Information on COVID-19 Coronavirus

For the latest COVID19-related news click on "More Info"...

More Info

News

Critical supplies for essential services

Mar 30 2020
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is asking for assistance from the business community to help coordinate an inventory of critical supplies in the province. Critical supplies include such things as masks, gloves, gowns and cleaning supplies.

If you know of a business or own a business that is holding substantial quantities of any of the items on the list attached to the request (see link above), please email the Village of Keremeos municipal office at cao@keremeos.ca by Thursday, April 2, 2020.

Read more

Information on the Coronavirus

Mar 13 2020
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

For up-to-date information on the coronavirus, care centres, prevention measures, travel tips and more, visit:

  • HealthlinkBC here and BC Centre for Disease Control here
  • Government of Canada here
  • World Health Organization here

LATEST LOCAL UPDATES

August 14: BC Public Health Officer's Order on gatherings and events

As provincial COVID cases are on the rise, the Provincial Health Officer has issued a new Order regarding gatherings and events, including event-organizers' responsibilities to track attendees. Review the Order here 

July 27: Stay safe from COVID this summer!

Please visit the Interior Health COVID-19 website for up to date news and information to keep yourself informed.

COVID-19 10 Ways to Stay Safe this Summer

June 9: RDOS Reinitiating Recreation Programs, Services and Amenities

The RDOS issued an information release announcing the reinitiation of some recreation programs, services and amenities, including the Similkameen Rec Centre fitness area on June 13.

June 1: Municipal sites re-opening and activities resuming

At their Regular Council meeting on June 1, 2020, Council resolved to re-open the municipal office, parks, washrooms, and playgrounds. Victory Hall will tentatively open July 1 (dependent on new ramp completion). Council will resume meetings in Council Chambers on June 15, 2020. Coffee with the Mayor will take place in the gazebo in Memorial Park on June 26 at 8 am.

June 1: RDOS Offices and playgrounds opening 

The RDOS has issued an Information Release announcing the re-opening of the RDOS offices and playgrounds.

May 20: Economic Development Association assistance for businesses

Visit the BC Economic Development Association webpage for COVID19-related assistance to businesses that are planning to re-open, as well as industry specific resources, utilities, insurance and banking information, links to webinars and more.

May 20: Community Foundation Emergency Community Support Fund

The federal government's new Emergency Community Support Fund aims to provide additional assistance to charities and non-profit organizations serving vulnerable populations. The Government of Canada is flowing funds through national networks, including the South Okanagan Similkameen Community Foundation. Learn more here.

May 20: Skateboard park opening on May 21, 2020

The Skateboard park on Veterans Avenue at 9th Street will be open for use as of May 21, 2020. Most other municipal facilities will be opening within the next couple of weeks. Timing is dependent on when health and safety considerations for residents and staff can be met.

May 15: Keremeos next steps in transitioning to re-open municipal facilities safely

Keremeos CAO will be participating in a conference call with the Minister of Municipal Affairs on Friday, May15, 2020 to receive instructions on health and regulatory protocols for re-opening municipal facilities. Strategies will be discussed with Council early next week.

May 14: Update from Mayor and Councillors on closures due to COVID-19

The Village is actively working with other local governments in the region to plan a carefully phased reintroduction of municipal services and facilities. Updated information will be posted on this webpage as it becomes available.

While enjoying the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend, please continue to follow the advice of the Provincial Health Officer by social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel.

Wishing you all a safe and happy long weekend!

May 13: COVID 19 fact sheet and updated RDOS service information

The RDOS issued updated information on services in this Information Release

April 27, 2020: Grants for small community projects 

The Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen is now accepting applications for their Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants (R-NSG). This is a new grant stream created to support small scale community projects from across the province that comply to the new social/physical distancing guidelines in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The purpose of R-NSG is to support creative projects by individuals that

  • build community strength and resilience                                                          
  • foster community creativity and well being, and
  • alleviate social isolation

The grants range from $50 to $500. More information is available at this link

April 27, 2020: Support for businesses

Governments and the private sector are supporting businesses in British Columbia affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan, the B.C. government is providing an additional $5 billion in income supports, tax relief and funding for people, businesses and services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here 

April 24, 2020: Emergency Benefit for Workers

On April 23, 2020, the Provincial Government announced an emergency benefit for workers impacted by COVID-19.

