Firefighters struggle to control a fire that destroyed the grandstands at Capostinsky Park in Clearwater. This image originally appeared in the Sept. 9, 2002, issue of the Times.

Firefighters struggle to control a fire that destroyed the grandstands at Capostinsky Park in Clearwater. This image originally appeared in the Sept. 9, 2002, issue of the Times.

20 YEARS AGO: Police investigate grandstand fire

Back in time

35 YEARS AGO: Two young men spent an unexpectedly exciting holiday weekend in the Wells Gray Park. The two 17-year-olds, part of a Barriere family, were camped at the top end of Clearwater Lake and went off to fish in the Clearwater River along an old logging road. They had caught a number of fish when a bear appeared and ran towards them. Dropping their catch they fled up a steep bank while the bear remained behind to eat their fish. The two found they were unable to find their way back to camp before dark so lit a fire and camped out for the night. Unfortunately, they became confused in their directions and wandered about for a while until they reached the Mahood River. A search and rescue team was dispatched to the area and met the two young men 20 minutes later walking down the road.

30 YEARS AGO: Five Little Fort carpet bowlers took first place at the B.C. Seniors Games in Dawson Creek the last weekend in August. This was the second year at the Games for the team. Last time they placed fourth. They also had competed in the B.C. Winter Games. They won nine of 11 games they played in the round robin tournament.

20 YEARS AGO: Police were still investigating the cause of the blaze that took out the grandstand at Capostinsky Park. Many members of visiting ball teams, including the New Zealand national team that recently played at the ball field, commented on the size and quality of the grandstands for such a small community. The project involved many hours of work by local volunteers and Bear Creek Camp inmates, as well as contributions from local businesses. Bill Mattenley said it took four years to build and burned down in 40 minutes. They were built in preparation for the Canada Summer Games in 1993 when they were held in Kamloops. The grandstands were fully insured.

15 YEARS AGO: Clearwater had to step up their recruitment efforts after the loss of two additional rural doctors. The closing of Dr.’s Ifor and Jennifer Thomas’ medical practice put Clearwater and the surrounding communities in a critical situation, with the two doctors remaining contracted to provide 24-hour emergency service coverage to Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital as well as operate their regular practice, multiplied by the file case load of the Thomas’.

10 YEARS AGO: Kym Jim, member of the family that owns Jim’s Food Market, was so unhappy with the way the roundabout project had moved ahead, he called a public meeting to voice concerns. About 80 people were in attendance, and opinions were expressed both in favour of and against the project. Though he didn’t live in the area at the time, Jim said he often visited and still has strong roots. He noted the previous meeting held was not adequate public input. A poll that showed the majority of those at the open house was in favour of the roundabout was entirely unscientific, Jim said. A full Highway 5 plan, with frontage and backage roads, was what was needed instead, he said. He was concerned the roundabout would negatively affect the business.

5 YEARS AGO: The recent experience with the fires near Little Fort showed the importance of retaining the Clearwater Fire Zone office in Clearwater, according to mayor John Harwood. He had met with the first management team from BC Wildfire Service that was supposed to take oversight of the Little Fort fire complex, only to have them leave a day later and be replaced by a team from Parks Canada. That team was then in town for 14 days before being replaced with a fresh team.

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