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High Demand on Water System Prompts RDEK to Urge East Side Water Service Users to Stop Outdoor Watering of Lawns

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...
Wood Waste Load Catches Fire at Sparwood Transfer Station

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...
Evacuation Alerts RESCINDED for Hoodoo Mountain Resort, Spruce Grove Campground & RV Resort

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Evacuation Alerts for the Hoodoo Mountain Resort and Spruce Grove Campground & RV Resort in the Fairmont area have been rescinded.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...
RDEK Seeks Input on Rural Housing Needs

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...
Reuse Centres Set to Reopen Early July

June 25, 2021 - 11:33am

Reuse Centres Set to Reopen Early July 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...
New Buoys a Visual Reminder of Speed Zone Restriction Areas on Columbia Lake

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...
Aerial Mosquito Control June 11 and 12

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. -30-
Evacuation Order for Spruce Grove Campground & RV Resort Rescinded, Evacuation ALERT Now in Effect

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...
Panorama Area Grass Fire Quickly Contained

June 05, 2021 - 12:47pm

A grassfire in the Panorama area has been extinguished by members of the Panorama Fire Department.  The fire and a localized power outage in the area are believed to have been caused by a squirrel in the hydro lines. The fire was quickly contained and is now out. BC Hydro remains on scene working to restore power. The quick actions of firefighters prevented what could have been a much more serious situation, particularly given the dry conditions and gusting winds. According to the BC Hydro power outage map, 336 customers are without power with service expected to be restored this...
Evacuation Order Issued for Spruce Grove Campground & RV Resort in Fairmont

June 05, 2021 - 11:15am

Rapidly rising overland flood waters prompted a tactical evacuation of the Spruce Grove Campground & RV Resort in Fairmont overnight and a formal Evacuation Order for the property is now in place.  “RDEK emergency officials, RCMP and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort staff evacuated the site at approximately 2:00am this morning as rising water was threatening to cut off access and egress from the property,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek. The campground has approximately 50 sites and the Resort accommodated everyone affected either in the Resort hotel or another campground.  At this...
Evacuation Order Partially Rescinded in Fairmont; New Alert Issued on Dutch Creek

June 04, 2021 - 7:23pm

Debris removal has been completed on the upper basin on Cold Spring Creek and capacity has been restored within the system.  As a result, the Evacuation ALERT for the Cold Spring Creek area has been rescinded.  The Evacuation ALERT for Fairmont Creek remains in place.  “Debris removal started yesterday morning on Cold Spring Creek and our contractor and Incident Commander did an excellent job and have completed debris removal ahead of schedule,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek.  A total of 65 loads were removed from the upper debris trap yesterday, and an additional 33 were removed...
RDEK Urges Residents to Be Prepared: High Stream Flow Advisory Issued for Region

June 03, 2021 - 11:29am

The RDEK is reminding residents about the need to be cautious around all waterways and prepared in the event of seasonal flooding as the warm temperatures this week have resulted in melting of the higher elevation snowpack. “We are expecting to see water levels rise as the high-elevation snowpack melts,” says Information Officer, Loree Duczek. “We encourage everyone to stay clear of creek banks and rivers during this spring run-off and urge anyone who lives in an area prone to seasonal flooding to take steps to protect their properties.” Self-fill sandbag stations have been set up...
Property Tax Notices Arriving in Mailboxes

May 28, 2021 - 4:51pm

As property tax notices start hitting mailboxes in the region, the Regional District of East Kootenay is sharing information with residents on how to interpret their notice and who to call with questions. “The RDEK is not a taxing authority, so for all rural properties in the East Kootenay, your tax notices are sent from the Surveyor of Taxes in Victoria,” explains RDEK Chief Financial Officer Holly Ronnquist.  “The Province collects the provincial-rural, school and regional district taxes and then sends the regional district it’s portion on behalf of the rural residents.” The RDEK’s...
Hospital District Keeps an Eye on the Future

