West Kelowna  

Summer gone to the dogs

Madison Erhardt

Although most of us want to soak up as much summer sun as we can, it's important to remember how our furry friends may feel as temperatures start to climb.

Dr. Oz at the Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital and Dr Stephen Ganton at the Fairfield Animal Hospital want to make sure pets are at the top of their owners' minds. 

''If the dog is outside and in the yard, make sure that there is enough cold water and of course a shed. Even if it's forty degrees out and it is really sunny, they will be OK if they have a place to hide away from the sun,'' Dr. Oz said. 

Unlike people, dogs don’t sweat to release excess body heat. Instead they pant. But when it's very hot outside, sometimes panting isn’t enough.

Heat exhaustion can occur if their body temperature is raised above 103 F, according to Dr. Ganton.

''To avoid heat stroke, go for walks in the early morning and evening, when temperatures are lower. Keep outdoor play and walks at a moderate activity level, with frequent breaks for rest in the shade,'' he said. 

It's also important to remember that hot weather can bring along ticks. 

Symptoms of a tick bite can come on quite suddenly. 

''Usually everything is fine and then all of a sudden the dog doesn't want to walk. If we don't take the ticks out immediately then there can be lots of problems,'' Oz added. 


RV fire extinguished

UPDATE: 10:25 p.m.

An abandoned RV travel trailer that was found ablaze up Bear Lake Main Road has been extinguished by fire crews. 

The West Kelowna Fire Department was called to assist the BC Wildfire Service in fighting the blaze, about five kilometres up the logging road, just after 9 p.m.

The fire and the resulting smoke could be seen across the lake in the downtown Kelowna, but crews had the fire knocked down within the hour.

"The fire is out and only spread a small distance into the forested area surrounding," West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund said. "Crews are mopping up and will be leaving the scene shortly."

Brolund said they aren't sure of the cause of the fire at this time, but the RCMP attended the site, and officers are investigating.

"These types of things concern us, especially after we just had a lightning storm pass through," Brolund said.

Seven West Kelowna firefighters attended the blaze in two firetrucks, along with members of the BC Wildfire Service. 

UPDATE: 10 p.m.

The West Kelowna Fire Department is on scene at the fire in the hills above Traders Cove Thursday night. 

The fire is believed to have stemmed from a burning trailer or RV about five kilometres up Bear Lake Main Road. 

Rob Baker, captain of the Wilson's Landing Fire Department, said they were initially asked to investigate the blaze, but they've since been called off once West Kelowna Fire Department crews arrived on scene. 

Castanet has been unable to reach the West Kelowna Fire Department for details on the fire at this time. 

ORIGINAL: 9:10 p.m.

A fire appears to have been sparked Thursday night in the Bear Lake Main Road area, above Traders Cove.

A large plume of smoke and some flames are visible on the west side of the lake from downtown Kelowna, and fire crews are investigating. 

Several Kelowna residents have also reported the fire to the BC Wildfire Service. 

Castanet will provide more information as it becomes available. 

Westside Daze needs land

Dates for the annual Westside Daze festival were changed this year to accommodate a midway.

Now, festival organizers are scrambling to find a piece of land large enough to hold it.

Traditionally, the midway has been held on the large field adjacent to Memorial Park.

However, Shooting Star Amusements require the land to be levelled, something Westside Celebration Society president Leah Thorderson says Westbank First Nation, which owns the property, was not prepared to do.

"We understand, we know it's expensive to do," said Thorderson.

She added the Ministry of Forests also has first rights to the field if a natural disaster such as fires or floods hit the region.

The Ministry has utilized the field as a staging area and camp for firefighters.

Thorderson says she has a few possible locations, including one behind Superstore.

While Shooting Star is keeping the date open, Thorderson says they need a decision by the end of the month.

The festival will be held July 12 to 14.

If you have, or know of a large, flat piece of property on the Westside, contact the Westside Celebration Society at [email protected]


Funding for more child care

Madison Erhardt

A new child care centre in West Kelowna will soon provide local families with licensed child care spaces.

The province is investing $250,000 through its Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to support KinderHeart Montessori in creating 76 licensed child care spaces.

These new spaces will include 24 spots for infants and toddlers, 32 for children aged three years to kindergarten and 20 for preschoolers.

