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Provincial Alert System Does Not Include All Local Emergencies

May 05, 2021 - 10:45am

As the Provincial government conducts a test of its wireless Alert Ready system today, the RDEK is reminding residents that the provincial system cannot be used for local emergencies such as flood and fire at this time and residents are urged to sign up for the regional Evacuation Notification System to ensure they receive local emergency notifications. “We want people to be aware of the limitations of the Alert Ready program in BC, which currently is only used for tsunami warnings, Amber Alerts and specific civil police emergencies,” explains RDEK Communications Manager, Loree Duczek....
Wind Driven Grassfire in Hosmer Quickly Contained

April 30, 2021 - 2:54pm

Members of the Hosmer Fire Department responded to a quickly spreading grass fire in the Hosmer area this afternoon.   “When we arrived on scene, the fire had spread from a burn pit into the grass and was being driven by strong winds.  Our crew did an excellent job of getting it contained before it spread any futher,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Services Chief Dave Boreen.   A total of six firefighters responded to the call and no structures were impacted by the fire.   While open burning is permitted at this time, Boreen says today is a reminder of how quickly...
Wildfire Preparedness Day - May 1

April 30, 2021 - 11:00am

Saturday, May 1 is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and residents across the East Kootenay are being urged to spend some time tomorrow thinking about how they can help protect their homes and properties from the risk of wildfire.  “Whether you live in a municipality or in a rural area, there are a variety of actions each of us can take to reduce the number of wildfire hazards on our properties. From bigger actions like reducing fuel sources around your residence, to small ones like clearing eaves of dead, dry leaves and debris, there are numerous options to explore,” explains RDEK...
Fairmont Fire Under Control, Smoky Conditions Expected to Linger Tonight

April 21, 2021 - 9:44pm

While smoky conditions are expected to linger in the Fairmont area tonight, firefighters have contained a fire that broke out earlier this afternoon.   “Our Fairmont firefighters, with the support of firefighters and tenders from Invermere and Windermere, and the BC Wildfire Service did an incredible job of getting the fire under control,” says Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Jim Miller. “It started in a gulley, in steep, difficult-to-access terrain and without the work of everyone involved, could have been much more serious.”   In total, 8 firefighters from Fairmont, 4 from...
Steamboat Jubilee Mountain Official Community Plan Adopted

April 09, 2021 - 3:41pm

The Steamboat Jubilee Mountain Official Community Plan (OCP) has been adopted by the RDEK Board.  “This has been a comprehensive process stretching over the course of several months and has culminated in an important guiding document that will provide direction within the plan area for years to come,” says Electoral Area G Director Gerry Wilkie.   The new OCP includes updated land use policies, development permits for environmentally sensitive lands and wildfire hazard within the plan area, and a host of other policies that will help provide a framework for development within the next...
RDEK Awaits Word on Grant Application for Debris Flow Mitigation Project in Fairmont 

April 08, 2021 - 11:23am

The RDEK is hoping for good news in the next month on the status of its nearly $10 million grant application for a debris flow mitigation project on Cold Spring Creek in Fairmont Hot Springs. “This grant represents a tremendous opportunity for the community if we are approved, as the capital costs would be 100% funded by the Federal and Provincial governments,” says RDEK Electoral Area F Director Susan Clovechok. “This project has been rapidly evolving and when this grant was announced RDEK staff acted quickly to get an application submitted prior to the very short deadline. We are now...
Expanded Hours Coming to Elkford Transfer Station

April 08, 2021 - 10:59am

Elkford residents will soon be able to enjoy increased access to the Elkford Transfer Station as the site hours are being expanded. “Starting on May 1st, we will be moving from being open four days a week to six days a week,” says RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson.  “This will not only increase access to the site for garbage disposal, but more importantly, increase access to the Recycle BC Depot along with other recycling and diversion opportunities on site.” The new hours of operation will be Monday to Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.  The Elkford Transfer Station will...
Residents Urged to Use Caution When Spring Burning

April 07, 2021 - 11:48am

With spring in the air, many people will be heading outside to do spring clean up around their homes and properties and the RDEK is urging residents doing any spring burning to use caution. “Anyone doing spring burning must make sure they are taking steps to be prepared by having a water source, shovel or tools, burning when it’s not windy and staying on site monitoring the fire until it is completely out,” says Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Jim Miller.  Early season grass fires are not uncommon as many people mistakenly underestimate the burning conditions. “Many people...
Seasonal Prohibition on Sale of Fireworks Starts in May in RDEK

April 07, 2021 - 8:57am

Starting in May, the sale of fireworks will be prohibited in the rural parts of the RDEK, one month later than originally proposed. “Following the Board’s decision in December to amend our Sale of Fireworks Bylaw to prohibit sales between April and November each year, we received input from both local businesses and a fireworks association regarding the impacts of an eight-month ban, particularly for those business who rely on fireworks sales,” explains RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “We heard their concerns and went back to assess when we have had fires in our region as a result of...
Residents Reminded About Importance of Properly Disposing Household Hazardous Wastes After Incident at Kimberley Transfer Station

March 28, 2021 - 3:38pm

The Kimberley Transfer Station was closed for a short time this afternoon after a driver and Operator encountered fumes while loading garbage into a haul truck. “We immediately evacuated the main building and called first responders to investigate,” explains Solid Waste Superintendent Jim Penson.  “Firefighters responded and conducted thorough testing in the building. Once it was deemed to be safe and clear of any noxious fumes, the site was re-opened.”  An investigation determined that an improperly disposed can of bear spray had been punctured in the process of the waste being...
RDEK Area A & Tourism Fernie Sustainable Tourism Project & Survey *Extended*

