Kamloops Regional Farmers' Market holds first Saturday market of 2021

Farmers' market returns

The Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market is back in business.

The first market of the year took place on Saturday in the 200-block of St. Paul Street.

The Saturday markets on St. Paul Street run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through October.

Wednesday markets, in the 400-block of Victoria Street, begin on May 5, running from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


Fire crews respond to wildfire north of Kamloops Saturday

Wildfire north of Kamloops

With wildfire season now in full swing, the BC Wildfire Service is responding to a wildfire northeast of Kamloops Saturday.

The 1.1-hectare blaze is burning in the Dick Hart Memorial Park, about 14.5 kilometres northeast of Kamloops, just east of Highway 5.

Eight BC Wildfire personnel are responding to the fire, and no structures are threatened at this time.

“The BC Wildfire Service would like to remind the public that this is an active incident,” the BCWS said on Twitter. “For firefighter and public safety, please stay away from the area to avoid interfering with response efforts.”

With a high of 26 C forecast for Kamloops Saturday, fire officials say the region is seeing unseasonable conditions that have made the backcountry “very susceptible to fire.”

The region has seen a handful of small wildfires in recent weeks.

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian received the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday morning

Mayor receives vaccine

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian received his first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Saturday morning.

After getting vaccinated at the MacArthur Island Sport and Event Centre, Christian said it felt like “quite a relief”.

“We’re desperate to find a way out of this pandemic, and this is the way out,” Christian said.

“The faster that we can get 70 per cent of the eligible population in Kamloops immunized, the better we will be, and then we can start looking at our second doses. But we are going to have to deal with the kinds of public health restrictions that are in place until we get that level of vaccination and immunity in our population.”

Christian said he registered for the vaccine when he was able to, and got a text when he could book his appointment.

“I got here just before my appointment time, was met with volunteers from the Red Cross and followed the dots all the way through, was assigned my nurse, and then was immunized and actually didn’t even feel it,” he said.

“It’s really half an hour out of your day at most. And it’s well organized.”

Christian gave kudos to the public health team working to deliver vaccine doses to both clinic sites and administer jabs to residents, and the virologists and immunologists who have made the mRNA vaccine possible.

He encourages Kamloops residents to get vaccinated as soon as they can.

“Get the first vaccine that's offered to you as soon as you possibly can,” Christian said.

“The benefits far outweigh the risks and we just need to get the eligible population in our community vaccinated as soon as possible. And then we need to reopen and start getting back to the new normal."


Repaving work has Schreiner Street closed in Brocklehurst, city says

Schreiner Street closed

A stretch of Schreiner Street in Brocklehurst is closed until next month due to repaving work, according to the City of Kamloops.

The work will impact Schreiner Street between Edgemount and Bossert avenues, just north of Brocklehurst Arena and the adjacent park.

The city said the work is slated to take place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, with evening work as required. For the duration of the project, the affected stretch of Schreiner Street will be open only to local traffic.

The arena area and the park will be accessible from Tranquille Road but not from Parkcrest Avenue.

The city expects the work to be done sometime in May.

Kamloops fire officials urge caution in backcountry due to unseasonably warm, dry weather

Wildfire conditions prime

Exceptionally warm and dry April weather has fire officials in Kamloops urging residents to be careful to avoid activity that could spark a wildfire.

Environment Canada is calling for a high of 26 C on Saturday and 21 C on Sunday, and the Tournament Capital has not seen much precipitation in recent weeks.

“Right now, the Kamloops area is seeing unseasonably hot and dry weather conditions. This is quite unusual for April, for this time of year,” said Kyla Fraser, fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service.

“Our fuels such as grasses and trees are still dry and dead from over the winter. They haven’t had a chance to green up or regain their moisture yet, which makes them very susceptible to fire.”

The average daytime high in Kamloops for this time of year is 17 C.

Kamloops Fire Rescue Chief Steve Robinson said the conditions are cause for concern.

“We have not had a significant amount of precipitation in the last six weeks,” he said. “So, absolutely, yes — we need to be concerned about this.”

