About ingrid

Ingrid has been the owner and editor of The East Shore Mainstreet newspaper for more than twelve years now. She lives in Gray Creek, BC, with her husband Juergen and children Zoe and Luka.

Tonight! Important Meeting Regarding CB Wetlands and Beach

Don’t miss the meeting tonight at 6pm at the CB Hall regarding Kokanee Springs land sale of the parcels connected to and including the CB wetlands and beach area.

See below for Garry Jackman’s article with pertinent information about this meeting…

Garry Jackman’s yet unedited article this month – pertains to tonight’s meeting, so please have a look…
RDCK Area A Update
I want to provide more information on efforts to support outdoor activities based on amenities such as trails and beach/lake access points. As I noted last month, today there are 8 specific projects within Area A which connect to lakefront plus other projects to improve or extend trails. I will not repeat all of the detail as you can check my August submission for that information.
What I do want to cover this month is some of the mechanisms for identifying, planning and developing regional parks. First I want to provide a sense of how much taxation within the RDCK currently goes to support indoor and outdoor recreation. This needs to be viewed as a big picture when discussing regional sites which benefit locals plus visitors from our neighbouring communities or afar (tourists). The health, social and economic benefits of recreation will not be covered this month, neither will the conservation values of holding sensitive lands in the public realm or by partners with a conservation and stewardship mandate.
As you will usually hear me state during budget time, across the RDCK we have about 160 active services either supported individually or by groups of the 20 regional district partners (11 rural electoral areas plus 9 municipalities). Twenty five of these services are related to recreation. Why not combine some or all of them? That would be a big exercise and the topic does arise from time to time. Of the 25, three are localized recreation commissions (shared between a total of 6 partners) which do not fund buildings or capital but rather exist to support recreation programming, often through small grants to societies or clubs. Combined they requisitioned (through property tax) $91.5K in 2017, of which $35.4K was for Area A Rec 9.
There are 14 services which I would categorize as medium sized which support buildings (plus some outdoor rec) again in localized areas. These requisitioned $496.3K in 2017 but two of the services required no taxation, supporting their facilities with rents and grants. In addition, there are 4 services which support the larger recreation complexes; two services for the Castlegar and District complex which splits out the aquatic center as a separate service and one for each of the Creston and District and Nelson and District complexes. These services requisitioned almost $9.98 million dollars in 2017 to support both indoor and outdoor facilities. Note these facilities also have substantial revenues (rents and user fees) on top of the taxation. I worked up some charts on how these costs are distributed from community to community for the inevitable conversation around who benefits versus who pays. Overall I hope all residents of Area A can begin to understand what costs their neighbours down the highway currently face when we discuss regional park sites because we are definitely not all paying the same tax rates.
Looking at the big picture, so far this adds up to $10.56 million taxation within the RDCK focused on facilities and programs which are predominantly delivered within buildings or on groomed fields. In contrast the parks and trails services offer a less structured approach to recreation and access to nature. The RDCK has 4 regional parks services, some encompassing large areas with many partners and others like Area A which, for historic reasons, are stand alone. These services requisitioned $420.8K in taxation in 2017, with the Area A requisition being $28.5K. In the spring I recommended a $12.6K increase from the 2016 taxation of $15.9K in order to have funds on hand for consulting services and/or additional planning for Area A, since we now have 8 sites for lake access enhancement under consideration.
So that is my lead in to what RDCK parks planning staff do. The RDCK has operational and planning staff for parks. Our planner, who provided information at the August 23rd public meeting in Crawford bay, solicits public input on investing in parks development, uses consultants and/or in house resources to search titles (private land) and research possible other interest in the land (for example first nations interest in public land), create maps showing options, provide valuations, draft plans for usage of a site and report with recommendations to the RDCK board. Operational staff comment on whether local stewardship groups appear to be in place to minimize the level of operational costs on the taxpayer plus provide estimates for operational budgets if the land is to be fully managed by the RDCK. In the areas where there are several local government partners pooling their funds a ‘master plan’ approach is generally used so that public input on several sites can be received at the same time. The recent master planning processes around Nelson, Castlegar and South Slocan cost between $30K to $50K each and took one to two years to complete. I have been in discussion with potential local government service partners south of Area A around a joint master plan but the current opportunities in the Crawford bay area are prompting a closer look at this area in the short term.
Last month, I said I would provide more on cemetery services in September but that will need to wait for now. If you have questions or comments on any topic please drop a note to gjackman@rdck.bc.ca or call me at 250-223-8463.
Garry Jackman
RDCK Director Area A
Wynndel / East Shore Kootenay Lake