March 25, 2021 - 11:32am

REPOST FROM TOURISM FERNIE Fernie, BC – The online survey for the RDEK Area A Tourism Sustainability Project has been extended to March 28, 2021 due to technical issues with the survey. Fernie and the surrounding Regional District of the East Kootenay Area A region (view PDF map of RDEK) has continued to see growth in both tourism and recreation over the past decade and longer.  RDEK Area A includes the land and waterways in the Elk Valley from north of Elkford down to Elko and Grasmere, but doesn't include the municipalities of Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford. This growth in use of area...
Public Comment Period Extended for CBT Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Funding Applications

March 12, 2021 - 11:50am

The RDEK is encouraging residents within the region to share their thoughts on the projects being considered for funding through the 2021/2022 Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs. The RDEK administers the programs on behalf of Columbia Basin Trust and RDEK Acting Corporate Officer Tina Hlushak says summaries of the proposal project descriptions are now available for review and comment. “We have an online project page that is an excellent source of information for anyone looking to learn more about the programs and the proposals being considered for funding.  Public...
RDEK Area A Sustainable Tourism Project

March 09, 2021 - 8:22am

**REPOST FROM FERNIE TOURISM** In the coming week community stakeholders and residents will be asked to complete an online survey for the RDEK Area A Tourism Sustainability Project. Fernie and the surrounding Regional District of the East Kootenay Area A region (view PDF map of RDEK) has continued to see growth in both tourism and recreation over the past decade and longer.  This growth in use of area trails, lands, lakes and rivers is creating a variety of needs and challenges that need a collaborative effort to address for long-term sustainability. The increased use of the front and...
RDEK Draft 5-Year Financial Plan Open for Review

February 12, 2021 - 5:24pm

The Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors is seeking public comment on its draft five-year financial plan. “The RDEK Board has completed its first review of the Financial Plan and it has now been posted for the public to look over and comment on,” explains RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “In addition to the public comment period, RDEK staff will continue to meet with Directors, other municipalities, and various commissions over the coming weeks to gather additional input on the draft plan.” The Financial Plan lays out how tax dollars are being spent on the more than 100...
RDEK to Provide Grant to City of Kimberley for Purchase of Curbside Recycling Carts

February 08, 2021 - 4:51pm

The RDEK has approved a grant to the City of Kimberley for the purchase of recycling carts to support the implementation of a Recycle BC curbside recycling program in the city. “We salute the City for implementing a curbside program and are pleased to support these efforts by providing a grant to help offset some of the initial infrastructure costs associated with getting the service up and running,” explains RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “The introduction of curbside recycling will not only increase convenience for residents, but will also move a significant volume of material from the...
Electoral Area A Grant to Support Fernie Historical Society Organizational Renewal Project

February 08, 2021 - 10:48am

In recognition of the important role the Fernie Museum plays in preserving and sharing the history of the Elk Valley, RDEK Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski recently presented the Fernie Historical Society with a $10,000 grant from the Electoral Area A Discretionary Grant in Aid account to help support its Organizational Renewal Project.   Included in the project are plans to improve the Museum’s elevator accessibility, complete renovations to the building, recruit new staff and support high-quality programming.   Pictured Left to Right: RDEK Electoral Area A Director Mike...
Application Deadline Approaching for CBT CIP / AA Programs Funding

January 07, 2021 - 9:50am

There are less than two weeks left for interested non-profit organizations to apply for the 2021/2022 Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs. “These programs make a critical difference in our communities and we want to ensure eligible applicants are aware of the program guidelines and upcoming application deadline, as late applications cannot be accepted,” says RDEK Acting Corporate Officer Tina Hlushak. Applications must be submitted using an online application system located on https://engage.rdek.bc.ca/cbt. The application deadline is Monday, January...
2020 Electoral Area Volunteers of the Year Celebrated

December 21, 2020 - 3:21pm

The RDEK is celebrating its 2020 Electoral Area Volunteer of the Year award recipients. “We have always said that volunteers are the heart of our communities. This year, more than any other in recent memory, we have seen that ring true,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.  “This year’s award recipients have enriched our region in so many ways. It is an honour to celebrate them and to publicly thank them for their tireless efforts, their generous hearts and their profound impact in our rural communities.”  This year’s award recipients are: Area A – Brent Bidston Area B – Bonnie...
RDEK Prohibits Sale of Fireworks April to November

December 17, 2020 - 10:06am

Starting this spring, the sale of Fireworks will be prohibited in the East Kootenay between April and November of each year. “For many years now, we’ve had a bylaw that prohibits the sale of fireworks when the Province issues Category 2 open fire bans in our region,” explains RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.  “On the heels of another hot, dry summer we felt that it was important to be proactive in reducing this potential wildfire risk and to hopefully provide clarity to those businesses who sell fireworks well ahead of when they would be ordering stock for 2021.” As a regional district, the...
Changes to Glass Recycling on the Horizon

November 27, 2020 - 4:07pm

Effective January 2021, East Kootenay residents will notice some changes in where container glass can be taken for recycling in the East Kootenay. For the past three years, the glass recycling market has undergone significant changes and the RDEK has struggled to find markets for the glass it collects through the yellow bin system. “While we have been using it at our landfill sites for secondary purposes such as road base material hoping new markets will open up, it is clear that the way glass is recycled in BC has changed,” says RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “The...

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