April 21, 2020: COVID-19 dashboard from the BC Centre for Disease Control

Interesting collection of graphs summarizing the current COVID-19 stats for the province.

April 14, 2020: AgSafe BC multi-language resources for farmers and ranchers

AgSafe BC has developed a webpage with safety resources for farmers and ranchers, including protocols, links and signs in French, Punjabi and Spanish.

April 9, 2020: Dr. Bonnie Henry urges "Stay home over the long weekend"

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, has indicated that the next few weeks are critical in managing the pandemic. Over the Easter long weekend, British Columbians are asked to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding all non-essential travel, staying home and finding virtual ways to connect and celebrate with family and friends. Full article here

April 9, 2020: Temporary Rental Supplement now available

Renters who are experiencing a loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for the Province’s new temporary rental supplement. Details here

April 9, 2020: RDOS COVID-19 Recreation Resources

Keep checking the RDOS recreation website for information on staying healthy and active during the pandemic. Special for Easter, Eggstravaganaza !

RDOS wishes to remind residents that their parks and trails are still open. Read the RDOS long weekend Information Release 

April 8, 2020: Resource line for seniors assistance - dial 211

The Province is funding the expansion of bc211, a province-wide information and referral service, to match seniors whose support network has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with volunteers. 

See the full article

April 8, 2020: All BC Parks closed

The BC Provincial Government has just announced the closure of all BC Parks, effective immediately. Read the information release here

April 7, 2020: Provincial guidelines for protecting farmers and farm workers

During a conference call with the Minister of Municipal Affairs last week, Mayor Bauer requested guidelines for seasonal agricultural workers.

On April 6, the Provincial Health Officer issued guidance for farms and farmworkers.  This document outlines recommendations for all farms to meet the orders, notices, and guidance issued by the Provincial Health Officer and additional mandatory requirements for farms employing Temporary Foreign Workers and domestic workers. 

April 6, 2020: Keremeos Diagnostic and Treatment Clinic verifying patient info

The Keremeos Diagnostic and Treatment Clinic is asking their patients who are using email, to send them an email with their name and phone numbers so that they may verify info for future appointments. Send email to Keremeos.Clinic@gmail.com * with the names and phone numbers for those using the submitted email address. To ensure that the info goes to the correct file, please include just the last 3 digits of your health care card/PHN/MSP number for verification.

Note that personal health information will not be sent to email addresses for privacy reasons. Telehealth appointment and non-urgent messages may be sent by email.

* Please do not use the email address above to communicate with clinic or staff as it goes to a data entry clerk.

April 6, 2020: Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB)

The CERB supports Canadians by providing financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19. To see if you are eligible, visit the CRA webpage.

April 6, 2020: RDOS recreation resources during the pandemic

The RDOS recreation department is offering online resources and tools while the recreation centres are closed. Please see the RDOS recreation webpage here

March 31, 2020: No donation of clothes and goods

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, charitable organizations cannot accept donations at present. Please do not leave items such as clothing or household goods at private donation sites (eg. the Keremeos Bargain Centre) or public drop boxes.

Residents are asked to retain their donation items until Health authorities declare that it is safe to donate again.

March 30, 2020: Help with inventory of critical supplies

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is asking for assistance from the business community to help coordinate an inventory of critical supplies in the province. Critical supplies include such things as masks, gloves, gowns and cleaning supplies.

If you know of a business or own a business that is holding substantial quantities of any of the items on the list attached to the request (see link above), please email the Village of Keremeos municipal office at cao@keremeos.ca by Thursday, April 2, 2020.

