Back in Time

50 YEARS AGO:

Residents of Vavenby gathered at the Centennial Park for a day of fun and games and the official opening of the Park.

45 YEARS AGO:

A fire reportedly burned two million board feet when it spread through the log pile at Weyerhaeuser’s Vavenby sawmill.

Clearwater Timber Products’ property was threatened for a time, as was Vavenby itself.

An estimated million board feet of timber was destroyed in a five-hour fire at Gilbert Smith Forest Products mill-yard in Barriere.

A serious fire was burning down over the cliff near the road at Spahats Creek Park. Cause was believed to be a careless camper.

Blue River Legion president Doug Tamboline presented a birthday cake to mark the Ladies Auxiliary’s 10th anniversary.

R.J. Gledhill was the new president of Vavenby Legion Branch 259.

40 YEARS AGO:

Dave and Bonnie Jacklin won first place in a 12-hour dance-a-thon held at Wells Gray Motor Hotel.

The event raised $6,000 to $7,000 for the victims of a propane tank explosion.

Clearwater’s new enlarged post office was complete and awaiting final inspection before its grand opening.

30 YEARS AGO:

Most of the 63 riders who took part in the Wells Gray Mountain Bike Race raved about the event, according to organizer Frank Ritcey.

For many of the expert and professional racers, it was their first trip to the Clearwater area and Wells Gray Park.

Vavenby CTP lost some of its history with the retirement of saw-filer Hector Ethier.

He had worked with the company since 1955, and helped build the original mill.

TNRD director Paul Caissie stopped construction of a viewing section at the Sportsplex due to unforeseen costs putting the project $10,000 over budget.

Caissie was applying for lottery funds to offset the expense.

One of the floats in Blue River’s Canada Day parade was in honor of the town’s oldest citizen, 82-year-old Cherry Johnston, as well as the town’s favorite grandpa, Bruno Katanekza.

25 YEARS AGO:

A 26-year-old Quebec man was in satisfactory condition in Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital after falling almost 250 feet from Raft Peak.

MLA Fred Jackson was up in arms about a request by Multinational Water and Power Inc. for a review to assess the costs and benefits of selling water from B.C. to California.

The proponent, Bill Clancey of Vancouver, estimated royalties at $300 million per year.

Two longtime employees of Raft River Mini Market, Sue Ludtke and Gail Capostinsky, decided to take the plunge and bought the business.

Ardrenna Moore- Debruyn and David Coleman qualified to attend the BC Summer Games as representatives of Zone 2.

20 YEARS AGO:

Slocan Forest Products was to log approximately 530 hectares in the Boundary Lakes area of TFL 18 to salvage timber infested with spruce bark beetle.

The beetle population had received a boost from a blowdown about two years earlier, said Stewart Pyper, Clearwater Forest District forest health officer.

Clearwater Sno- Drifters representative Ralph Sunderman presented a proposal to Clearwater Chamber of Commerce for a snowmobile trail connecting Clearwater from near Camp Two to a trail network based in 100 Mile House.

15 YEARS AGO:

Well over 200 local residents attended an information session about a proposed finger-joint plant to be built near Vavenby.

So many attended the session that two presentations had to be made.

Telus Mobility announced that it was expanding its digital cellular service to Clearwater and Barriere.

Fire protection officer Vaughn McCaig reported that Ministry of Forests staff were investigating a chain of seven fires that had sprung up along Highway 5.

10 Years Ago:

Clearwater council announced that user fees at the Sportsplex were going up three per cent.

Four to six inches of sediment in the bottom of Clearwater’s reservoir might have been the cause of recent reports of dirty water, reported chief administrative officer Isabell Hadford to council.

Council approved spending up to $13,200 to hire divers to clean the reservoir.

Clearwater Crushers won the provincial Squirts fastball championships at Barriere.

5 YEARS AGO:

A draft road and trails plan for Clearwater that proposed some far-reaching changes for the community was unveiled during a mobile open house.

Nearly 20 people walked or cycled from the Farmers Market to Rotary Sports Park to learn what was being proposed by the consultants from Opus International.

Front Door to Grocery Store, a project to improve seniors’ mobility, was proceeding nicely, reported UNBC researcher Jessica Blewett.

“We really need some more men so we can get their perspective on issues,” she said.

Businesses in Area B (Thompson Headwaters) had been receiving letters from Highways telling them to take down their signs if they were within a certain distance of the highway centre-line, said TNRD director Willow MacDonald.

She intended to take the matter up with the Union of BC Municipalities.

A proposed tantalum mine north of Blue River could supply 10 per cent of the world’s market of the metal, according to a consultant’s report released by Commerce Resources.

The underground mine would process 7,500 tonnes per day and last 9.3 years. Total estimated capital cost would be $379 million.

Several hundred people took part in a barbeque hosted by Canfor with help from Clearwater Rotary Club to celebrate the company’s 75th birthday.

1 YEAR AGO:

An incident command team from Parks Canada took over fighting the Little Fort fire complex.

Strong winds had pushed the Dunn Lake fire to within 12 km of the centre of Clearwater.

An evacuation order for Little Fort had been replaced with an evacuation alert.

The areas around Dunn Lake, Hallamore Lake and East Blackpool were under evacuation orders, while Clearwater, Blackpool and Upper Clearwater were under evacuation alerts.

The Dunn Lake fire was 3,040 ha in size, the Thuya Lake fire was 565 ha while the Lemieux Creek fire was 16 ha.

Patients were evacuated from Clearwater’s Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital – standard practice when an area is placed under an evacuation alert.

Firetrucks from Barriere and Merritt were helping those from Clearwater and Blackpool to do regular patrols.

Five people wearing BC Forest Service uniforms were in trouble after being photographed standing around a campfire next to Adams Lake.

There was a campfire ban across the province at the time and the photos went viral on social media.

A skidder operator needed to be extricated from his machine and then evacuated after his skidder rolled down a slope.

He had been trying to clear a road to get to some property he owned near the Dunn Lake fire.

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