Lightning sparks wildfires

A 20 hectare wildfire has ignited Wednesday in Kamloops.

BC Wildfire Service said the fire is 13 kilometres northwest of Logan Lake and 28 kilometres southwest of Kamloops.

It is the first wildfire of note for the month of June and comes during a heatwave.

The cause of the fire is believed to be lightning.

“This is not an interface fire,” according to BC Wildfire Service.

Seventeen firefighters and air support are responding to the wildfire.

This fire burning West of Tunkwa Lake is one of a dozen fires started up on Wednesday across the province mainly due to lightning in central and southern BC. 

The largest so far is at 90 hectares located 15 km west of Burns Lake and is burning aggressively.


Idling could cost you cash

Kamloops drivers could be liable for a ticket if they allow their vehicle to idle for three consecutive minutes, while the vehicle is not moving.
The amendment to the idling restrictions in the Good Neighbour Bylaw was made on Tuesday and applies to all vehicles within city boundaries.

“The intention of the bylaw is to change our driving habits primarily through education and voluntary compliance. The smallest changes in our habits can make a big difference in our community,” says John Ramsay, the City’s bylaw services manager.

The new idling restriction is meant to reduce fuel consumption, air pollution, noise pollution, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In most cases, verbal or written warnings will be given as opposed to tickets, but a $100 fine could be handed out.

The new idling restrictions include a list of exceptions that allow for reasonable situations in which it would be okay for an engine to be running when the motor vehicle is not in motion.

For example, the restrictions do not apply to a motor vehicle that remains motionless because of an emergency, traffic conditions (including congestion and signals), or mechanical difficulties over which the driver has no control.

For more information click here.

SD 73 addresses concerns

In March 2018, School District 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) launched a task force aimed at addressing student safety. 

The task force was created following two separate complaints from parents about unrelated incidents involving sexual misconduct and their children. The parents were concerned about the nature of the incidents and the way their complaints were initially addressed.

The task force has returned with seven recommendations, which the school district will begin work on immediately.

"I was deeply disturbed when these issues arose," said Alison Sidow superintendent for SD73. "The District’s intention is always to provide a safe, productive learning space for all our students and staff, and it was clear that some did not believe this was the case. I am confident these recommendations will guide us so that the District can better ensure students have positive school experiences."

The recommendations:

The Task Force recommended:

  • Promoting and/or creating reporting tools to ensure those who may be impacted have the means to see out the supports they require;
  • Informing the parent(s) of the policies, procedures and processes that will be used when responding to an issue of sexual misconduct, including the process a parent can follow to provide feedback, issue a complaint or request an appeal;
  • Providing ongoing learning opportunities, starting at the elementary school level, to educate students about healthy relationships as well as measures they can take to report incidents or seek support;
  • Defining what constitutes sexual misconduct in schools;
  • Developing policies and procedures that specifically address sexual misconduct;
  • Revisiting District policies that contemplate violence, harassment, bullying, intimidation and other forms of discrimination to include the definition of sexual misconduct in both intent and implementation; and,
  • Reviewing response protocols to ensure that all District staff working with children know how to receive complaints in a way that respects the rights and needs of those known to be impacted.

In a press release to the media, Sidow stated that she believes the task force’s work showed that overall, SD 73 schools do a good job of providing positive, safe environments for students. 

However, the recommendations will help the district address issues that arise within our schools from our society at large.

"It’s my hope that the leadership shown by this task force in providing these recommendations will serve our community and society at large by helping to ameliorate the underlying conditions that so often propagate these behaviours," she said. "I hope this will report will enable us to take a definitive step forward in preventing sexual misconduct in our schools and by extension, in our community at large."

District invited representatives from agencies such as the RCMP, Ministry of Children and Family Development, the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre, school and District administration, parents, the Aboriginal Education Council and the Board of Education to the Task Force.


190 homeless in Kamloops

A homeless count has identified 190 people living rough in Kamloops.

In March 2018, the City of Kamloops, in association with many non-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals, conducted its first ever National Point-in-Time (PiT) Homeless Count, a co-ordinated effort to measure homelessness across Canada.

The count was conducted over a 24-hour period that began in the evening of March 27 with a survey of those staying in emergency shelters, followed by a street count during the day on March 28.

During the street count, drop-in centres were opened to provide people with an opportunity to socialize over a warm meal, pick up some essential items, and participate in the survey.