March 30, 2020: RDOS asks "Please stockpile recycling and avoid landfills" 

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is urging residents to use their curbside collection programs for garbage, recycling and yard waste, and to stockpile other recyclables rather than come to local landfills. Read more

March 27, 2020: Personal protective equipment needed

South Okanagan Similkameen family doctors, nurse practitioners and midwives are reaching out to their community to issue a plea for personal protective equipment (PPE).

They are seeking donations of un-used quantities of the following: Surgical and Procedural Masks, Industrial Dust Masks or N95s, Latex and Non-Latex Gloves, Safety Glasses and Goggles, Face Shields (With or Without Masks), Procedural Gowns
 
Please email PPEdonations@sosdivision.ca 

Spread the word and share the poster

March 26, 2020: Open burning ban to preserve air quality

As cases of COVID-19 in BC continue to increase, the BC Centre for Disease Control has asked for measures that help to reduce excess air pollution. There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function.

Open burning in Keremeos and the surrounding area is therefore restricted until April 15, 2020.

See the order and map from the Ministry of the Environment here

March 24, 2020: RDOS closure of playgrounds and outdoor courts

RDOS Information Release informing residents of the closure of playgrounds and outdoor courts.

March 24, 2020 email to residents: Playground closures

The Village of Keremeos has joined other BC municipalities in closing all playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment due to the inability to ensure sanitary conditions.

Regrettably, the Village must also discourage the use of public picnic tables. Those wishing to picnic in one of our parks should bring a blanket to picnic on and situate themselves far from others.

March 20, 2020: Please call before going to clinics

The South Okanagan Similkameen family physicians and nurse practitioners are asking all patients to call ahead before visiting a family medicine clinic. See the Information Release

March 20, 2020: Enjoy a family outing in Keremeos parks and trails

With many facilities closed, Keremeos residents may wish to plan a family outing. Some ideas:

  • Visit Memorial Park to enjoy the playground, picnic tables and outdoor exercise equipment
  • Walk or bike along one of Keremeos' trails
  • Visit Memorial or Pine Park for free-style play and a picnic (blanket on the grass, well away from others)
  • Look for signs of spring on the Riparian Park trail

The warm weather means rising water levels along the Similkameen River, resulting in slippery conditions and undercutting (false ledges). Use extreme caution near the river's edge.

Public Works staff are working hard to wipe down outdoor surfaces more frequently, but residents are still encouraged to use hand-sanitizer and practice social distancing when enjoying Keremeos Parks and Trails.

March 20, 2020: Informative CBC article on staying healthy during the pandemic

Sharing this informative article from the CBC https://www.cbc.ca/news/coronavirus-guide-explainer-1.5497009

March 19, 2020 email to residents: Closure of recreation facilities

The Regional District announced today that they are closing all facilities, including corporate and satellite offices, recreation facilities and community halls. Full details are in the Information Release 

For Keremeos, this means the closure of our Recreation Centre.

March 18, 2020 email to residents: Closure of Municipal Hall

In a further effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Village of Keremeos is closing the Municipal Hall except for urgent matters by appointment.

Please do not book to visit the Municipal Hall if you have been ill in recent weeks or have been outside of the region. Contact the Village office at 250-499-2711 if you need to book an appointment.

March 17, 2020 email to residents: Keremeos update

The Village of Keremeos has taken several proactive steps to prevent the possible spread of COVID 19. We are adjusting operations as conditions change.

  • Gatherings in Victory Hall and the Municipal Office have been canceled indefinitely, as have any prospective bookings.
  • Council meetings remain open to the public (next is April 6, 2020), but this may change. We will notify the public if alternate meeting methods are adopted.
  • The Municipal Hall remains open only for urgent business that cannot be conducted by phone or email. The office is fully staffed and ready to help. Call 250-499-2711 or email town@keremeos.ca 
  • Provincial staff are currently considering amendments to statutory requirements on numerous municipal functions. We will advise the public of those changes as we receive new information.
  • The Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) has activated their Emergency Operations Centre, which encompasses the Keremeos area. RDOS and Keremeos staff are working closely with Emergency Management BC to monitor the situation.
  • Further provincial and regional policy decisions are likely to be forthcoming in upcoming days and weeks, which may further impact municipal operations.