“Being a parent is a full-time job, but when it’s not your only job, finding quality child care can make a big difference,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development.

“It’s clear that having access to child care is good for both families and the economy, and we are determined to provide parents with more options and opportunities to help create a better future for their children,” she added.

KinderHeart uses the Montessori method of education, which encourages children to think independently and follow their own interests.

The new school is expected to be up and running by September. 

Highway 97 reopens

UPDATE: 1:35 P.M.

Emergency crews have now cleared the scene of a multi-vehicle collision at Highway 97 and Boucherie Road.

Traffic heading into Kelowna remains backed up due to volume.

ORIGINAL: 1:10 p.m.

Traffic has come to a standstill heading into Kelowna from West Kelowna.

Witnesses tell Castanet News multiple vehicles were involved in a crash early this afternoon at Highway 97 and Boucherie Road.

Initial reports indicated a car had rear-ended a semi, however reports indicate more vehicles may have been involved.

Both lanes coming into Kelowna are completely shut down.

More details when they become available.

Send pictures, video to [email protected]

Bylaw service expanded

Bylaw enforcement in West Kelowna has been expanded to seven days a week for the summer.

The expansion is in response to increased call volumes during the peak tourism season between the Victoria Day and Labour Day long weekends.

From May 18 through Sept. 2, the bylaw department will take calls at 778-797-8810 weekdays, weekends and stat holidays, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

After hours will go to an automated messaging system for follow up the next day. If the matter is urgent, call West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880.

Bicycle patrols along the West Kelowna waterfront are also back for the summer.

World of Wheels shines

It wasn't too hot, nor too cold, and the rain stayed away, drawing out huge crowds for the annual Peachland World of Wheels car show on Sunday.

The community's population doubled for the day, by far the busiest of the year on the Peachland waterfront.

More than 500 cars, trucks, motorcycles and boats were on display, from classic restorations to wild customs.

Eateries and pubs along Beach Avenue were packed, as was the street as crowds ogled the machinery.

Here are a few of our favourites.

World of Wheels is back

Peachland’s biggest event is back for the long weekend.

The World of Wheels Show & Shine attracts more than 10,000 people to the Peachland waterfront every year and is the unofficial kickoff the tourist season.

The 22nd annual event takes place Sunday, with an estimated 500 classic and antique car entries on display from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Beach Avenue will be closed to all traffic, from First to Sixth Streets for the duration of the show.

Albas introduces looting bill

Okanagan MP Dan Albas has brought forth a private member's bill intended to give the legal system more teeth when dealing with looting during evacuation orders.

The bill is in response to numerous incidents in which homes have been looted while property owners were out of their homes during evacuation orders for floods or wildfires.

"There is a small segment of the population consisting of individuals who use evacuation orders as an opportunity to engage in criminal actions such as looting, vandalizing and stealing from evacuated families' homes," said Albas, Conservative MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

"These despicable acts occurred (in 2017) to evacuated homeowners in communities such as Williams Lake and 100 Mile House."

He also cited examples during flooding events in Atlantic Canada and a tornado strike that occurred in Quebec.

Albas says culprits must be held accountable.

"My bill proposes to amend the Criminal Code so that committing a crime and taking advantage of an evacuation order for those experiencing a natural disaster or emergency is to be considered an aggravating circumstance for sentencing purposes.

"Ultimately, this bill, if passed, would create new legal tools for judges when it comes to sentencing those found guilty of looting."

Albas says it's unclear if there is the necessary support among Liberal, NDP or Green MPs for the bill to pass.

Shaky ride after nuts stolen

RCMP are warning the public about a potentially serious act of vandalism.

RCMP tell Castanet they are investigating two acts of mischief that happened on May 14 just before 10 a.m. in the 6200 block of Whinton Crescent, in Peachland. Vandals loosened or completely removed the lug nuts on vehicles in the area and in one case gasoline was also siphoned from the tank.
“It did not occur to the vehicle owner that there was something wrong until he was driving downhill and the car started to shake,” says Cpl. Meghan Foster.  "While there have been only two reports of this and no accidents attributed, we would like to warn people who reside in, or have visited the area to double check the safety of their vehicles.”
Anyone with any information can also contact the RCMP at 250-762-3300.

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