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Wildfire west of Merritt still burning, but contained.
 
Kamloops Fire Centre information officer Jody Lucius says the fire that sparked Wednesday afternoon near the Dot Ranch cut-off on the Nooaitch Indian Band reserve is now considered under control.
 
"Under control means crews are patrolling for hot spots, and if they are finding them, they work to extinguish them. Once all the hot spots are extinguished, they may feel it is still necessary to monitor the area, and if not they will declare the fire out."
 
Lucius confirms the fire, which was re-mapped yesterday at 6.2 hectares, is suspected to be human-caused.
 
Firefighters are expected back at the scene today to finishing extinguishing hotspots.
 
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Overdose crisis hitting Merritt harder in 2017.

The executive director of the Ask Wellness Society Bob Hughes says there's no single reason as to why Merritt has more fatal overdoses this year, compared to all of 2016.

Despite five fatal overdoses in the city in just over seven-months, Bob Hughes says now is not the time to play the blame game.

"I think the most destructive thing to do right now is to start pointing fingers, saying that social agencies aren't doing enough, or that RCMP aren't doing their job by taking the people responsible for selling the drugs off the street."

There are plenty of services available in Merritt for those looking to kick their habit, but Hughes says its important to understood that not all addicts are going to use them.

 

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Wildfire burning west of Merritt larger than originally reported.
 
"It's been updated to 6.2 hectares. But, that's just because it has been properly mapped."
 
Kamloops Fire Centre information officer Max Birkner says the fire that started just before 4pm yesterday afternoon near the Dot Ranch Rd cut-off on the Nooaitch Indian Band reserve remains contained.
 
12 firefighters and a water tender will remain at the scene until all the hot spots are extinguished.
 
"They be out there all day, and then probably have to go out tomorrow again to check it out."
 
No structures were damaged by the fire, that Birkner can now confirm is believed to be human caused.
 
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$90,000 donation to help steelhead return to spawning and rearing grounds on the Coquihalla River.
 
Steelhead Society of BC President Brian Braidwood says the money will be used to fix the effects of a 2014 rockslide near the Othello Tunnels, that left rock and some pieces of a failed bridge foundation in the Coquihalla River, blocking the migration of the salmon.
 
"There was a piece that fell off the bridge, and it has shifted the boulders that are in there, making it very difficult for fish to make it past the barrier on their own. There is some that have been making it when there is higher water, but as the water drops, they are unable to do so."
 
The $90,000 was donated by the Habitat Trust Conservation Foundation, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, the Steelhead Society of BC, and the province.
 
Work is expected to start this month.
 
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Upper Nicola Band applauding the NDP government's decision to seek additional consultation before granting approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
 
The band is challenging the federal government's approval of the expansion in federal court over the consultation process, and Chief Harvey McLeod is hopeful through further consultation with the province their concerns can be addressed.
 
"We did a lot of talking to the NDP during the election, and post election about the concerns we have re. consultation. It sounds like they heard us, and are confident it may push both levels of government to comeback and continue the consultation process."
 
The announcement by the NDP government last week also directly affects the Coldwater Indian Band, who are challenging the federal governments approval over the threat they believe the $7.4 billion expansion presents to the their only source of drinking water.
 
Until further consultation with First Nations takes place, construction of the expansion cannot proceed on Crown land.
 
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