The Kamloops area has seen a handful of small wildfires in recent weeks. This week, crews responded to grassfires in the Mount Paul area, at Cooney Bay and near Tobiano. A number of fires are also burning south of Kamloops in the Merritt area.

“We haven’t experienced any lightning at this time of year, which means all of these fires are suspected to be human-caused,” Fraser said.

“And the most important thing to note with that is that human-caused fires are entirely preventable, so we need to be doing everything we can to ensure they’re not occurring.”

Fraser urged anyone lighting a campfire to ensure it’s extinguished — cold to the touch — before leaving the area.

Unmarked Kamloops RCMP cruiser one of three vehicles involved in late-night North Shore collision

Police car involved in crash

An unmarked RCMP cruiser was one of three vehicles involved in a serious collision late Friday night in a busy North Kamloops intersection.

Emergency crews were called to the corner of Eighth Street and Richmond Avenue just before 11 p.m.

At least five police vehicles, two fire trucks and an ambulance were at the scene as of 11:15 p.m.

It’s not clear which direction the vehicles were travelling when the collision took place, but each of the three — the police car, a Mazda sedan and a minivan — came to rest in the northbound lanes of Eighth Street.

There is no word yet on injuries, though paramedics could be seen tending to at least one patient at the scene.

Staffing limitations force overnight closures of emergency room in Ashcroft, IH says

Ashcroft Hospital ER closed

The emergency room at Ashcroft Hospital will close a number of times this weekend due to staffing limitations, Interior Health says.

In a news release issued at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, IH urged Ashcroft and area residents to seek emergency care in Kamloops, Lillooet or Merritt.

“Ashcroft and area residents are advised that due to temporary limited staffing availability, the emergency department at the Ashcroft Hospital and Community Health Care Centre will be closed at various times over the weekend, including from midnight tonight until tomorrow at 8 a.m.,” the release read.

The emergency room will reopen at 8 a.m. on Saturday, then close again from 11 p.m. on Saturday until 8 a.m. on Sunday.

Ashcroft’s emergency room is usually open each weekend from 6 p.m. on Friday until 8 a.m. on Monday.

Kamloops Mounties looking for violent offender accused of breaching release conditions

Police seek violent offender

A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for a Kamloops man accused of breaching the conditions of his release from federal prison.

Shane Jeurissen, 51, was released on a long-term supervision order on March 23, police said, and is alleged to have breached his release conditions a short time later.

“He has numerous convictions, many out of Kamloops, for offences including assault with a weapon, failure to comply with release orders, uttering threats and others,” RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn said in a news release.

Jeurissen is a First Nations man standing five-foot-seven and weighing about 220 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

According to police, Jeurissen has a number of distinct tattoos including flames on his right and left forearms, “TY” on his left hand, black marks on his right hand, a dragon on his left forearm and a dollar sign on his right wrist.

In 2014, the Crown sought to have Jeurissen labelled a dangerous offender and jailed indefinitely. The dangerous offender label is reserved for the most serious offenders in Canada and comes with the potential for indefinite prison terms.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge ultimately decided to label Jeurissen a long-term offender, a step down from dangerous-offender status.

Anyone with information about Jeurissen’s whereabouts can call police at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

BC Wildfire Service working on 500-hectare blaze south of Douglas Lake

500-hectare fire near Merritt

Fire crews are dealing with a large fire east of Merritt.

The BC Wildfire Service is battling a 500-hectare blaze burning in the Spahomin Creek area, south of Douglas Lake.

The fire was discovered on Thursday and there is no word yet on a cause.

The blaze is not believed to be threatening any structures.

Fire crews battling blaze west of Kamloops Airport near Tranquille-Criss Creek Road

Wildfire near Cooney Bay

UPDATED: 2:44 p.m.

The fire near Cooney Bay is an estimated one hectare in size, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

ORIGINAL STORY: 12:02 p.m.

Fire crews are dealing with a grass fire west of Kamloops Airport near Criss Creek.

Kamloops Fire Rescue crews were called to the area just before noon on Friday for a report of a grass fire near the northeast end of Kamloops Lake.

The BC Wildfire Service has been notified about the fire.

This story will be updated as more information becomes known.

Do you have photos of the fire? Email them to [email protected]

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