Lowering of water in Heffley Lake causes scramble

(Image: Recreation Sites and Trails B.C.)

HEFFLEY LAKE – Residents on the lake are already looking nervously toward the inevitable onset of colder weather even though it seems a long way off.

By Aug. 21, owners of towable/ trailerable boats will have to get them off the lake or they could be trapped there for the winter.

And, lakeshore residents are figuring out how to avoid frozen water lines and other potential problems that could result from the lowering of the water level.

Heffley Lake is a reservoir created by the Heffley Creek irrigation dam, and the level of the lake rises and falls depending, in part, on the needs of the Heffley Irrigation District. The lake is already low but the district has decided to lower it another three feet due to irrigation needs.

Tor Schmid of the Heffley Lake Community Association tells me the lake is already as low as it’s been since 1977.

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Heffley association discusses lake concerns at AGM

The always-popular ice-cream line at the annual HLCA AGM on Sunday.

When you own a little piece of Paradise, you want to protect it. Stewardship of Heffley Lake was a major topic for discussion at the annual general meeting of the Heffley Lake Community Association attended by about 70 residents Sunday (Aug. 6, 2017).

The meeting was held outdoors on the beautiful grounds of the home of Mary and Glenn Johnson, followed by a delicious picnic-style dinner, ice cream and awards presentations for the annual photo contest. President Fergus Alexander presided over the proceedings.

Due probably to the elevation, smoke from the wildfires wasn’t nearly as thick as down in the valley, though the sun was hangin’ like a red rubber ball (to borrow from the ‘60s song).

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Water quality advisory rescinded for Pritchard water system

PRITCHARD — Residents on the community water system are being contacted by the TNRD today and informed a water quality advisory for the community water system is being rescinded. Here’s the notice:

Please be advised that effective immediately, the Interior Health Authority is RESCINDING the Water Quality Advisory issued for the Pritchard Community Water System. Recent water quality tests have shown the water to be safe for consumption and boiling the water is no longer required.  

Should someone other than the property owner occupy the residence (such as a tenant), please provide this information to them.

For specific questions, please contact the TNRD Utilities Department at 250-377-8673.

Interactive map shows location of Heffley-Louis Creek wildfire

Red dot shows location of wildfire. To go to BC Wildfire Service interactive map, click here for link.

The BC Wildfire Service interactive map now shows a more detailed location of the Heffley-Louis Creek fire burning north of Whitecroft and west of Sun Peaks.

The latest fire report says it is currently at 1.1 hectares. Seventeen firefighters, two fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter were working on the fire Wednesday night, along with a ground crew.

It is burning on a mountain side up from the road. One report estimated it’s about six km. north of Heffley Lake.

Air tankers, ground crew attack small fire north of Whitecroft

Small wildfire being attacked in vicinity of upper Heffley-Louis Creek Road on Wednesday. (Image: Screenshot, Twitter, @jeanbstrong)

Crews were responding to a small fire in the vicinity of the Heffley-Louis Creek Road north of Whitecroft today (July 26, 2017) but no structures were threatened when I last received an update this evening.

It’s believed the one-hectare fire may have been caused by lightning. BC Wildfire Service said three air tankers, six skimmers and a helicopter were supporting an attack crew.

Tankers were video’d filling up at Little Shuswap Lake to fight the fire.

Meetings sought with cabinet ministers on Area P issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Selena Robinson.

Two issues of importance to Electoral Area P will get an audience with provincial cabinet ministers in September.

The board approved my motions to ask for meetings with Jinny Sims, the new minister of citizens’ services, and with Selina Robinson, appointed as municipal affairs minister in Premier John Horgan’s cabinet.

The meetings are subject to scheduling during the annual convention of the Union of B.C. Municipalities in Vancouver, but if they go ahead as planned, I want to bring to Robinson’s attention the need to change the rules for accessing federal gas-tax funding so that not-for-profit strata councils and private utilities are eligible.

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Harper cycling network closed due to fire hazard

Harper cycling trail.

The Harper Mountain trail cycling network has been closed to recreational use until further notice due to the extreme fire hazard.

I received an inquiry about this and confirmed with the Kamloops Performance Cycling Centre today (July 12, 2017) that the trails have been closed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

The Pineview and Kamloops Bike Ranch trails have also been closed.

Public info session July 18 to discuss washout on Old Highway 5A

Washout at the old highway near elementary school. (Mel Rothenburger file photo)

HEFFLEY CREEK — Deb McDougall reports today (July 11, 2017) in her Heffley Creek Holler that an information session will be held July 18, 2017 on the situation with respect to the washout on the Old Highway 5A.

