The graceful, aerobatic and spectacular - unexpected - dismount in the North Thompson Fall Fair Rodeo steer riding as performed by Lone Butte cowboy Leon Bick. This image originally appeared in the Sept. 3, 1996, issue of the Times.

The graceful, aerobatic and spectacular - unexpected - dismount in the North Thompson Fall Fair Rodeo steer riding as performed by Lone Butte cowboy Leon Bick. This image originally appeared in the Sept. 3, 1996, issue of the Times.

25 YEARS AGO: Freak windstorm topples trees in Wells Gray Park

Back in time: A snapshot of history


Three adventurous Germans attempting to travel from Avola to Kamloops by raft lost much of their equipment and nearly their lives during a float down Mad River.

About 24 hours after was reported missing, well-known Clearwater resident, Stan Davison, was found safe in the Candle Creek area. More than 55 volunteers, the Clearwater RCMP and a dog brought in from the Kamloops detachment took part in the search.


The 37th annual North Thompson Fall Fair was a tremendously popular event if the large crowd attending the event was to be believed, despite damp weather. The fair was opened by NTFF queen Tricia Stamer, assisted by her princess, following the enthusiastic parade.

A great deal of prescribed burning has been going on in the Clearwater Forest District due to the conditions being the best in a few years and crews are on a rush to catch up on a large back-log of sites. The objective is to clear away the logging waste to make open areas for planting.


It’s still too early to comment on the impact of Canada’s decision to drop its 15 per cent export tax on softwood lumber on the local economy, according to North Thompson sawmill managers. The tax was originally imposed after American complaints that low Canadian stumpage charges amounted to an unfair subsidy.

Weyerhaeuser’s Vavenby sawmill beefed up its equipment stock with the purchase of a $500,000 double arbour gang saw. The objective was to improve the chances of staying open by lowering manufgacturing costs and increasingproduction from their single shift.


Three foreign tourists were seriously hurt when a freak windstorm toppled thousands of trees in Wells Gray Park. Paramedics had to leave the ambulance behind to search through the “war zone” of the hundreds of downed trees. Despite fog and poor landing conditions, a helicopter pilot was able to land a helicopter and airlift an injured German lady out.

A senseless act of vandalism came very close to destroying two downtown Barriere businesses. Allegedly, the fire was deliberately set in bales of hay, which were on a trailer that was left next to the Results Realty/Times building. The trailer was parked next to the building prior for the Fall Fair events the next day.


Weyerhaeuser Canada is putting its proposed $10-million co-generation facility on the back burner pending an increase in electricity prices. The plant would burn hog fuel supplied by area mills, generating enough electricity to make the Kamloops mill self-sufficient.

The bookmobile, a converted bus, has bright, multi-coloured exterior that can be seen from a long ways away and visits the North Thompson every three weeks as it rotates through the rural communities of the TNRD. It stops in McLure and Avola on the first day of its tour, and Birch Island, Vavenby and Little Fort on the second.


Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger was in town to distribute $90,000 for two projects in the Wells Gray area. Wells Gray Community Forest Corporation director Tim Richardson received $30,000 to assist with start-up costs. TNRD director Bert Walker was in receipt of the second installment for the refurbishing of the North Thompson Sportsplex.

The community forest in Clearwater is one step closer to generating profits, which will in turn, benefit the Wells Gray area. The grant monies will be used to hire a general manager to operate and monitor a probationary community forest license.


John Harwood intends to seek another term as mayor of the District of Clearwater. He also plans to run again to represent the Clearwater-Blue River area on the board of SD73. He said he wants to continue as mayor in order to continue the work he has begun.

A large crane was seen in front of the Canfor mill in Vavenby as it was used to lower new equipment into the sawmill. The company spent $24 million to upgrade the Vavenby sawmill and planer mill. The money went to a new canter line plus sorter and edger modifications at the sawmill, and auto-grading and sorting capacity at the planer mill.


After the closure of the Canfor mill, the District of Clearwater received $200,000 as a community legacy fund from the company, but committed just $25,000 to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, saying Vavenby should receive a community legacy similar to what the DOC was given.

The 2020-21 school year looked a bit different as masks, learning groups and heightened hygiene protocols were established to allow a full-time schedule for students while also working to keep them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.