The Big Stick Lake fire and Hotnarko Creek fire forced the closure of Highway 20 Tuesday and Wednesday, July 13 and 14. Image taken July 13. (Charlene Elkins photo)

The Big Stick Lake fire and Hotnarko Creek fire forced the closure of Highway 20 Tuesday and Wednesday, July 13 and 14. Image taken July 13. (Charlene Elkins photo)

Year in Review: July 2021

Dry, hot weather fuels fires and fears

July 1, 2021

Karena Sokolan crowned 2021 Williams Lake Stampede Queen

During an outdoor coronation dinner and celebration held near the Stampede Grounds Saturday, June 26, Karena Sokolan, 19, Miss Peterson Contracting Ltd. was crowned 2021 Williams Lake Stampede Queen, and both Bayley Cail, 17, Miss MH King Excavating and Kennady Dyck, 17, Miss Williams Lake Lions were crowned Princesses.

July 2, 2021

Two-vehicle crash claims two lives in Williams Lake

A two-vehicle crash Sunday, June 27 in Williams Lake claimed the lives of two people.

Williams Lake RCMP said at 7:34 p.m. officers responded to the incident at the intersection of Gibbon Road and Richard Road.

“Upon arrival, police discovered two people, an adult man and woman were deceased. A Volkswagen Golf was travelling south, making a left hand turn onto Gibbon road when the vehicle was struck by a Honda Pilot travelling west on Gibbon Road,” Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, North District RCMP, noted in a news release.

July 2, 2021

Single vehicle crash, fire, claims one life

One person died in a single vehicle crash and fire on Highway 20 near Williams Lake Monday, June 28. Williams Lake RCMP were called to the incident at 3:50 p.m. “When police arrived, they found a vehicle fully engulfed in flames. When Williams Lake Fire Department were able to extinguish the flames, one person was discovered deceased in the vehicle,” said Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, North District RCMP NCO.

July 2, 2021

Church opens doors as cooling shelter

Temporary reprieve from the heat was provided for vulnerable people at a church in downtown Williams Lake. Cariboo Community Church on Oliver Street opened as cooling shelter from noon to 7 p.m. Monday, June 28, and Tuesday, June 29 and on Wednesday, June 30 and Thursday, July 1 from noon to 3 p.m.

Paul Lomavatu, who pastors the church alongside Ted Veal, said one of the church’s members contacted the city offering the space as a cooling shelter, noting the city provided water.

The Salvation Army drop-in centre was also open.

July 8, 2021

City eyes action plan to address doctor shortage

Williams Lake city council is hoping to meet with the minister of health this fall to discuss the area’s doctor shortage.

Local government officials can request to have scheduled meetings during the Union of BC Municipalities Convention with various cabinet ministers and during the regular meeting Tuesday, June 22, Coun. Sheila Boehm asked that a meeting about the doctor shortage with the Minister of Health be added to the list.

In advance of the September 2021 UBCM convention, city council also wants to alert Interior Health Authority about its concerns.

July 8, 2021

150 Mile Volunteer Fire Department mourns loss of beloved chief, Stan McCarthy

One of the heroes of the 2017 wildfires, 150 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department’s long-standing Fire Chief Stan McCarthy died on Tuesday, June 29.

Tributes were pouring in online for the beloved chief, who served over 40 years of active duty with his local fire department.

McCarthy was one of the founding members of the volunteer fire department from its inception in 1981.

During the 2017 wildfires McCarthy became well-known when he and his firefighters stayed behind to fight the fires for the duration, saving many homes. McCarthy also initiated efforts for the local fire department to provide food and water for the animals left behind during the community’s evacuation.

A memorial service was held for McCarthy at the Williams Lake First Nation powwwo arbor on July 10 with first responders, First Nations and dignitaries from across the region in attendance.

July 15, 2021

Dry, hot weather fuels fires and fears

An airtanker, helicopters and ground crews responded to a fire on the east side of the Williams Lake River Valley Monday afternoon (July 12). A bird dog could be seen guiding the airtanker just after 2 p.m. where a haze of smoke could be seen from MacKenzie Avenue in Williams Lake, looking down the river valley. The fire was subsequently under control as Williams Lake remained under a heat warning.

July 22, 2021

Wildfire evacuees seek shelter, services in Williams Lake

As soon as the ESS Centre was set up at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake Campus Wednesday afternoon (July 15), weary travellers began to arrive. Fleeing from wildfires south and west of Williams Lake, about 30 families, some with trucks and trailers hastily filled with Rubbermaid containers, others with just a car and their pets inside, registered for emergency support services. At the ESS Centre evacuees are served by volunteers who help them find accommodations and provide them with vouchers for food and other essentials as needed.

July 29, 2021

Structure protection unit deployed to Young Lake wildfire

A structure protection unit from the Williams Lake Fire Department was deployed Thursday, July 22, to assist at the Young Lake wildfire 35 kilometres southwest of 70 Mile House.

“I am extremely proud of our five members and I find it inspiring that they are all taking holidays or time off of their regular jobs to help our region,” said fire chief Erick Peterson. “I know our members will be working hard so our department will be sending more resources in a week to relieve them.”

July 29, 2021

IH delivers more than one million COVID-19 vaccines

IH has surpassed administering its millionth dose of COVID-19 vaccine throughout the Interior as the #journey2immunity campaign continues.

“We are proud to report that IH has surpassed this incredible milestone, as we mark the Vax for B.C. campaign kick-off,” IH president and CEO Susan Brown said. “We have made remarkable progress and we plan to keep going as we work to fight this challenging pandemic together.”

In total, 1,021,323 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered throughout

Interior Health to date. This includes over 563,334 first doses and 457,989 second doses.

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