Elk Valley Media Brief - Media Report

Elk Valley

2021-07-10 22:40 PDT

Elk River Rescue
Elk Valley RCMPolice File No.: 2021-1831

Shortly after 3:00pm on June 29, the Elk Valley RCMPolice were advised through 9-1-1 that an 82-yr old woman that had got caught in the main current of the Elk River at its confluence with Coal Creek and was swept away. Immediately the on-duty officers alerted our partners, Fernie Search and Rescue and Fernie Fire and Emergency Services. A nearby kayaker that had been floating with a group noticed the woman and attempted to reach her. Approximately six kilometres later, the kayaker was able to reach a sandbar with the 82-yr old in tow. Rescue services were advised and Fernie SAR extricated both people with the assistance of Ascent Helicopters. It was a very fortunate ending for everyone involved and is a stark reminder that the Elk River is flowing fast and cold and anyone venturing in it must be prepared for sudden and unexpected events. Wearing a PFD, personal floatation device, may be a lifesaver.

Vehicle Fire, Sparwood, B.C.
Elk Valley RCMPolice File No.:2021-1887

On July 03, 2021 around 4:00pm, the Elk Valley RCMPolice responded to dark green 1979 VW Campervan that had caught fire on Highway 3, Red Cedar Drive. While climbing the hill in 31 degree C temperatures, the air cooled VW stalled and the driver pulled the vehicle over to the side of the highway. The driver noticed smoke from the air intakes and checked the engine compartment, finding fire. Sparwood Fire Department’s swift response extinguished the van and the small area of hillside that caught fire. Highway 3 was closed in both directions for a short period of time but quickly reopened. There were no personal injuries.

Wildfire affecting Caithness Trailer Park, Highway 3 and 93, Elko, B.C.
Elk Valley RCMPolice File No.:2021-1965


On July 98, 2021, around 3:30 pm, Elk Valley RCMPolice responded to a grass wildfire on Hwy 3/Hwy 93 near the Caithness Trailer Park in the Elko area, threatening the trailer park and surrounding area. An evacuation order was put into place by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK).
The fire was rapidly spreading along the railway tracks forcing an evacuation of the neighbouring mobile home park. Approximately 53 trailers and 100 residents in the mobile home park. The Regional District of East Kootenay’s South Country Fire Services (Elk and Jaffray Fire Departments) was already on scene and had set up a Command Post. Majority of the residences of the home park were swiftly and safely evacuated and sent to the Elko Community Hall.

Elk Valley RCMPolice were on scene assisting with the evacuation of the mobile park and traffic control off Hwy 3, as people were allowed in to retrieve elder family members and pets.

BC Wildfire air and ground support on scene to control the fire behaviour. The initial attack crew were two helicopter bucketing and an air tanker retardant drops. BC Ambulance on site to assist with those individuals requiring medical attention and or transport to the recreation centre. BC Ambulance present to set up a hydration site. Additional resources on site were Conservation Officer and Natural Resources Officer.

Right now the fire danger in the South Country is very high.

CP Rail Police on scene and assisted with scene control.

Around 9:00pm, residences were allowed back into their homes at the mobile park. There were no personal injuries or animals hurt during the evacuation. No buildings were damaged.

Elk Valley RCMPolice would like to express a heartful thank you to the Jaffray and Elko Fire Departments, BC Wildfire, BC Ambulance Services, CP Rail Police, Conservation Officer and Natural Resources Officer for the safety of residents and their property during the evacuation.

Summer Traffic Enforcement

Through July and August, the Elk Valley RCMP will continue to target impaired drivers. However extra attention will be spent on tinted windows and distracted drivers using handheld cell phones. There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of vehicles with tinted side windows next to the driver and front passenger. The BC Motor Vehicle Act prohibits this window tint and violators can expect to receive a $109 Violation Ticket and a Notice & Order directing the driver to remove the tint within a period of time. While police understand people seem to like the tint for privacy reasons, the tint prevents other drivers, pedestrian and cyclists from making eye contact with the driver which is important for road safety. In the event of a collision, the tint can also interfere with the engineered safety glass from shattering properly and thus causing more injuries or preventing a timely rescue.

Police continue to observe drivers using cell phones, or electronic devices, while driving which can cause severe distractions. The fine for this offence starts at $368 and escalates for repeat offenders and Class 7 drivers. With numerous technological options available, simply there is no excuse for a driver to be operating a handheld device anymore. If one needs to use a phone, then just pull over and stop.

Campfire Ban

Campfire have been banned as of noon on June 30. The fine for dropping burning substances, such as cigarettes, is $575 and the fine for lighting or using a fire against the restriction is $1,150. Police are prepared to issue these fines to prevent the start of any wildfire.

Update: Fernie Aquatic Centre, Fernie, B. C.

Back on December 7, 2019 at approximately 2:30am, Elk Valley RCMP members arrested a male found inside the Fernie Aquatic Centre and recommended charges to Crown Counsel for Break and Enter and Mischief. The male was charged and later plead guilty in court to the lesser offence of Mischief over $5,000. He was sentenced to a Conditional Sentence Order that included house arrest and was ordered to pay restitution of $8055.00 to the City of Fernie.


Released by

Cst. Debra A. Katerenchuk

Media Relations Officer
Elk Valley Regional Detachment
607 Douglas Fir Road, Sparwood, BC V0B 2G0
Office: 250-425-6233
Cell: 250-423-0280
Fax: 250-425-2653

Email: debra.katerenchuk@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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