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Galloway Lands Proposal Goes to Public Hearing

May 17, 2022 - 8:56am

A proposal in Electoral Area A to amend the Official Community Plan and zoning designation of multiple properties known as the Galloway Lands to permit increased residential development on a piece of private property adjacent to Fernie Alpine Resort will be going to public hearing. “During our Planning and Development Services Committee Meetings on Thursday, we heard from the applicant and several delegations who spoke to a number of items that are important to the Board and the wider community when considering this application. I’d like to acknowledge and thank everyone who participated...
RDEK Seasonal Sale of Fireworks Prohibition Now in Effect

May 12, 2022 - 7:13am

The sale of fireworks is currently prohibited in the rural parts of the RDEK. “Our seasonal prohibition on the sale of Fireworks runs between May and October each year, and we want to remind both business owners and the general public that the sale of fireworks in the rural parts of the RDEK is now prohibited,” says RDEK Development Services Manager Andrew McLeod.  As a regional district, the RDEK is not able to regulate the use of fireworks as a municipality might. The use of fireworks in rural areas is governed by Provincial restrictions, which prohibit the use of fireworks anytime...
Emergency Responders Praised for Their Efforts Following Serious MVI

May 09, 2022 - 11:46am

Emergency Responders Praised for Their Efforts Following Serious MVI Emergency personnel and first responders are being praised for their efforts following a serious motor vehicle incident Sunday. The three-vehicle collision, which involved a transport truck, occurred near the intersection of Columbia Road and Highway 95. “Ten members of our Edgewater Fire Department and three pieces of apparatus responded to the call, along with Invermere Fire Rescue, multiple BC Ambulance members, RCMP and STARS Air Ambulance,” explains Columbia Valley Rural Fire and Rescue Chief Drew Sinclair.   Two patients required extrication, and one was airlifted by STARS. Two...
Household Hazardous Waste Depot Temporarily Closed Following Vandalism

May 06, 2022 - 9:31am

The Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the Cranbrook Transfer Station is closed until further notice following a break-in and vandalism Wednesday night. “Vandals cut through the fence, stole items from the site, kicked in the doors on the Hazardous Waste Depot and caused extensive damage inside the building,” explains Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson.  “While the rest of the Transfer Station remains open, we have had to close the Hazardous Waste Depot until clean up and repairs are complete and new doors can be installed.” The Transfer Station has been repeatedly targeted in...
Crews Gain Upper Hand on Wildland Fire in Baynes Lake Area

May 03, 2022 - 7:33pm

Crews Gain Upper Hand on Wildland Fire in Baynes Lake Area Members of the South Country Fire Departments have gained the upper hand on a wildfire burning in Baynes Lake this evening. “We have firefighters from Baynes Lake, Elko and Jaffray on scene and they’ve done an excellent job getting the fire contained before it spread further,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Michael Hockley.  “With the winds picking up this evening, this could easily have been a much more serious situation and I can’t say enough about the work of our team tonight.” 15 RDEK firefighters and eight pieces of apparatus are on the fire, which is...
South Country Firefighters Assist on Grass Fire

April 29, 2022 - 5:23pm

South Country Firefighters Assist on Grass Fire Members of the Jaffray and Baynes Lake Fire Departments assisted the BC Wildfire Service this afternoon in fighting a small wildfire in the Bull River area. “A number of our firefighters recently completed a wildland firefighting course, and this is a good example of why we take that training,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Michael Hockley. In addition to the BC Wildfire Service personnel, there were 7 RDEK firefighters and five pieces of apparatus on the fire, which is located on Wardner Fort Steele Road approximately 1.5km north of the junction with...
New Approach to Columbia Valley Transit Service Expansion