WildFires of Note (Southeast Fire Centre) – Update

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UPDATE – August 22, 2017
McCormick Creek Wildfire – Evacuation Order Reduced to Evacuation Alert 

In consultation with BC Wildfire Service, the Regional District of Central Kootenay will be reducing the Evacuation Order in the McCormick Creek wildfire area to an Evacuation Alert on August 22 at 6pm.

Residents will be allowed to return to their homes at 6pm tomorrow. Structural Protection Unit crews need unimpeded access to properties to safely remove their equipment from the area. Residents are advised that although they will be allowed to return to their homes, they will remain on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to evacuate at a moments notice. The Evacuation Alert area to the north will be rescinded today at 6pm.

Highway 6 and the Nelway Border Crossing will also be opened on August 22 at 6pm.
For more information about Evacuation Orders and Alerts, and other information pertinent to evacuees, visit the evacuation information page on the RDCK’s website at:

Further wildfire information can be found on the RDCK’s wildfire information page at:

UPDATE – AUGUST 17, 2017: 

All Evacuation Orders and Alerts Remain in the RDCK

BC Wildfire Service reports no rapid growth to the current wildfires being fought in the RDCK area. However, due to upcoming weather conditions, it’s been advised that all Evacuation Orders and Alerts remain in place until fires are deemed contained and safe. These include:

Rapid Creek Wildfire – Evacuation Alert
McCormick Creek Wildfire – Evacuation Order
McCormick Creek Wildfire – Evacuation Alert

Visit the new RDCK Evacuation Information web page that provides current updates for all Evacuation Orders, Alerts, Rescinds and information specific to evacuees. Go to: http://www.rdck.ca/EN/main/services/emergency-management/evacuation-order-and-alert-page.html

During urban interface fire threats, the BC Wildfire Service will call on our Structure Protection crews to protect homes, businesses, farms, utilities and other assets. These specialized crews are trained and certified and can be deployed to any location in BC or elsewhere.

With concern for homes in affected areas including Poplar Creek, Harrop Proctor and Nelway/Rosebud Lake areas, BC Wildfire Service put out a request for structure protection to the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC). The OFC deployed a crew from various RDCK fire departments which included Balfour Harrop, Beasley, Blewett, Canyon Lister, Kaslo, North Shore, Ootischenia and Tarrys Volunteer Fire Departments.

Crews set up exterior sprinkler systems to each structure with reservoir that creates a humidity bubble and wets the roof area as well as the areas surrounding the structure. This mitigates the damage from sparks and approaching wildfire.

The RDCK is proud of the level of training our firefighters have achieved and their diligence in keeping our community safe. We’d also like to extend a huge thank you to BC Wildfire Service and their hardworking crews, along with the Australian Incident Management team that have been flown in to assist.

August 16, 2017: North Shore Evacuation Alert Rescinded:

The Evacuation Alert for a portion of the North Shore has been rescinded. The alert was issued in response to the Kokanee Creek fire, started by lightning over the weekend.

B.C. Wildfire Service advised the Regional District of Central Kootenay on Tuesday afternoon that the threat posed by the fire has diminished enough to allow for the rescind of the alert.

The Evacuation Alert and Evacuation Order remain in place for the McCormick Creek wildfire.

The Evacuation Alert remains in place for the Rapid Creek wildfire.

UPDATED: Aug 16, 2017:  Wildfire Crews Making Headway on Fire Suppression

Approximate size: 80 hectares. The weather has been extremely helpful in suppressing growth of wildfire with the recent 22-25 mm of rain. BC Wildfire Service reports that air and ground crews continue with their direct attack techniques as conditions allow.
As of noon yesterday, the Evacuation Alert for 135 residents was rescinded, but we ask residents to continue to remain vigilant.

