Fire breaks out in Heritage Park in Mission, B.C.

A fire has broken out in Fraser River Heritage Park in the Fraser Valley on Tuesday afternoon.

White smoke can be seen above the trees in the largest park in the City of Mission.

Gordon Robinson with the BC Wildfire Service Coastal Fire Centre told Global News their crews are assisting the Mission Fire Department with two helicopters and a fire officer.

The helicopters are bucketing water to the blaze.

Read more:
B.C. wildfire map 2021: Location and size of the fires burning around the province

Local fire officials confirmed almost every available firefighter was dispatched to the scene.

There is no word yet on the cause.

More to come.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Suspended Ajax, Ont. driver found with opioids during Peterborough County traffic stop: OPP

An Ajax, Ont., man faces drug and driving charges following a traffic stop in Peterborough County on Monday night.

According to Peterborough County OPP, around 9 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle for a Highway Traffic Act offence along Highway 28 in North Kawartha Township.

The investigation determined the man was suspended from driving and in possession of illicit drugs.

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James Ryan, 31, of Ajax, was arrested and charged with possession of a Schedule I substance (opioid), driving while under suspension, driving with a hand-held communication device, driving with cannabis readily available and two counts of failure to comply with a release order.

He was released and is scheduled to appear in court in Peterborough on Sept. 9.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Wolfe Island shuttle collision sends multiple people to hospital with minor injuries: OPP

OPP say four people were sent to hospital after a Wolfe Island shuttle bus got into a crash Tuesday afternoon.

Police received information about a crash between a shuttle bus and farm equipment around 1:30 p.m.

Frontenac paramedics say a crop sprayer and the Dawson Point-Marysville shuttle bus collided, resulting in the injuries of four people, none of which were life-threatening.

The crash happened on the Island.

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Vehicle pileup on Wolfe Island leaves teenager in critical condition: OPP

The ferry was delayed in order for Frontenac Paramedics to transport the patients from Kingston.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

COVID-19 is surging in American kids. Here's what Canadian parents need to know

Health experts continue to sound the alarm on a possible fourth wave of COVID-19, as the more contagious Delta variant spreads in parts of Canada. As Caryn Lieberman reports, there are serious concerns about how it will hit Canada's unvaccinated population, many of which will be children.

After months of stalling vaccination efforts south of the border, multiple states and hospitals are now reporting spikes in COVID-19 among American kids ahead of the back-to-school season this fall and amid a Delta variant surge.

States like Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas are battling a rising tide of children testing positive for COVID-19 and needing hospitalization as well as breathing support in some cases.

Officials are pointing to a lack of vaccination in both eligible children and the broader population — who can reduce a child’s risk of exposure if fully vaccinated themselves — as well as the highly contagious Delta variant as key factors in the spike in children needing care.

The Delta variant is now also the main circulating variant of the virus in many parts of Canada and experts say a jump in infections in kids here remains a possibility if a fourth wave builds up strength this fall.

“Will we see more hospitalizations overall in the coming weeks and months? I have no doubt. Will that be reflected in pediatrics? Probably,” said Dr. Jesse Papenburg, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with McGill University.

“But right now I wouldn’t say that there’s any cause for alarm at this point.”

Children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for any of the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada or the U.S., or similar countries.

Public health officials have cautioned repeatedly over recent months as overall vaccination rates climb that COVID-19 is increasingly becoming a disease of the unvaccinated — and that includes children poised to head back into classrooms throughout the fall and winter.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said on Tuesday that all available evidence so far indicates Canada is at the start of a “Delta-driven fourth wave” that will primarily hit young people.

“We expect cases to be concentrated largely in younger unvaccinated people,” she said, cautioning that a surge and any potential spread to older people could still stress health-care systems.

Dr. Steve Flindall, an emergency room physician in Toronto, offered similar thoughts.

“I think schools are going to be the front lines of this next wave,” he said.

What exactly that will look like, though, remains unclear.