April 20, 2022 - 2:24pm

The RDEK Board of Directors is taking a new approach to the proposed Columbia Valley Transit service expansion. “We recognize the current service levels aren’t meeting the needs of residents and we remain committed to looking at ways to both improve access to the service and increase ridership,” says RDEK Columbia Valley Services Committee Chair Clara Reinhardt.   The original service expansion proposal would have required a bylaw amendment to increase the tax rate for the service, thereby allowing for increased revenues to offset the cost of a proposed expansion. This would have...
Grass Fire in Hosmer Area Fully Extinguished

April 13, 2022 - 9:05pm

Grass Fire in Hosmer Area Fully Extinguished Local firefighters responded to a grass fire on Dicken Road in the Hosmer area late this afternoon. “A contract crew was cutting and burning slash piles on private property. The fire got away on them and spread quickly into the grass,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Michael Hockley.  “This is another example of how quickly things can change, particularly when burning in windy conditions.  We can’t stress enough the importance of being prepared and choosing to burn only when conditions are favourable.”   Firefighters from the Fernie and Hosmer Fire...
Regulation of Short Term Rentals Moves Forward in Rural RDEK

April 11, 2022 - 6:46pm

The RDEK Board of Directors has approved the regulation of Short Term Rentals (STRs) in its six Electoral Areas.  “Over the past year, we have been engaged in a planning process to investigate the benefits and concerns of STRs and options to regulate them. The results of the planning process were presented to the Board April 7 and 8,” explains Planner Michele Bates.  “We brought forward three options that could be considered should the Board wish to proceed with regulations: zoning and Official Community Plan amendments, Temporary Use Permits, or an Order in Council to allow the RDEK to...
Galloway Lands Proposal Expected to be Back Before RDEK Board in May

April 11, 2022 - 6:33pm

A proposal to rezone property for subdivision and development in Electoral Area A adjacent to Fernie Alpine Resort is expected to come back before the RDEK Board next month. Bylaws 3102 and 3103 would amend the Official Community Plan and zoning designation of multiple properties, known as the Galloway Lands, to permit increased residential development.  “In January, the Board asked the applicant to provide additional information in order to better consider the impact of the proposed development,” says RDEK Vice Chair Susan Clovechok. “Additional information was provided to the RDEK at...
Bin Fire in Canal Flats Quickly Dealt With, Public Asked for Cooperation During Emergency Events

April 01, 2022 - 1:28pm

RDEK staff and members of the Canal Flats Fire Department were able to quickly deal with a bin fire at the Canal Flats Transfer Station Thursday. “We’d like to thank the Canal Flats firefighters for their assistance in wetting down the bin and ensuring the fire was fully extinguished,” says RDEK Solid Waste Superintendent Jim Penson. “There was a large load of pine needles in the bin that were smoldering and burning.  Once it was fully wet-down, the load was taken off site by our contractor so we could spread it out and ensure there were no hot spots.”  During the response to the fire,...
Panorama Fire Department Responds to Early Morning Incident

March 27, 2022 - 12:20pm

Panorama Fire Department Responds to Early Morning Incident Members of the Panorama Fire Department responded to a call at a hotel in Panorama this morning. “When we arrived on scene, the alarms were going off and there was an electrical odour and smoke in the building,” says Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Drew Sinclair.  “With the support of the Resort staff, we evacuated occupants in the affected building and completed a room-to-room search.”   The issue was electrical in nature, the location was quickly identified and contained to the appliance of origin. The building was then ventilated before guests were allowed to return to their...
Grass Fires Prompt Safety Reminder About Dangers of Spring Burning

March 24, 2022 - 6:33pm

Grass Fires Prompt Safety Reminder About Dangers of Spring Burning Members of the Baynes Lake and Jaffray Fire Departments responded to a grass fire in the Jaffray area this afternoon. “A private property owner was burning grass and it got away on him,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Michael Hockley.  “When we arrived on scene, the fire was moving into longer grass and our firefighters did a good job of containing it quickly and preventing what could have been a much more serious situation.”   A total of seven firefighters and 5 pieces of apparatus responded to the 0.5-hectare fire, which has now been fully...
Regional District of East Kootenay Approves 5-Year Financial Plan

