Regional Rundown: A recap of Area G happenings

Gerry Wilkie is the Regional District of East Kootenay director for Area G

Recently,  a wildfire broke out just north of Spillimacheen. It was quickly actioned by the BC Wildfire Service crews. Our Windermere Fire Department Structural Protection Unit was immediately deployed and two homes that were directly adjacent to the fire were sprinkled for several days. Our RDEK emergency program team was also activated immediately.  Three homes were evacuated and all residents south to Westside Road in Spillimacheen were on evacuation alert.  Fortunately, the fire was contained and no structures were lost.

The Toby Benches Society AGM was held recently on the shore of Lake Lillian and Area F director  Wendy Booth and I along with RDEK planner Kris Belanger attended and had an enjoyable discussion with residents. The RDEK is currently working on an Official Community Plan for the area and the participation in the process has been outstanding. A draft OCP will be presented in the fall .

Recently, we held meeting in Wilmer to discuss the future of the land historically known as Selkirk Park. The Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resources has advised that the Crown lease for the park has expired and, if it is to be renewed, the RDEK must submit a management plan. Those in attendance participated in a lively and constructive discussion about the future of the park. This, along with survey responses collected, indicate the majority of the community wants to retain the area as a park, primarily in its natural state with some modest improvements and attention to wildfire prevention. Based on this feedback, the RDEK has prepared a management plan and submitted it to the province to renew the lease for the park.

Residents in the Edgewater area will have noticed that sliding gates have been installed in front of the bins at the transfer station. This innovation is to prevent bears and other wildlife from getting into the bins. We need the public’s help in keeping the gates closed. The gates slide open and closed easily and are secured by a simple pin. Please ensure they are closed.

The RDEK has approved  a modest grant to help fund the work of the WildsafeBC co-ordinator in Areas F and G. The mandate of WildsafeBC is to reduce and prevent  conflict between people and wildlife. The co-ordinator is Andrea Smillie, and she will be introducing herself as she gets familiar with Area G and continues her work throughout the Valley.

Gerry Wilkie is the Regional District of East Kootenay director for Area G, and can be reached at