News

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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 responded…
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,…
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…
Evacuation Alert RESCINDED for Ta Ta Creek Area as Crews Make Progress on Lost Dog Complex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alert that had been issued for 121 properties in the Ta Ta Creek area as a result of the Lost Dog Complex Fire has been rescinded.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…
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.”
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…
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…

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