March 15, 2022 - 2:50pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Board of Directors has adopted its 2022-2026 Financial Plan. The 2022 operating budget totals $38,429,564, which results in an increase in taxation, on average, of 5%, which works out to $15 increase on an average $462,000 residential assessment.  “Every year, our focus in the budget process is to ensure we have planned appropriately for the provision of services, while being equally mindful of the impact on taxation. It is a complex process, and I’m pleased with the balance we’ve achieved this year,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. It is...
RDEK Launches Program to Support Heat Pump Retrofits in Electoral Areas

March 15, 2022 - 2:31pm

Rural residents in the East Kootenay looking to introduce more energy efficient heating systems in their homes may be eligible for a rebate through a new program being offered by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK).  “The RDEK has been working to minimize the local impacts of climate change, to be leaders in energy efficiency in new and existing buildings, and to increase local workforce capacity for a low carbon transition,” explains RDEK Community Energy Manager Megan Lohmann. “To build on this commitment and provide support for existing homes, the RDEK has launched the...
Extensive Damage Following Structure Fire in Tie Lake Area 

March 04, 2022 - 6:08pm

Extensive Damage Following Structure Fire in Tie Lake Area  Members of the South Country Fire Departments responded to a structure fire in a park model RV at Sunshine Bay Resort in the Tie Lake area this afternoon and, while the fire has been extinguished, there was extensive damage to one park model trailer. “The fire broke out in the kitchen and quickly spread in spite of the homeowner’s best efforts to contain it,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Service Fire Chief Michael Hockley. “There are numerous homes in close proximity to one another in this privately-owned campground, and our firefighters did an excellent job...
Fire Extinguisher Training This Sunday in Jaffray

February 24, 2022 - 5:36pm

Members of the South Country Fire Departments will be hosting an educational workshop this weekend to help residents learn how to properly use their fire extinguishers. “So many people have fire extinguishers in their homes or vehicles but have never been given the proper steps in how to use them,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Fire Chief Michael Hockley. “This is a fun, interactive session intended to help provide some basic training and give people the confidence to use their extinguishers in an emergency situation.”  The free training session will be held on Sunday, February 27...
Public Consultation Begins on RDEK Five-Year Financial Plan

February 23, 2022 - 4:26pm

After completing its first review of the draft 2022-2026 Financial Plan, the Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors is now hoping to gather input from residents. “The public comment period will end prior to our next board meeting and I encourage all residents of the East Kootenay to visit the project page, learn about more about the draft plan and how it will affect you,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “The budgeting process begins in September with the RDEK staff, and there have been meetings with directors, stakeholders, commissions and more that have helped inform this...
Firefighter Recruitment Drive Kicks off as RDEK Seeks to Boost Numbers

February 11, 2022 - 4:50pm

A firefighter recruitment drive is underway for the Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Service and the RDEK is appealing to residents to consider stepping forward to become part of the team. “Our fire departments play a critical role in our rural communities. To keep these departments running and able to answer calls, we need to have a dedicated core of firefighters,” stresses Elk Valley & South Country Fire Chief Michael Hockley. “We are the ones who come to help in times of emergency. We are now on the other side, asking the community for it’s help to keep our departments...
RDEK and Canadian Red Cross Partner for Delivery of Local Emergency Support Services

February 04, 2022 - 5:34pm

JOINT RELEASE BY RDEK / CANADIAN RED CROSS The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is partnering with the Canadian Red Cross for the provision of local Emergency Support Services (ESS) in the region, which is a critical component of assisting residents displaced by fire, flood, earthquakes and other emergencies.  The service delivery agreement was signed in late 2021 and the two parties are currently working together on the transition to the new structure that will see the Red Cross oversee the administration of the region’s local ESS. “When floods, fires or other emergencies cause...

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