May 28, 2021 - 4:49pm

REPOSTED from Kootenay East Regional Hospital District The Kootenay East Regional Hospital District continues to plan ahead for large infrastructure projects to ensure funds are available when needed. After several years of a zero percent increase in taxes, the KERHD Board of Directors approved a plan in 2020 to prepare for projects anticipated in the next 10 to 20 years.  “This plan included taxation increases of $30 on the average residential property in each year 2020, 2021 and 2022,” explains CFO Holly Ronnquist.  “Planning ahead for these large capital infrastructure projects now...
RDEK Agriculture Wildfire Preparedness Information Exchange Kicks off June 3

May 27, 2021 - 4:53pm

Agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers in the East Kootenay are encouraged to join the Agriculture Wildfire Information Exchange webinar session to prepare for the 2021 wildfire season. Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 from 9:30 am to 11:00 am MDT Virtual Session via Zoom This is an interactive session to engage with the BC Wildfire Service, East Kootenay Emergency Program, and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. Discussion items will include: The East Kootenay Emergency Program’s 2021 wildfire preparedness activities for the agriculture sector. The Wildfire Seasonal Outlook...
Evacuation Alert Remains in Place in Fairmont Area

May 26, 2021 - 4:14pm

229 properties in the Fairmont area remain on Evacuation Alert following an intense rainstorm over the weekend. “The good news is that the forecasted thunderstorms did not materialize, and although we did have additional rain yesterday, there are no noticeable changes in the upper debris basins,” explains Information Officer Loree Duczek.  “Having said that, the Evacuation Alert will remain in place until we are able to remove the debris from the basins and restore capacity within the system.”  With the debris basins on both Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek near capacity, the...
Evacuation Alert Issued in Fairmont Following Heavy Rain

May 24, 2021 - 8:21pm

The RDEK has issued an evacuation alert for 229 properties in the Fairmont area following the intense rainfall since Sunday. “The prolonged, steady rain has resulted in an increase in water flow and sedimentation in both Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek, which has filled our upper debris basins on both systems to near capacity” explains Information Officer Loree Duczek.  “As a result of this reduced capacity, and with the forecast of more rain and thunderstorm activity this week, we have issued the evacuation alert out of an abundance of caution and to give people time to prepare to...
Area A Budget Supporting Wide Range of Projects in Spite of Overall Decrease

May 21, 2021 - 4:56pm

In spite of a decrease of 4.1% on an average residential assessment for 2021, the Electoral Area A portion of the RDEK’s budget is already making a big impact through the programs and services its supports.   “I am always very aware of the importance of keeping the line on taxation, while maintaining services for residents. I work closely with the RDEK staff to achieve this balance and this year, am very proud to see an overall decrease in the Electoral Area A residential tax rate,” explains RDEK Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski. “From contributing $10,000 for the Fernie Holy...
Thieves Target Volunteer Fire Department Structure Protection Unit

May 21, 2021 - 1:23pm

One of the South Country Fire Department’s Type 2 Structural Protection Units (SPUs) has been broken into and the RDEK is asking the public to be on the lookout for several tools that have been stolen.   Among the items stolen are a marked Husqvarna Chainsaw, rechargeable Dewalt impact driver and drill, two toolboxes full of tools, two 20 litre gas cans and industrial bolt cutters. “These SPUs protect people’s homes in the event of wildfire,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Services Chief Dave Boreen.  “Not only have thieves stolen from a volunteer fire department,...
Jaffray Fire Responds to Fourth Fire at Tie Lake Transfer Station

May 21, 2021 - 1:02pm

Members of the Jaffray Fire Department responded to another fire in the metals pile at the Tie Lake Transfer Station Wednesday night.   “The fire started in the engine compartment and did not spread beyond the car itself,” says Elk Valley & South Country Rural Fire & Rescue Services Deputy Chief Michael Hockley.  “RCMP were able to locate the person who drove the vehicle to the site and he informed us that the car had overheated, causing a fire.  The occupant had used a fire extinguisher on the car and believed the fire was fully out before leaving the site; however, it continued...

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