Approximate size: 337 hectares
BC Wildfire Service reports that the fire is 40% contained with ground and aerial crews continuing to work to suppress the fire. Fifty-one personnel are on site today building fire guards with the aid of 4 helicopters and 12 pieces of heavy equipment. There was no significant growth overnight on this fire and no structures have been lost.
Highway 6NS remains closed in both directions between the BC/Washington border and the Junction with Highway 3. The Nelway Border crossing remains closed and there is a detour via Highway 3 to Creston. All Evacuation Alerts and Orders remain in place at this time with no new alerts to report.

Approximate size: 2,500 hectares. This fire is currently burning in steep and complex terrain. Reports from the Australian Incident Management team confirm that the fire is in ‘mop-up’ stage and may be contained with the next few days, weather permitting.
The Harrop Mainline Forest Service Road and East Harrop Mainline Forest Service Road are closed to the public at this time to aid in fire suppression efforts and to keep the public safe. The fire continues to produce large amounts of smoke and will be highly visible in and around the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. People with respiratory issues may wish to contact their health professionals.

Approximate size: 500 hectares. BC Wildfire crews continue to monitor the fire and have not seen significant change. The Evacuation Alert remains in place at this time.
The RDCK would like to emphasize the importance of staying clear of firefighter personnel, vehicles and equipment in the area and on forest service roads. Road closures have been put in place for life safety reasons and must be obeyed.
Visit BC Wildfire website to view maps and updates

The RDCK EOC will provide further updates as information becomes available.


Shambhala Festival to Shut Down 24 Hours Early

UPDATE: Emergency personnel disagree with decision to re-open Shambhala

Organizers have told people they can stay

The party is back on at the Shambhala Music Festival as organizers have told people they can stay.

While many festival goers have already left, organizers say that the overnight rain was behind the decision.

In a post shared on Facebook late Sunday morning, organizer Jenna Arpita said that the festival will go on. The Salmo River Ranch remains under evacuation alert.

“After hours of meetings and consultation this morning, the Regional District of Central Kootenay, other local government and a fire behavioural analyst, we have been approved for Shambhala Music Festival to remain open for our final night,” she stated. “We invite all our guests to stay and celebrate with us for the final night of our 20th annual Shambhala Music Festival.”

However regional fire Chief Andrew Bellerby said that the RDCK did not approve of the decision to re-open the festival. On Saturday, they had recommended closing the festival a day early.

Shambhala To Close Early

by Ingrid Baetzel, Editor

August 12, 2017, 4pm: The McCormick Fire in the Salmo area is currently sitting at approximately 350 hectares. On Aug 11, the fire took a pretty good run and crossed the Salmo River. Crews are currently on site, including helicopters, planes and ground crew, attending to fuel cells and difficult situations.

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Due to the change in the fire direction, 39 properties in the Nelway area were put under evacuation order and the US/Canada border crossing was closed.

This evacuation order triggered putting Shambhala on emergency alert, which happened on the morning of Aug 12.

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As a result of meetings of key organisers and responders on the afternoon of August 12, it was agreed that the festival would shut down a day earlier. Saturday night (Aug 12) will be final night and Sunday night will not run. Festival goers are being encouraged to evacuate the premises by Sunday morning as the grounds shut down. 

Jimmy Bundschuh, Shambahala organiser, spoke about the worsening fire situation and the difficult decision to notify guests to depart the site Sunday morning. “Our hope is that our guests get prepared today, get packed before getting to bed tonight and are well rested for a safe exit tomorrow morning,” said Bundschuh.

When Bundschuh was asked about the financial impact of this change to the festival plans, he commented that it would have a huge impact for festival. He stated that the many craft and food vendors would be losing out considerably. Sunday sales for locals will not occur as they normally do. He said, “I estimate that we’re looking at least at a half million in lost revenue. This is a major decision on our part and we are trusting the team in charge that this is warranted. Public safety is number one priority.”

Travelers should expect a considerable increase in traffic on area roads and the Kootenay Lake Ferry over the next two days or so and those intending to go to the festival for Sunday only should know that there will be no performances after Saturday night.