The City has engaged a consulting engineering firm to evaluate the options and determine the best approach for reinstating the channel flow, utilities and roadway.

The information session will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on July 18 at the Heffley Creek Hall, 6995 Old Highway 5. City staff will be available to provide information and answer questions about the design for the area and the construction timeline.

In the meantime, consultants will look at how to build a safe pedestrian path, which could be open within the next month.

Any questions can be directed to the City of Kamloops Public Works and Utilities Department at 250-828-3461.


Heffley gun range closes due to wildfire hazard, hall available for RVs

(Mel Rothenburger photo)

HEFFLEY CREEK – The Heffley Creek gun range is now closed due to the fire hazard in the area. The range will be open as soon as it is safe. Please check the website: http://www.heffleycreekgunclub.com/.

The Heffley Creek Rec Association is allowing evacuees to park their RVs in the hall parking lot. If need be the hall will be opened and hopefully an agency can provide cots and food, and association members will cook for the evacuees.

— Source: Heffley Creek Holler, July 11, 2017.

Questions asked about possible fires in Electoral Area P

BC Wildfire Services map shows two spot fires in Area P.

I’ve received inquiries today about a possible fire somewhere between Heffley Lake and Paul Lake. EOC is so far not aware of any fires in that area, and it appears likely a case of confusion with a small fire at the Heffley landfill yesterday that was quickly extinguished.

The landfill fire reached a size of 50 sq. ft. before being brought under 100 per cent control.

Today’s BC Wildfire Service map indicates two fires in Area P, one of which is almost certainly the landfill fire, though there’s no indication of its status.

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Chase, Pritchard celebrate 150th Canada Day

Another great Canada Day, extra special because of 150. We enjoyed the Chase celebrations (right next door to Area P) at beautiful Memorial Beach Park.

I was pleased to say a few words on behalf of Area P and the TNRD, along with MLA Todd Stone, Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson and Chase councillor David Lepsoe.

We also stopped in at the Pritchard beach park where residents organized a Canada Day picnic. Volunteers look after the park and it’s looking great right now, with the river still up to the grass. The volunteers deserve a huge amount of credit.

Best wishes to everyone for the rest of our 150th year and beyond.

Pritchard, Chase join Canada’s 150th birthday party

Providing some remarks at opening ceremony during 2016 Canada Day in Chase.

Canada Day celebrations in rural areas might not have the huge crowds and the extent of festivities that they do in cities, but they’re just as heartfelt and as much fun.

I’ll be attending a couple of them as the representative for Electoral Area P as we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Events in Chase get underway with a parade at 12 noon from Safety Mart Foods. Activities at the park start at 1, with opening remarks by dignitaries at 2.

There are concessions, a beer garden, entertainment and, at 10 p.m., fireworks.

Pritchard residents have organized a Canada Day picnic at the Pritchard beach between 2 and 6 p.m., with picnic games throughout the afternoon, and cake at 5.

Residents are asked to bring food, refreshments, and chairs.

Porta potty courtesy of Electoral Area L Director Ken Gillis and myself, via our respective TNRD budgets. The porta potty will remain on site for the summer.

Local wineries collect medals at national championship


Winemakers in Area P are feeling pretty good these days after the 37th annual All Canadian Wine Championships in Ontario.

Monte Creek Ranch Winery and Harper’s Trail Estate Winery accumulated an astounding eight medals in a competition that included 1,401 wines from across the country. Monte Creek Ranch Winery’s tasting room and sales centre are located in Area L but it also has vineyards across the South Thompson River in Area P.

Privato Vineyard on Westsyde Road in Kamloops also won a medal.

Twenty wine judges from six provinces judged entries over three days to determine the top wines in several categories sorted by grape variety and price. Wines were scored on a 100-point scale and awarded medals accordingly. The All Canadian Wine Championships is the oldest national wine competition.

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Work continues on test well at Black Pines

Photo taken during drilling of Black Pines well. (TNRD photo)

BLACK PINES — Work continues towards bringing a new proposal to Black Pines water users on resolving the water-source question.

After issues arose with the proposed location of a new intake on the North Thompson River, the TNRD turned to ground water as a potential source. A well drilled near the transfer station off Westsyde Road showed promising results.

As a result, the TNRD board approved allocating an additional $100,000 from the Electoral Area P gas tax account to assist with well development and pre-design costs for the Black Pines Community Water System.

The regional district received approval for $896,666 from the Building Canada Fund in 2015 to construct a new intake. The federal and provincial governments provide a third each for BCF infrastructure grants, with the remaining third contributed by local residents who receive the service.

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