September 2015

Provincial budget consultation slated for Castlegar

Provincial budget consultation slated for Castlegar

Locals will get a chance to weigh in on the 2016 provincial budget at a public meeting slated for Sept. 16 at the Fireside Inn, according to a press released issued last week.

“The consultation period will formally open by Sept. 15 in conjunction with the release of the Budget 2016 Consultation Paper prepared by the Ministry of Finance,” the release said. “British Columbians are invited to participate again this year by presenting at a community public hearing in person, via conference call or by videoconference; making a written submission; sending an audio or video file; or completing an online survey.

Province counsels caution with campfires this long weekend

Province counsels caution with campfires this long weekend

The BC Wildfire Service reminds everyone planning to head into the backcountry or go camping on the Labour Day long weekend to comply with provincial legislation related to campfire use and open burning.

Although small campfires are once again allowed in most parts of B.C., extended hot and dry weather conditions this year have led to increased wildfire risks in many regions.

Firefighters make Castlegar proud in RDKB response; will do so again at Firefighter Games this weekend

Firefighters make Castlegar proud in RDKB response; will do so again at Firefighter Games this weekend

Castlegar fire chief Gerry Rempel has fabulous bragging rights after a request for assistance last weekend from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

“When it (the US Stickpin wildfire looming perilously close to the Canadian border and threatening Grand Forks and Christina Lake) was declared an emergency, it became a provincial response,” Rempel explained. “The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) requested our attendance.”

Four new human caused fires prompt officials to ask for greater public diligence

Four new human caused fires prompt officials to ask for greater public diligence

On the August 29-30 weekend, the BC Wildfire Service responded to four new human-caused wildfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre. One of those wildfires was sparked by an abandoned campfire.

Unsung heroes - a salute to the staff at the Southeast Fire Centre

Supervising dispatcher Teresa Cymbal sits in front of the dizzying array of charts, screens and boards required to manage wildfire season in our district.

The Southeast Fire Centre’s main building is a fairly unremarkable one-story government structure – although made significantly more cool by the airport watchtower beside it and the back lot filled, not with cars and trucks, but rather with helicopters and sometimes air tankers.

When you first walk in, you see the standard institutional warren of offices and cubicles, but the walls are covered with dramatic, even arresting photos taken by firefighters in the front lines (these will comprise an art exhibit at the Kootenay Gallery starting Sept. 25, and they are not to be missed).

The coolest part of the place, though, is the group of men and women who work there.