Of those contacted in Kamloops, 114 were identified as being homeless during the street count, 66 completed the survey in the emergency shelter, and 10 individuals were identified as dependents (ages 0 to 14) who did not complete the survey but were counted alongside their caregivers.

Previous Kamloops homeless counts were historically conducted in the fall, with the most recent count (October 2016) showing 100 individuals experiencing homelessness.

The City did not conduct a count in 2017 in order to align with this national effort and funding.

On Monday, June 11, the Government of Canada announced Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, which represents significant changes to the current Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

The redesigned program will focus on data-driven approaches, community-level targets for the reduction of chronic homelessness, and increased funding for Indigenous-led homelessness initiatives and will place an emphasis on prevention.

Arrests made after assault

Two men have been arrested in connection to a targeted, violent assault Saturday night in Kamloops. 

RCMP say one 20-year-old man from Kamloops was arrested Monday, the second man was arrested today.  

On Saturday night around 10:30 a man was attacked near Glenview Avenue by what police at the time called "a number of unidentified suspects." The victim suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. 

RCMP said at the time, the assault was likely targeted,  adding the victim and suspects may know each other.

A picnic for seniors

Get outside and enjoy the annual Seniors' Picnic held next month in Kamloops at Riverside Park.

The free event will feature food, fun activities and live music.

The picnic, for everyone aged 55+, is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends or meet new ones.

The Kamloops Girl Guides will be serving up hot dogs, chips, and juice at no cost.

Tables and chairs will be set up in the shade but participants are encouraged to bring a water bottle, hat, and sunscreen.

The picnic is on Friday, July 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Participants must register in advance by calling 250-828-3500 with program number 283536 or visit register online.

Shooting vehicles found

UPDATED: 4 p.m.

The suspect and victim vehicles of today's shooting have been found.

No suspects have been located.

The incident remains under investigation.

ORIGINAL: 2:56 p.m.

A vehicle was shot at Monday afternoon in Kamloops.

At about 1:25 p.m. police responded to a report of a person inside a vehicle who shot a firearm at another vehicle at the intersection of McGill Road and Summit Drive.

Both vehicles fled the scene as soon as the shots were fired.  

The suspect vehicle is described as a black pick-up Escalade with an Alberta license plate.  

There appeared to be two people in the vehicle, both wearing bandanas covering their faces.

The victim vehicle is described as a small silver car.  One or more of the windows were damaged by the gunfire.  

Police arrived on scene and flooded egress routes in an attempt to locate the vehicles.

No suspects or victims have been located at this time.

Kamloops police ask anyone who saw the incident or either the suspect or victim vehicle to contact RCMP at 250-828-3000.  

If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Home invader arrested

A home invasion in Kamloops has led to an arrest. 

At approximately 10 a.m. Sunday morning, Kamloops RCMP responded to a 911 call on Clearwater Avenue near Schubert Drive. The resident reported someone inside their house.

The police secured the area, stopping traffic for a brief time, and a police dog worked the scene. The dog traced a male to another nearby residence, who was subsequently arrested.

The RCMP want to thank the public for their patience while they were tracking the suspect. 

Police will be in the area for the day, though traffic has been re-opened.

One driver seriously injured

A motorcycle and car crash in Kamloops Saturday evening caused extensive delays on the Overlander Bridge.

Kamloops RCMP responded to the collision at about 5:45 p.m. Police were forced to shut down all the lanes on the bridge for almost three hours.

The driver of the motorcycle was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

The driver of the car was not injured.

Police are still investigating the cause of the incident.

Oil spill was 4,800 litres

A crude oil spill last month at a Kinder Morgan station near Kamloops was nearly 50-times larger than what the provincial government originally stated.

The spill that occurred on May 27 at the Darfield pump station, about 80 kilometres north of Kamloops, leaked about 4,800 litres of oil into the ground, the Ministry of Environment confirmed to Castanet.

Initially, the ministry reported the leak to be only 100 litres — the minimum threshold under spill reporting obligations.

"Ministry officials have communicated with Kinder Morgan the importance of accurate volume reporting," a ministry spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

The spill was caused by a leak in a flow metre. The province said no waterways were impacted, adding the spill was contained to the pump station property.

Two days after the incident, the federal government announced it will buy the Trans Mountain pipeline and Kinder Morgan's related assets for $4.5 billion.

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