March 17, 2020: RDOS EOC update 

The RDOS Emergency Operations Centre is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and working with other municipal and Indigenous governments to provide information updates. Read the March 17 Information Release

March 16, 2020: Limited in-person municipal services 

The Village of Keremeos is asking that (wherever possible) those conducting business with the Municipal Office to do so by phone or email. We also ask that anyone who has been out of the region or has recently developed symptoms of cough, fever or breathing problems, please postpone visiting the Municipal Office.

March 13, 2020: Keremeos facility bookings suspended

The Village of Keremeos has suspended bookings of facilities such as Victory Hall and meeting space at the Municipal Office. Anyone with a booking in the upcoming months will be contacted by Village staff. 

March 13, 2020: Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activation 

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has activated the Emergency Operations Centre to collaborate with local and Indigenous governments throughout the nine Electoral Areas, six member municipalities as well as local and provincial agencies to share response plans and guidelines. Read the Information Release

 

Read more

Help Keep the Similkameen River Clean

Jul 26 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

The Village of Keremeos, the Town of Princeton and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) are reminding residents and visitors to Help Keep Our Rivers Clean.

 

With the busy summer season comes increased pressure on our natural environments and watercourses including the Similkameen River. In addition to providing numerous recreational opportunities, the Similkameen River is also a vital part of the region’s complex and sensitive ecosystem. It provides habitat, biodiversity, drinking water and water to grow food.

 

The Similkameen River starts on the east flank of E.C. Manning Provincial Park and flows through the Nlaka’pamux and Syilx/Okanagan People’s territories and the communities of East Gate, Princeton, Hedley, Keremeos and Cawston.

 

If you’re spending time on or near the Similkameen River or any watercourse, please consider your environmental impact, clean up after yourself and encourage others to do the same.

 

If you see anyone polluting or destroying habitat or riparian areas, please report the activity immediately.

 

Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) 

1-877-952-7277 | https://forms.gov.bc.ca/environment/rapp/

 

The RAPP program is a toll free tip line and online service that also allows you to report known or suspected violations of fisheries, wildlife, or environmental protection laws anonymously and without risk of confronting the offender.

 

BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) Conservation App 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.bcwf.conservationapp

 

The BCWF app makes it easy for users to take geo-referenced, time-stamped photos or videos and to report issues related to illegal use, or abuse of our natural resources.

 

For more information, please contact:

RDOS: 250-492-0237 | info@rdos.bc.ca

Read more

Try some bench exercises while walking the dike!

Jul 26 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

As part of the Village’s Age-Friendly Program funded by the Ministry of Health, the successful Steps to Better Health walking group has expanded in 2019.

 

Funding was provided to place signs along the dike, showing exercises which can be performed at the park benches. The western end of the dike has a park bench with a map, some general instructions, and 4 exercises of the "Vitalia" program and 4 exercises of the "Enduro" program. The Vitalia program is well suited for seniors while the Enduro program is a better fit for younger walkers.

 

The Steps to Better Health walking group is open to everyone at no cost, and meets in front of the Senior’s Centre, 421-7th Avenue, at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesdays (30 minute walk) and Thursdays (60 minute walk).

 

Many thanks to Selena at the Similkameen Pharmacy for her tireless work on this project!

 

Keremeos Dyke Exercise Map

Read more

PreparedBC Releases Wildfire Preparedness Guide

Jul 3 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

Wildfires have always been a reality in British Columbia, but in the past few years, their impact on people, businesses and tourism has been increasing.

 

On the heels of two of the worst wildfire seasons in the province’s history, PreparedBC is releasing a new Wildfire Preparedness Guide.  The guide contains useful information that will help British Columbians better protect themselves and their homes, and understand what to do if a wildfire approaches their community.

 

To learn more and download a copy of the guide, please click on the link below.

 

PreparedBC Wildfire Preparedness Guide

Read more

Keremeos & Area Opportunities Guide Now Available

Jul 3 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

Over the past decades, our community has slowly evolved from our modest agricultural roots to become one of the fastest growing villages in our province. 