Evacuation Order for Nelway Area and Evac Alert Expanded to Include Shambhala Music Festival

Nelson, BC
August 12, 2017, 8:00 hrs:

EVACUATION ORDER Issued for Nelway Area
EVACUATION ALERT Expanded to Include Shambhala Music Festival

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McCormick Creek Wildfire
BC Wildfire reports that the McCormick Creek wildfire has jumped the Salmo River toward the Shambhala Music Festival and is also moving in an easterly direction towards the community of Nelway. The fire is now approximately 250 hectares in size and is behaving unpredictably.
BC Wildfire has advised the RDCK EOC that the area of Nelway be put on Evacuation Order immediately to protect residents from the wildfire in the vicinity.
BC Wildfire has also advised that the current active Evacuation Alert area be expanded to include the Shambhala Music Festival.
BC Wildfire, RCMP, and RDCK are strongly advising that due to the fire increasing in size and threatening properties in the area, that Shambhala Music Festival goers should ensure they leave adequate time to return home safely.
The attached map below indicates the area of the EVACUATION ORDER. The area includes:
• Bear Rd
• Pend D’Oreille Rd
• Rosebud Lake Rd
• Talbot Rd
• McCormick Creek Rd
• 8 Properties on Highway 6
All affected properties are being visited by the RCMP to ensure this information is being delivered to property owners.
The RDCK EOC will provide further updates as more information becomes available.
For updates on the current McCormick Creek wildfire situation, visit:
BC Wildfire – Interactive Map of Current Fires

Off Road Vehicles Restricted in Backcountry

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development BC Wildfire Service

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KAMLOOPS – Effective at noon (Pacific time) on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, the operation of any off-road vehicle for recreational purposes on Crown land will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre, Kamloops Fire Centre and Southeast Fire Centre. In addition, all on-highway vehicles must remain on defined road surfaces.

This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The operation of any off-road vehicles in these regions during the current wildfire situation creates a potential wildfire risk. While jeeps, trucks and other on-highway vehicles are permitted on designated roads, they are not allowed off-road.

The prohibition of off-road vehicles and on-highway vehicles does not apply to private lands or national parks. It also does not apply to emergency responders or to agriculture or commercial/ industrial users who operate vehicles for farming, emergency response or business purposes.

A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://ow.ly/QTm330e9G5n

August is traditionally the most active part of the wildfire season. Given the number of fires currently burning in B.C., the elevated fire danger ratings and the extremely dry conditions in many parts of the province, the BC Wildfire Service is strongly urging British Columbians and visitors to stay out of the backcountry in these regions.

The BC Wildfire Service is continually monitoring conditions and this prohibition may be expanded or rescinded as needed.

In addition, the public is reminded that almost all provincial parks and all recreation sites and trails within the Cariboo Fire Centre are closed due to wildfire risk. The travelling public should visit “safety tips for B.C. travellers” at:  www.bcwildfire.ca

Anyone found in contravention of this off-road vehicle prohibition may be issued a violation ticket in the amount of $767. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report an off-road violation, call the RAPP line at: 1 877 952-7277.

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development – “During the current wildfire situation, it’s crucial that we do everything we can to prevent human-caused wildfires. Temporarily removing off-road vehicles from the backcountry is another component of our wildfire prevention strategy.”

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:

* Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

* Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

Wildfires and road closures in Southeast Fire Centre

Aug. 2, 2017

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Ope­rations and Rural Development

BC Wildfire Service


Wildfires and road closures in Southeast Fire Centre

CASTLEGAR – The BC Wildfire Service has implemented three fo­rest service road cl­osures in the Southe­ast Fire Centre to help protect public safety and aid in wil­dfire suppression ac­tivities.

Wildfires that are currently burning in the region include:

Harrop Creek wildfire

* The Harrop Creek wildfire is about 10 kilometres south of the communities of Harrop and Procter. As of the morning of Aug. 2, 2017, it cov­ered about 1,000 hec­tares.

* Twenty-two BC Wild­fire Service personn­el are continuing to build fire guards today with the support of heavy equipment and aircraft.

* Columns of smoke from this fire will be visible in nearby communities today as pockets of forest fuels burn.

* The Harrop Mainline Forest Service Road and the East Harrop Mainline Forest Se­rvice Road are now closed to the public to help protect publ­ic safety and aid fi­re suppression effor­ts. A map indicating the area affected by this road closure is available online at: http://ow.ly/P1zr30e­7hcd

Glacier Creek wildfi­re

* The Glacier Creek wildfire is about 25 kilometres northeast of Meadow Creek and about 18 kilometres east of Duncan Lak­e. As of the morning of Aug. 2, 2017, it covered about 400 hectares.

