District of Barriere Mayor Virginia Smith reported to council at their May 14 regular meeting on attending the Emergency Management and Protective Services meeting at the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) on May 11. Smith was elected to serve as vice-chairman of this committee at the meeting.
“We had a telephone presentation from Lisa Coldwells, meteorologist, Environment Canada,” said Smith, “She reported that El Nino is gone now and we are moving into La Nina which starts in the summer/fall. La Nina will bring a winter that is wetter and colder than normal, large snowpack on the South East Mountains, and July and August will be typical weather patterns due to La Nina moving in.”
The mayor also commented on a presentation from Hugh Murdock, Forest Protection Officer, Wildfire Management Branch.
“He reported that 40,000 more hectares have already burned this year compared to last year,” said the mayor, “There are 1200 seasonal firefighters that are normally employed during the fire season. This year with the fire season starting early they are short staffed as a lot of their seasonal help are students who are still in school/university. At this time a large portion of their staff is in Northern B.C. dealing with the fires around Prince George and Fort St. John. Mr. Murdock expects a busy fire season in 2016.”
Smith was pleased to note that the committee approved a grant of $8,897.70 for equipment and training to Barriere Search and Rescue.
She also commented that Ron Storie, Director of Community Services had presented a 911 Primary Service Report showing the 911 calls from various TNRD communities. According to the statistics gathered from E-Comm (911 provider) Barriere had 1,268 911 calls. 710 police, 321 ambulance, 101 fire, and 136 abandon calls. An abandon call is when someone calls 911, perhaps by mistake, or realizes another has already called and does not speak with an operator.
“I questioned these figures and Mr. Storie explained that with cell phones more than one person may report the same fire, etcetera, which causes the numbers to increase,” said the mayor, “The report is available in my office if anyone is interested in seeing it.”
On May 12 she attended a closed meeting from 10 a.m. until noon at the TNRD pertaining to treaty negotiations.
The TNRD Board meeting was then held in the afternoon.
“There was a long discussion about Ajax Mine and health impacts that many feel are not sufficiently covered in KGHM’s studies and a motion from the board to have KGHM do an independent study was defeated,” reported Smith, “The reasoning by some of the board that caused the defeat was many felt that KGHM still have more reporting to do to MOE, etcetera, and wanted to see what came from that reporting before requesting more.”
The mayor also advised that Barriere Library hours are changing. Effective June 14, the library will be open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Thursday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.