 

To celebrate our achievements and market our community within a broader audience, the Village has compiled the Keremeos & Area Opportunities Guide to provide those outside our region with in-depth information about what it’s like to live, work and play in our area.  The Guide is currently being featured through a social media campaign designed to promote our community within larger centres.

 

The Guide consists of high quality imagery of our area and is filled with direct links for readers to learn more about the many places and experiences to discover in our area.

 

To view the Keremeos & Area Opportunities Guide, please click on the link below and join in celebrating the growth of our community.

 

Keremeos & Area Opportunities Guide

Read more

Keremeos Area Business Map Now Online

Jun 20 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

The Keremeos area’s new Interactive Business Map is up and running on the Village of Keremeos website and provides an opportunity for area businesses to showcase their operations to a broader audience online.  You can view the map by visiting http://www.keremeos.ca/Interactive-Business-Map.

 

The map features a variety of businesses and services within the Keremeos area and provides links to their websites and social media channels, giving users a more in-depth understanding about their operations and what they have to offer.   The Business Map will also be featured through an upcoming social media ad campaign designed to promote our community within larger centres.

 

If you are a local business owner and would like to be featured on the Interactive Business Map free of charge, please download and complete the enclosed Submission Form.  The Submission Form can also be found online at http://www.keremeos.ca/Interactive-Business-Map.

 

Interactive Business Map – Information Submission Form

 

You can submit your completed form by emailing a copy to coordinator@keremeos.ca, by faxing a copy to (250) 499-5477 or by mailing or dropping a copy off at the Village Office (702 4th Street, PO Box 160 Keremeos, BC V0X 1N0).  Please ensure you provide current contact information along with any photographs of your business you wish to be included within your submission.

Read more

Open Burning Ban in Effect in Kamloops Fire Centre and Village of Keremeos

Jun 11 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

Effective at noon on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, any open burns larger than a campfire as well as other activities and the use of certain equipment will be prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.

 

Anyone conducting Category 2 or Category 3 open burns must extinguish those fires by Noon on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

 

As the Village of Keremeos already prohibited open burning within municipal boundaries, this prohibition now applies to all public and private land located within Area ‘B’ (Cawston) and Area ‘G’ (Rural Keremeos) of the RDOS.

 

This prohibition will remain in effect until October 15, 2019, or until the public is otherwise notified.  A map of the affected areas is available online at:

http://ow.ly/Ah4h30oUb2Z

 

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are half-metre high by half-metre wide (or smaller), and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.  A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5

 

Specifically, prohibited activities will include:

  • The burning of one or more open fires larger than one metre high by two metres wide;
  • Stubble or grass fires of any size;
  • The use of fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, tiki torches (and similar kinds of torches);
  • The use of burning barrels and burning cages of any size or description; and
  • The use of binary exploding targets (pre-packaged or homemade explosives, such as Tannerite, Thundershot, Gryphon, Firebird SS65, Sure Shot or similar products)

 

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.  If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

 

The Kamloops Fire Centre would like to thank the public for its continuing help in preventing wildfires.  To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

 

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to http://www.bcwildfire.ca

 

You can also follow the latest B.C. wildfire news:

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: http://news.gov.bc.ca/connect

Read more

2018 Climate Action/Carbon Neutral Progress Survey Now Available for Public Viewing

May 29 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

The 2018 Climate Action/Carbon Neutral Progress Survey is now available for public viewing and can be located by accessing the link below.

 

2018 Climate Action/Carbon Neutral Progress Survey

 

Some of the major initiatives highlighted in this report are the upgrading of street and other community lighting to higher efficiency LED lighting, exploring the use of solar and wind powered generators for possible future implementation for Village owned buildings and continued upgrading to the Wastewater Treatment Plant to increase reliability and energy efficiency.

  

The Village wishes to thank all parties who support this Climate Action initiative.

Read more

Landfill Charges Changing May 1st, 2019

Apr 16 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) will be adjusting fees for wood products, lead paint containing materials, asbestos, assessed demolition and new construction waste mixed load materials. The new landfill fees for the Campbell Mountain (Penticton), Oliver and Okanagan Falls Landfills and Keremeos Transfer Station will begin May 1st, 2019.