* A road closure has been implemented on the Duncan-Glacier Creek Forest Service Road, starting at the MacBeth Icefields turnoff at the 19-k­ilometre mark. A map indicating the area affected by this ro­ad closure is availa­ble online at: http://ow.ly/ccaN30e­3NZz

* There is currently no access to the Ju­mbo area or Monica Meadows. However, bac­kcountry travellers can still access the MacBeth Icefields at this time.

White River wildfire

* The White River wi­ldfire is about 47 kilometres northeast of Canal Flats. As of the morning of Aug. 2, 2017, it covered about 500 hectares.

* This fire is being closely monitored by BC Wildfire Service personnel.

* A road closure has been implemented on the White-Middle Fo­rk Forest Service Ro­ad beginning at the 45.5-kilometre mark. A map indicating the area affected by this road closure is available online at: http://ow.ly/lpLc30e­7jz3

Island Pond wildfire

* The 1,150-hectare Island Pond fire that started on July 30 is about 17 kilomet­res southeast of Can­al Flats.

* As of the morning of Aug. 2, 2017, hel­icopters, airtankers, skimmers and heavy equipment are suppo­rting 64 firefighting personnel on the ground. Crews are tak­ing advantage of a change in wind direct­ion today to build more fire guards.

Fire activity and fi­re behaviour can cha­nge quickly, so memb­ers of the public are urged to remain vi­gilant and be extrem­ely careful with any activity that could potentially spark a new wildfire.

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to the Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Albe­rta border in the ea­st. The Southeast Fi­re Centre includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource Dis­trict.

To report a wildfire or open burning vio­lation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning res­trictions, road clos­ures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca



Body of Alvin Dunic Believed to Have Been Found

On July 26th, the body of Alvin Dunic was believed to have been found near the mouth of Crawford Creek. A 13-year-old resident and his brother came across the body while exploring the beach and creek area at around 3:30pm on Wednesday.

Alvin Dunic went missing in Crawford Bay on May 29 while scouting a location for his students’ field trip.

Crews searched extensively for the missing teacher but were forced to abandon the search due to high waters. The search resumed once waters lowered somewhat but no sign was found.

On Wednesday, the Creston RCMP responded to a report of a body being found in Crawford Creek. RCMP along with Nelson Search and Rescue and BC Ambulance attended and recovered the body.

His family has been informed.


Crews responding to new fires in Southeast Fire Centre

Crews responding to new fires in Southeast Fire Centre


For Immediate Release

July 25, 2017

CASTLEGAR – BC Wildfire Service personnel have been responding to 31 active wildfires throughout the Southeast Fire Centre. Although some of these wildfires are visible from surrounding communities, none are immediately threatening communities or structures.

These fires include the following:

  • On July 25, five BC Wildfire Service personnel, one helicopter and the local fire department responded to a spot-sized wildfire three kilometres west of Baynes Lake on the west side of Lake Koocanusa.
  • A 1.7-hectare fire reported on July 24 near Lockhart Provincial Park (on the east shore of Kootenay Lake, about six kilometres north of Boswell) is now 75% contained. As of the afternoon of July 25, 26 BC Wildfire Service crews were on site. The cause of this fire is under investigation.
  • BC Wildfire Service personnel, the local fire department, airtankers and two helicopters are responding to a 2.5-hectare fire, 19 kilometres north of Westbridge in the Christian Valley. This fire was discovered on July 24 and is 100% contained. The cause of this fire is under investigation.
  • A 10-hectare, lightning-caused wildfire is burning near Rapid Creek, about 30 kilometres northwest of Lardeau at the north end of Kootenay Lake. Smoke from this fire may be noticeable throughout the Lardeau Valley and in the Meadow Creek area. Due to the steep terrain, this fire is being monitored at this time.

Smoky conditions are expected again throughout the Southeast Fire Centre, with prevailing winds forecasted to come from the north and northwest. This smoke originates from several large fires burning in the Cariboo Fire Centre and the Kamloops Fire Centre.

From April 1 to July 25, 2017, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to 172 wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre that have burned 4,717 hectares. Of these fires, 127 were caused by lightning, while the remaining fires were human-caused. Last year on this date, 59 fires had burned 317 hectares.

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to the Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.- Alberta border in the east. The Southeast Fire Centre includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.