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Tunkwa Lake Rd wildfire continues to burn out of control.

Kamloops Fire Centre information officer Jodi Lucius says the fire that started yesterday afternoon was remapped this morning and is now estimated to be 140 hectares.

"It's currently burning out of control; however, crews are working to the contain the fire. Today's priority is to try and prevent growth on the north side of the fire."

A total of 60 BC Wildfire Service personnel are on scene today, and air tankers and helicopters continue to be used to action the blaze from above.

The wildfire is believed to be human caused.

 

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Flood mitigation efforts at Nicola Lake started over the winter proving no match for Mother Nature.

Despite getting the level of the lake lower than ever before, flood safety engineer at the Nicola Lake Dam Sarah Simon says it was impossible to keep up with inflows the last couple weeks.

"Despite being way down, our storage got eaten so fast. In the last two weeks we got all the water at once, and we didn’t have enough head on the lake to push water out. So, arguably the lower storage was not as valuable as we thought it would be."

Inflows to Nicola Lake topped out at 110 cubic metres per second last Friday, but until outflows are high enough to eclipse inflows the lake will continue to rise.

Roughly 70 residents in the City of Merritt remain under an evacuation order due to flooding from the Nicola River.

 

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Nicola Valley Search and Rescue keeping sharp as flooding continues throughout the Merritt area.

Manager Lynne Broekhuzen says they have yet to be called into action, but in order to stay prepared have been brushing up on their swift water rescue training.

"We were out in the Nicola River, to find out how hard it is to currently swim in the river. We also did some refreshing on our swift water rescue training. Now, all we can do is to continue to ask people to stay well back of the river."

Broekhuizen says six of their members are specifically trained to go into fast flowing waters in the event of an emergency, and most other members are considered swift water aware, which means they are allowed to work along the banks.

 

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Canada's Finance Minister assuring that if Kinder Morgan decides not to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, other investors will step forward.

Bill Morneau also says the federal government is willing to indemnify the Trans Mountain expansion against unnecessary delays that he says are politically motivated, referring to opposition from the BC government.

"If Kinder Morgan isn't interested in building this project, we think plenty of investors would be willing to take on the project. Especially knowing the federal government knows it is in the best interest of Canadians, and is willing to provided indemnify to make sure it gets done"

This morning's news conference was scheduled ahead of Kinder Morgan's annual meeting taking place today in Calgary.

 

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Recreational marijuana to be sold in the same zones as liquor in the City of Merritt.

Nothing has been finalized yet, but at a Committee of the Whole meeting last night, Mayor and Council agreed that the City of Merritt should amend its zoning bylaw to limit marijuana sales to the three different zones where alcohol is currently sold.

If the motion is approved at next week's regular meeting, director of corporate services Sean Smith says administration will prepare a report outlining recommendations for different regulations pertaining to the sale of cannabis.

"Here are some potential options. This is what a lot of the other municipalities have done. This is what some of the provincial regulations that might affect such things as distance to schools. And here's how it would fit within the existing zones being proposed."

At last night's meeting, Mayor and Council also expressed interest in potentially capping the number of dispensaries, but what that number would be remains undecided.

Smith also confirms the public will be consulted before any amendment recieves final approval.

 

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