 

Wood products, including lumber cuts, pallets, painted wood, cabinets and wood tables, will no longer have a free component. Historically these materials were free for the first 500 kg. Wood products continue to be charged at $60 a metric tonne, but with a $5 minimum charge. The removal of the free component for wood products is due the cost of handling wood grindings. Due to contaminates, ground wood products at landfills are very difficult and expensive to manage.

 

Yard and garden waste and tree waste continues to be free for the first 500 kg per load. There is no change of fees for compostable leaves, pine cones, branches, garden waste, prunings and tree waste brought to local landfills. 

 

Hazardous materials are changing rates to better match the high cost of management. Asbestos containing materials will be charged $110 per metric tonne. Asbestos must be identified and an appointment made prior to hauling to Campbell Mountain or Oliver Landfills.

 

Lead painted materials and preserved wood, such as pressure treated boards for decking, will be charged $60 a metric tonne. These materials contain dangerous chemicals and should never be mixed with other wood products. Lead painted materials and preserved wood are immediately buried when brought to the landfill.

 

At the Okanagan Falls Landfill-DRC Sorting Site, the cost for assessed demolition and renovation waste and for mixed waste from new construction will drop from $125 to $110 per tonne (in-service area rate), and from $150 to $135 per tonne (out-of service area). The demolition sort facility at the Okanagan Falls Landfill is able to divert over 95% of materials it receives, saving the Regional District thousands of dollars per year.  To receive this rate, complete and submit the required documentation prior to hauling.  See www.rdos.bc.ca/demo.

 

For more information on landfill fees, contact the RDOS Public Works Department at 250-490-4129, info@rdos.bc.ca or visit www.rdos.bc.ca

Read more

Warmer Weather Prompts Outdoor Burning Precautions

Apr 1 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

Given the recent mild and dry weather conditions in the Northwest Fire Centre, the BC Wildfire Service encourages members of the public and industry personnel to exercise caution when doing any outdoor burning.

To help reduce the number of preventable wildfires, people wanting to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations. They should also take the following precautions:

  • Ensure that enough resources are on hand to control the fire and prevent it escaping.
  • Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
  • Create an appropriately sized fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material, right down to the mineral soil.
  • Consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter of the main fire site before lighting the main fire. This will create a fuel break and help prevent the fire spreading beyond its intended size.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Make sure the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Anyone planning to do large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn larger than 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires) must obtain a burn registration number at no charge ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717. Burn registration numbers are entered in the Open Fire Tracking System, which allows the BC Wildfire Service to track open burning activity throughout B.C.

Anyone conducting an open burn must check local venting conditions before lighting any fire. If the venting conditions in the area are rated “poor” or “fair,” Category 2 or Category 3 open burning is restricted. The venting index can be obtained by calling 1 888 281-2992 and is available online: www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/epdpa/venting/venting.html

Anyone conducting an open burn must comply with the Wildfire Act and air quality control legislation. If an open burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs. It is the responsibility of that individual to ensure burning is done in a safe manner and in accordance with regulations and any current burning restrictions.

The Northwest Fire Centre urges the public to report smoke rising within the perimeter of any of the 2018 wildfire sites. An overwintering fire, sometimes called a holdover fire, can occur when a wildfire that burned deep underground last year has continued to smoulder all winter. Most overwintering fires will occur well within the original fire’s perimeter.

Follow the latest wildfire news:

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1 888 3-FOREST or visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

Learn More:

A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5

For more information about safe open burning practices, check the BC Wildfire Service website:
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/fire-bans-and-restrictions

Read more

Steps to Better Health Walking Group – Every Tuesday at 9 AM Starting at Victory Hall

Mar 18 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

We are pleased to announce that this year's Steps to Better Health walking program is now active. Selena Despres, the walk organizer, will be in front of the Keremeos Senior Centre entrance at 8:45 am and the walk should start at 9am and last about 25 minutes. Do not hesitate to join us as this is designed as an inclusive walk, not a race! It will be followed by a "meet and greet" with some refreshments, up at Victory Hall. I hope you can join us. 

