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July 21, 2021 - 3:19pm
Given the current fire conditions, anticipated wind event, and recommendations of the BC Wildfire Service, the RDEK has issued an Evacuation Order for two properties east of Saugum Lake.
“One owner owns both properties affected by the Order and is in regular contact with the BC Wildfire Service,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek. “The Evacuation Alert for 53 properties in the Lazy Lake, Lakit Lake and Holmes Road area, including one property on Wildhorse Forest Service road remains in effect with no changes at this time. However, we are encouraging everyone within the Alert area to...
July 20, 2021 - 6:01pm
Members of the Edgewater Fire Department extinguished a suspicious fire in the waste bin at the Edgewater Transfer Station overnight.
“When we arrived on scene, the bin was fully engulfed in flames and our crew did an exceptional job of quickly extinguishing the fire and preventing what could have been a much more serious situation,” explains Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service Deputy Chief Drew Sinclair.
Five firefighters and two pieces of apparatus responded to the call at approximately 11:30pm Monday night.
The cause of the fire is believed to be a warm ash barrel which had...
July 17, 2021 - 7:52am
A precautionary evacuation ALERT has been issued for 53 properties in the Lazy Lake area as a wildfire continues to burn on nearby Bill Nye Mountain.
“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 is 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...
July 16, 2021 - 5:52pm
A new planning process is underway to help identify management options to address short term rentals in the rural areas of the RDEK.
“Over the past few years, we at both the Board and staff level, have experienced an increase in public concern regarding short term rental accommodations,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “As a result, one of our strategic priorities for 2021 is to undertake a planning process to formally gather public input and look at the best management options available.”
To help gather feedback on short term rental accommodations and gain a greater understanding of the...
July 16, 2021 - 5:42pm
The RDEK Board has given three readings to the Wasa Recreation Contribution Service Establishment Bylaw and submitted it to the Province. If the required Ministry approvals are received, an elector assent process will be held in the next few months.
The idea for the proposed service was brought forward to the RDEK by the Wasa Recreation Society and Wasa & District Lions Club, who are concerned that maintaining the required level of volunteerism and fundraising needed to support several community assets is unsustainable.
If it receives the required support of electors, the new service...
July 13, 2021 - 3:39pm
The Fairmont Creek Evacuation Alert has been RESCINDED.
“Our contractor has completed debris removal in the three upper debris basins on Fairmont Creek, and capacity has been restored, which has allowed us to lift the Evacuation Alert,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek.
The Evacuation Alert has been in effect since a debris flood in late May. “We want to acknowledge the Incident Commander, contractor, Emergency Operations Centre team, along with the numerous provincial agencies who played an active role in this event response. We also want to sincerely thank the community of...
July 08, 2021 - 9:18pm
Residents of the Caithness Mobile Home Park in the Galloway area are returning home this evening after being evacuated from their homes earlier today.
“The evacuation order has been lifted and the fire is now classified as Being Held” says Information Officer Loree Duczek. “We would like to extend our thanks to the Emergency Support Services volunteers that were there for the residents.”
Firefighters from the RDEK’s Elko and Jaffray Fire Departments along with BC Wildfire Service crews responded to the 1.1 hectare wildfire at approximately 3:00 pm this afternoon. A total of 35 people...
July 08, 2021 - 5:49pm
An Emergency Support Services Reception Centre has been set up at the Elko Community Hall for residents of the Caithness Mobile Home Park in the Galloway area who were evacuated due to a wildfire today.
“A total of 46 homes were evacuated this afternoon and evacuees are asked to register at the ESS Reception Centre,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek.
The fire, which is estimated at 0.5 hectares is burning along the rail lines near Highway 3 is quite visible. Motorists are asked to avoid stopping in the area. “If you need to travel through this corridor, we ask that you keep moving...
July 05, 2021 - 2:45pm
On the heels of the historic heat wave, and with a long, hot summer in the forecast, the RDEK is urging all rural property owners to take steps now to FireSmart their properties and help reduce the risk of damage caused by wildfire.
“While we cannot change the fact that we live in a wildfire-prone region, we can increase our property’s resilience to wildfire by adopting FireSmart principles and taking steps to reduce hazards,” says RDEK Wildfire Resilience Coordinator Terry Balan. From simple actions like cleaning gutters and moving firewood or propane tanks, to choosing fire-resistant...
July 05, 2021 - 9:03am
The RDEK is seeking comment on the draft Elk Valley Regional Parks Management Plan.
“We are currently working on a management plan for the Elk Valley Regional Park, which is intended to provide strategic direction and guidance for the RDEK, community associations and stewards of the park for the next 15-20 years,” explains RDEK Planner Michele Bates.
To help gather resident feedback, comments are being taken on the draft Management Plan until 4:30pm on August 9.
“Having the input from park users and area residents is an important part of the process, so we are encouraging everyone...
