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Regional News

Op/Ed: Controlling the uncontrollable — The climate crisis is forcing us to let fires burn that we wish we could put out

Cultus Creek fire currently burning on the Darkwoods Conservation Area was started by lightening on July 2 and has grown to over 3,000 hectares. — Photo courtesy Nature Conservancy of Canada

By Richard Klafki, Canadian Rockies Program Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada

This summer British Columbians are witnessing an unprecedented wildfire season.

Already, as of late July, we have had over 1,200 wildfires burning on lands and in communities across the province. Smoke-filled skies remind even those far from active fires that for many, the summer of 2021 will not be about beach parties and barbeques, but will instead be about anxious preparation, waiting and worry.

Nelson, Castlegar top list of worst air quality in Canada

The Swiss-based IQAir has positioned Castlegar (272) and Nelson (241) at the top of their real-time most polluted city ranking for Canada due to the degree of smoke accumulating from burning wildfires in the West Kootenay — Wikimedia Commons

The worst air quality in the nation is available by the lungful in Castlegar and Nelson, according to an international air quality technology company.

The Swiss-based IQAir (https://www.iqair.com/ca/canada) has positioned Castlegar (272) and Nelson (241) at the top of their real-time most polluted city ranking for Canada due to the degree of smoke accumulating from burning wildfires in the West Kootenay. A quality index between 201 and 300 is considered very unhealthy and a health alert.

Cranbrook RCMP investigating stabbing incident between rival outlaw motorcycle gang members

All injured individuals were released after receiving treatment and one group was escorted out of town by the Cranbrook RCMP.

On Friday, July 23 at approximately 7 p.m., Cranbrook RCMP were called to a local gas station on Cranbrook Street North for a report of multiple people fighting. Front line officers flooded the area and were able to separate the two groups, determined to be rival outlaw motorcycle gangs from Alberta.

Shortly after, officers were called to the local hospital, where a total of five individuals attended with apparent stab wounds. The hospital was temporarily placed under lock down while injured parties were being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Interior Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Nelson Jubilee Manor, new cases up in Heritage City

Between July 11-17, 2021, Nelson, with 10 new COVID-19 cases, and Castlegar, with nine, are two areas in the province that have seen a spike in COVID-19 cases. — BCCDC graphic

As cases climb the West Kootenay, both in Nelson and in Castlegar, Interior Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Nelson Jubilee Manor long-term care home.

In a media release Friday, Interior Health said as of Thursday afternoon, one patient and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

Nelson Jubilee Manor is long-term care home operated by Interior Health, with 39 private rooms.

Thieves steal more fire equipment, this time from Beasley Fire Hall

The Beasley Fire Hall had nearly $40,000 of equipment stolen last week from a trailer parked on the Hall lot next to Highway 3A.

The Beasley Fire Department, located west of Nelson on Highway 3A, has been rocked by the theft of nearly $40,000 in fire equipment stolen from a trailer outside the fire hall late last week.

It is believed the theft of pumps, generators and chainsaws from an emergency trailer happened  on or around July 16. Volunteer firefighters noticed the lock was cut on the trailer parked in the Hall lot during a check of the equipment at the Beasley Fire Hall.

High illicit drug toxicity death rate in city prompts call for public health emergency

Nelson owns the notoriety of having the highest illicit drug toxicity death rate in the health service delivery region so far in 2021, according to figures recently released by the BC Coroners Service — Creative Commons.

Nelson owns the notoriety of having the highest illicit drug toxicity death rate in the health service delivery region so far in 2021, according to figures recently released by the BC Coroners Service.

At 42.1 (per 100,000 person-years), the city sits just above Castlegar (39.5) in the Kootenay Boundary, and was 27th highest in the province. The overall overdose death rate for the Kootenay Boundary region was 27.2.

Statistics show city lagging in areas of childcare, employment and affordable shelter

Several statistical findings have painted Nelson in a grey light, according to a community-based initiative — Wikimedia Commons.

Several statistical findings have painted Nelson in a grey light, according to a community-based initiative.

Together Nelson, launched late last year, was put together to assess and understand what the issue of poverty was in the city, and compile a four-year action plan to address the city’s needs — to be released later this year.

Rossland passes motion to defend BC’s last remaining Old-Growth Forests

The public can hike through the unprotected 100 Acre Wood Trail near Rossland BC all year round. — Photo submitted.

Rossland City Council has unanimously approved a motion to call on the BC government to immediately defer logging in all at-risk old-growth forests, including those in the Interior Temperate Rainforest.

With this motion, the City of Rossland calls upon the provincial government to immediately defer logging in all at-risk and old-growth forests, as identified by the independent Old-Growth Strategic Review Panel.

KERPA awarded Special Operations Accreditation — First for BC

The mission of KERPA is simple — to save lives, help the critically ill & injured and support the emergency services. — Submitted

The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) awarded Special Operations Accreditation on 19th July 2021 to Kootenay Emergency Response Physicians Association (KERPA) in British Columbia.

KERPA  is the first organization in Canada, and third in the world, to receive full Special Operations Accreditation through CAMTS.

Young anglers time to get trout heads in the KLAIP game

Kids must submit their rainbow or bull trout heads to one of four local depots by the end of July to participate in the August 1, 2021 draw. — Submitted

The first Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program (KLAIP) for younger anglers is happening very soon, so kids are encouraged to get their trout heads in the game.

Kids must submit their rainbow or bull trout heads to one of four local depots by the end of July to participate in the August 1, 2021 draw. 

The youth KLAIP is running for the summer. By fishing for rainbow and bull trout in the main body of Kootenay Lake, kids 15 and under are actively contributing to local conservation efforts to protect the iconic kokanee. 

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