 

If you do not wish to participate in the walk, you are still welcome to join us on Tuesdays, for a social activity. These will take place at or near Victory Hall, at 9:30am. 

 

For additional information and to pick up registration packages, go to Similkameen Pharmacy, 633-7th Avenue, Keremeos.

Read more

Changes to Schedule at Penticton Airport

Mar 15 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

Air Canada Express recently announced changes to their service at Penticton airport beginning May 1, 2019, including:

 

  • The aircraft will be changed to the larger Q400 which has improved reliability during periods of inclement weather, particularly during the winter months 
  • Penticton airport will have three daily flights with Air Canada in the larger Q400 aircraft
  • The 6 am departure from Penticton, and the 10:50 pm arrival from Vancouver will be removed from the schedule

 

Travellers for work, business or pleasure can share their views on the flight service available at the Penticton Airport in a survey now on www.shapeyourcitypenticton.ca.

 

The City of Penticton and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen want to better understand the flight needs in the area in light of recent changes to the Vancouver service provided by Air Canada Express. The survey is open to anyone who travels through the Penticton Airport.  Surveys will be accepted until April 6, 2019.

Read more

Emergency Operations Centre Update: Emergency Support Services Recruitment Video & Preparedness Information

Mar 11 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

Emergency Support Services (ESS)

British Columbians forced from their homes by fire, floods, landslides or other emergencies may receive Emergency Support Services (ESS) for up to 72 hours or longer. Most communities have an ESS team that works with the local emergency program during a crisis. The ESS program relies on trained volunteers to meet the needs of people impacted by an emergency.

 

Volunteering as an ESS responder is an opportunity to help others during a time of crisis. ESS volunteers are trained by the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) and receive WorkSafeBC and liability insurance coverage through Emergency Management BC (EMBC). Training is provided free of charge. Volunteers must undergo a criminal record check. 

 

For more information about ESS, please watch this short video: https://youtu.be/fgzQmQiTCUk

 

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) ESS: 250-486-1890  http://www.rdos.bc.ca/news-events/eoc/emergency-support-services-ess/

 

Are You Prepared?

Coping with the stress of being out of your home during an Evacuation Order is easier, if you have a plan.

  • Understand the risks in advance, prepare and practice your family and business emergency plan
  • Prepare a 72-hour emergency kit for your family and vehicle
  • Sign up for Keremeos' Resident Notification System and receive notification messages and information updates: http://www.keremeos.ca/notification-signup

 

“Property Owners are responsible for protecting their property.” 

In British Columbia, property owners are responsible for taking the necessary steps on their property to protect their home and property from flooding, while government emergency programs focus on broader flood response measures. The RDOS will provide sand and sandbags for property owners as needed, in addition to information about sandbag placement. During a flooding emergency, Emergency Management BC (EMBC) may assist with funding for response works such as tiger dams, sand and sandbags, and other emergency resources.

 

“Groundwater levels are currently higher than normal due to wet conditions experienced in 2017 and 2018, creating an increased potential for flooding during freshet in 2019.” 

Ecora – Professional Engineers and Environmental Consulting / Dobson Engineering Ltd.

 

Is Your Property Prone to Flooding?

Due to high groundwater throughout the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), there is a high probability of flooding from freshet - in areas that are prone to flooding. In some areas, there remains an imminent risk of flooding from rainfall events. Property owners living in areas that flood need to be prepared. Flooding on private property will typically occur as a result of high stream flow, pooling or slow rising water from a body of water. 