July 03, 2021 - 7:28pm
Members of the Baynes Lake Fire Department were dispatched to a campfire complaint call Thursday night and arrived to find a large group of young people on the beach with a large bonfire.
“To have a fire of any size is not only illegal, but reckless and selfish,” says Elk Valley and South Country Fire & Rescue Service Chief, Dave Boreen. “What makes this call even more unacceptable is that when they were told that the fire had to be put out, several of them became belligerent and uncooperative.” Boreen credits those in the group who did step up immediately to do the right thing and took...
July 02, 2021 - 5:25pm
A Request for Proposal (RFP) has been issued for a conceptual design plan to restore water supply to the aquifers that feed the downstream communities of Baynes Lake and Elko.
“This is an important step forward in this critical project and in getting sustained access to drinking water for these communities,” says RDEK Electoral Area B Director Stan Doehle. “This is a long process, but this is an important step forward.”
The Request for Proposals closes on July 12th, with the successful proponent’s plan to be completed by November 19th. The conceptual design is intended to identify,...
June 30, 2021 - 3:51pm
With skyrocketing demand and record high temperatures, the RDEK is appealing to users in its East Side Water Service Area to take steps to reduce water consumption and stop all outdoor watering of lawns.
“Between Friday night and Sunday morning, water consumption in the East Side Service area more than doubled and continues to be very high,” explains RDEK Engineering Services Manager, Brian Funke. “When you have huge peaks like this, it puts an incredible strain on the system and makes it very difficult for the water treatment plant to keep up. We are looking to the community to help...
June 30, 2021 - 7:44am
Members of the Sparwood Fire Department will be back on site at the Sparwood Transfer Station this morning following a fire in the wood waste pile at the facility yesterday.
“We had two roll-off bins of wood catch fire late in the day, and were grateful for the assistance of the Sparwood firefighters in keeping the fire contained to the two affected loads,” says RDEK Solid Waste Superintendent Jim Penson.
The loads were isolated and the RDEK’s site contractor stayed on through the night to ensure the fire did not re-ignite. The fire department is expected to attend this morning to put...
June 28, 2021 - 2:50pm
The Evacuation Alerts for the Hoodoo Mountain Resort and Spruce Grove Campground & RV Resort in the Fairmont area have been rescinded.
“In spite of the spike in temperatures, water levels have stabilized and we have achieved enough freeboard within the creek that the Evacuation Alert has been lifted,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek.
The Evacuation Alert for Fairmont Creek remains in effect as the RDEK works to restore capacity within the creek channel following a debris flood in late May. “Work is well underway to remove the debris and regain sufficient capacity within our...
June 25, 2021 - 2:24pm
The Regional District of East Kootenay is completing a Housing Needs Assessment to better understand housing challenges across its six Electoral Areas.
“We want to gain an understanding of both the current housing needs in our rural areas and what the future needs might be. This project is going to help us build a more complete picture of the housing situation in our communities and provide critical data about where there may be gaps,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.
One of the first steps in the process is a survey to help gather the data from residents. “If you live in a rural area...
June 25, 2021 - 11:33am
After being closed since spring of 2020, the RDEK’s Reuse Centres are set to open in early July.
“These centres are extremely popular with the public and I know people have been eager to see them reopened,” says Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “We are looking to the public to help us ensure we are able to keep them open by obeying the rules of operation, continuing to follow public health advice as posted and listening to any direction provided by site staff.”
The Reuse Centres will reopen on July 5th at the Cranbrook, Kimberley, Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford Transfer...
June 21, 2021 - 2:53pm
Boaters and recreationalists on Columbia Lake will notice some new marker buoys on the lake to help boaters be aware of areas where speed restrictions are in place.
“The buoys align with the Provincial Wildlife Management Area and indicate where on the lake a 10 km/hour speed limit is in effect,” explains RDEK Development Services Manager Andrew McLeod. “These are federal regulations and are in place to help protect sensitive habitat and species at risk.”
In total, eight new speed limit buoys have been placed on Columbia Lake. The speed limit is 10 km/hour in the following...
June 10, 2021 - 3:14pm
Our contractor for the Mosquito Control Program will be doing mosquito larvae control work tomorrow (June 11, 2021) and possibly Saturday in the Wasa, Ta Ta Creek and Skookumchuck areas.
This will include aerial application.
Residents of the area may see a low-flying helicopter in the area over the next two days as this work is completed.
June 06, 2021 - 2:04pm
The Evacuation Order that had been issued yesterday for the Spruce Grove Campground & RV Resort in Fairmont has been downgraded to an Evacuation ALERT.
“Overnight, the water levels continued to recede and today there is no longer flowing water through the campground and things are beginning to dry out,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek.
Although the Order has been downgraded, access to the Resort is restricted to give the owners time to undertake the clean up and site assessments. Campers/leaseholders should contact the Resort directly regarding temporary access to check on their...
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