fire very quickly and prevent the situation from becoming more serious.” The fire was just over a hectare in size and is a good reminder about the dry conditions so early…
Construction Begins on West Fernie Servicing Project

April 08, 2016 - 6:01pm

The largest construction project in the history of the Regional District of East Kootenay officially broke ground today. The $16,412,291 two-phase project will provide West Fernie residents and businesses with an upgraded water system and new storm water and sanitary sewer systems.  “The Government of Canada is pleased to invest to improve the safety, quality and reliability of water services to West Fernie residents and businesses, while also upgrading the community’s wastewater management systems,” said the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Our infrastructure plan in…
Ecosystem Restoration Burn in Elko Area Friday (REPOST)

April 06, 2016 - 5:08pm

Reposted from: Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations BC Wildfire Service The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, with the support of its Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program partners, will be conducting an ecosystem restoration burn on Rabbit Mountain on Friday, April 8, 2016, weather permitting. Smoke from this controlled burn will be visible from the community of Elko and surrounding areas, and from Highway 3 and Highway 93. Trained BC Wildfire Service personnel will carefully monitor this burn at all times. Rabbit Mountain, southwest of Elko: * The 80-hectare…
Elko Firefighters Respond to First Fire Call

April 05, 2016 - 2:55pm

Members of the Elko Fire Department responded to their first fire call over the weekend. “We had a small grass fire in the Burton Lake Estates area,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire Service Chief Dave Boreen. “This was a good reminder about the dry conditions already this spring. Thanks to the swift action of the crew, they were able to extinguish the fire very quickly and prevent the situation from becoming more serious.” It is a big week for the Elko Department.  Aside from responding to its first fire call, eight of the Department’s…
Long Time Arena Manager Recognized for Years of Service

April 01, 2016 - 2:24pm

After more than 16 years at the helm of the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena, Arena Manager Phyllis Dubielewicz has retired. “Phyllis has spent over 25 years dedicated to recreation in the Columbia Valley,” says RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson.  “She started with the Eddie Mountain Recreation Society as a Secretary in 1990 and has been a driving force ever since.” Dubielewicz was Office Manager for the Society for many years, managed the Lions and Rotary ballparks for 9 years and has been the Manager of the Eddie Mountain Memorial…
Open House in West Fernie to Introduce Construction Contractor

March 29, 2016 - 2:17pm

The RDEK will be hosting an Open House this Thursday to introduce the construction contractor that will be completing the first phase of construction on the West Fernie Servicing & Restructure Project. “Dawson Construction Ltd. will be mobilizing in West Fernie over the next week or so and we wanted to provide residents with an opportunity to meet representatives from the company. In addition, RDEK staff and our engineering consultant Kerr Wood Leidal will be providing information on the construction schedule and answering questions,” says RDEK Project Supervisor Elizabeth Ahlgren. “Having information sessions like the ones…
Burning of Slash Piles Begins as Fuel Management Treatment Program Wraps Up

March 02, 2016 - 8:49am

The RDEK is continuing with our fuel management project in Baynes Lake along Jaffray-Baynes Lake Road near the Strawberry Hill area. We will begin burning the remaining slash piles today as we have a good venting index. There will be smoke visible during the burn. The goal of this project is to reduce the fuel load in the area and reduce the risk of wildfires. If there are questions about the project please feel free to contact our Emergency Services Coordinator Travis Abbey at 1-888-478-7335 or

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