 

For more information about sandbagging, please watch this short video: https://youtu.be/thZwVWyXjMQ

 

Important Notes

  • Public sand and sandbag locations will be listed on the RDOS website: www.rdos.bc.ca.  In the Keremeos area, the sandbag location will be at the Keremeos Irrigation District pump house west of Highway 3A just north of Similkameen Elementary Secondary School.
  • The RDOS does not deliver sand or sandbags to private residences or businesses
  • If you require assistance with sandbagging, please connect with your friends, family or volunteers
  • Filled sandbags are not available from the RDOS

 

For further information, please contact the RDOS EOC: 250-490-4225

Visit our website: http://www.rdos.bc.ca/news-events/eoc/active-eoc-information/

 

Building Climate Resilience in the Okanagan – A Homeowners’ Resource Guide

http://www.rdosmaps.bc.ca/min_bylaws/PublicWorks/Building_Resilience_Guidebook/SOREBRDOS.pdf

 

Important Emergency Terms

Being familiar with these terms will help remove the stress of coping with an emergency.

 

Evacuation Alert – Be Ready and Standby

Upon notification of an ALERT, you should locate all family members or co-workers and designate a meeting site outside the evacuation area, in case an Evacuation Order is issued. Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers, cell phone charger, immediate care needs for dependents, and keepsakes. Have these items ready for quick departure.

 

Prepare to move any disabled persons and/or children. Arrange to transport your household members or co-workers in the event an Evacuation Order is issued. Prepare to move pets and livestock to a safe area. Monitor news sources and the Village and RDOS websites and social media for information.

 

Evacuation Order – Get Out

Upon notification of an ORDER, you must leave the area immediately. Close and lock all windows and doors. Shut off electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers. Do not lock gates. Gather your family and take a neighbour or someone who needs help. Take critical items if they are immediately available. Take pets in pet kennels or on leash. Do not use more vehicles than necessary, to help reduce congestion. Do not use the telephone unless you need help.

 

Evacuation Rescind (Safe to Return)

It is safe for evacuees to return home. Residents may remain on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to leave on short notice, if the incident changes.

 

Grab-and-Go Bag

Don't count on being home when there's an emergency. In addition to an emergency kit at home, create grab-and-go bags for your work and vehicles. You should include important documents, first aid kit and medications.

 

For more information visit the RDOS website www.rdos.bc.ca

Issued by RDOS Director of Emergency Operations

RDOS EOC 250-490-4225

Read more

Summer Hours at Keremeos Landfill Start March 1st / 2019 Compost Bins Now for Sale

Mar 1 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

Summer Landfill Hours

 

The Keremeos Landfill starts extended hours as of March 1st.

 

The Keremeos Landfill, will be open on Wednesdays from March until the end of November.  During these months the Transfer Station will be open Wednesday from Noon to 4 pm in addition to regular hours on Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.

 

Residents with questions can contact the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Solid Waste Group at (250) 490-4129, toll free 1-877-610-3737, info@rdos.bc.ca or visit www.rdos.bc.ca.

 

2019 Compost Bins Now For Sale

 

Residents across the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) can pre-purchase wholesale compost bins from March 1st until March 25th only at participating locations. Collection of all pre-purchased bins will start Earth Day which falls on April 22nd.

 

The FreeGarden Earth Compost Bin™ is available for $49 plus taxes. A curved black container, the compost bin helps break down garden waste, leaves, uncooked fruits and vegetables. It is a great system for creating rich compost for home gardens.

 

In Keremeos, the Home Building Centre will be pre-selling compost bins. The pre-sale ends on March 25th and residents can collect purchased units on April 22nd.

 

For further information, please contact Cameron Baughen, Solid Waste Management Coordinator, at 250-490-4129 or cbaughen@rdos.bc.ca.

Read more

Wildfire and FireSmart Project Reports Now Available

Feb 22 2019
By: Keremeos Admin
Categories: News

The Village of Keremeos’ wildfire prevention contractor has now reported out on both the Community Wildfire Prevention Plan and on the Riparian Park area Community Assessment and FireSmart Plan. The reports will be presented to Council in an open meeting, March 4, 2019, at 6:00 p.m., and Council will provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

 

The reports to be presented are quite lengthy and can be accessed by visiting the following website:

www.keremeos.ca/emergency-services

We hope to see you there.

 

Marg Coulson

Chief Administrative Officer

Read more