Saturday, September 18, 2021
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Evacuation Alert issued for 254 properties on Lake Koocanusa in southeast B.C.

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CRANBROOK, BC – The forest fire situation across British Columbia is dire.

An Evacuation Alert has been issued for 254 properties on the west side of Lake Koocanusa in the B.C. East Kootenay region.

“We are urging residents and campers within the alert area to prepare and gather personal supplies should conditions worsen and an evacuation order be issued,” said Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Information Officer Loree Duczek.

“If you have not yet registered for the Evacuation Notification System, we urge you to do so. It will take RCMP and Search and Rescue several hours to deliver notifications throughout an Alert area of this size. By contrast those who are registered for the Notification System will know immediately, when every second counts.”

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RDEK officials said anyone staying at a vacation property, second home or campground will not be eligible for ESS and will be asked to return to their primary residence if an actual order is issued.

“Anyone at a vacation property or campground may wish to return to their primary residence at the Alert stage as evacuations can happen at any time during the day or night,” added Duczek.

She says this is an incredibly popular recreational area and they are urging everyone – including campers – to register for the Evacuation Notification System so they will be aware if conditions change and an order needs to be issued.

Duczek said anyone with RVs, boats, other recreational vehicles or livestock should move them immediately.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire on Sunday night was approximately 360 hectares in size and quickly spreading due to winds and gusts up to 50 km/h. The blaze is now considered a Fire of Note on the BC Wildfire website.

(Story credit to

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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