Read more:
Ontario government releases guidance for return of in-person classes at province’s schools

There’s no clear evidence so far to suggest the Delta variant causes more severe symptoms in children.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the variant is “likely more severe” in adults than previous variants, but that has not been extended to children and researchers have cautioned that even that assessment still needs to be backed up with more data.

Where the data is clear is around the fact that the Delta variant is significantly more infectious than previous variants and that infected people carry a much higher load of the virus in their nose and throats — a pattern documented even in vaccinated people.

Papenburg said as cases rise overall, so can severe outcomes among the unvaccinated.

“I can’t say that the Delta variant will cause more severe disease than other COVID infections in kids,” he explained. “But the concern here is that because you’re going to have more cases, because it is a more transmissible virus, you’re going to wind up seeing the tip of the iceberg — the most severe cases –occurring more frequently.

Read more:
Does Delta COVID-19 variant make you sicker? Doctors probing amid ‘wildfire’ spread

Three of the country’s leading pediatric hospitals told Global News that unlike U.S. hospitals, they are not seeing any increase in either hospitalization numbers or severity of symptoms among children.

“SickKids has not observed an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations or disease severity among children in recent months,” said Sarah Warr, spokesperson for the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Patrick Moore, spokesperson for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), said the same.

“We are not seeing an increase here, thankfully,” Moore noted.

A spokesperson for Alberta Health Services offered similar comments about the Alberta Children’s Hospital, noting staff there have not documented any increase in hospitalized children or severity.

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Muskoka overnight camp temporarily shut down due to COVID-19 outbreak

Their comments come after an outbreak of COVID-19 among campers forced a closure of the Muskoka Woods summer camp in Ontario’s cottage country over the weekend, and after data from Alberta in the late spring and early summer that suggested children were making up a growing portion of cases.

According to the Alberta data, those under the age of 18 made up roughly 20 per cent of cases in March, roughly 33 per cent of cases in May and as of June, were leading the province for new infections.

So what does it all mean for parents weighing sending kids back to school?

Ontario on Tuesday released hotly awaited guidance for the return to classrooms, focusing on  requiring masking, cohorting students, social distancing, and improving ventilation. Vaccines will not be required.

Alberta is set to release guidance later this month while B.C. has said it is dropping cohorting and expects a return to “near-normal” at schools this fall.

Papenburg said there are clear benefits for kids being back in school and that there will be risks that come along with that. How they balance out though, he said, is part of what everyone will be watching.

He pointed to the challenging mental health impact of prolonged distance learning, and said there are measures schools can take to try to reduce the risks as much as possible — things like enforcing masks, improving ventilation and making sure students are social distancing, even during meals.

“I think we need to see it as a positive thing that we can send our kids to school and it’s going to bring benefits to them,” he said. “Will there be associated risks because of community transmission of COVID-19? There will be, and we’ll see how those risks are managed once cases start to increase.

“We know that there’s not one magic bullet for preventing COVID-19 transmission in schools.”

—With files from Global’s Abigail Bimman and Caryn Lieberman.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Flights to resume at Kelowna International Airport

Operations are expected to resume at Kelowna International Airport on Tuesday afternoon after scores of flights were cancelled because of a regional wildfire.

Estimated at 32,500 hectares, the White Rock Lake wildfire is burning nowhere near Kelowna. As the crow flies, it’s around 45 km northwest, near the small community of Westwold.

However, on Sunday afternoon, the BC Wildfire Service increased the no-fly zone vicinity, which wreaked havoc on the airport.

Read more:
40 flights cancelled at Kelowna International Airport due to a B.C. wildfire no-fly zone

The City of Kelowna says flights are expected to resume at 3 p.m.

“YLW, working with the BC Wildfire Service, Nav Canada and Transport Canada have established interim measures to allow instrument approaches and departures to resume,” said Phillip Elchitz, senior operations manager for YLW.

“We expect aircraft operations to restart service later this afternoon, around 3.pm.”

On Monday, Elchitz said the no-fly zone was moved up to 10,000 feet above sea level, which affected instrument approaches to the airport.

Elchitz noted that, “as with any adverse weather situation, this one continues to evolve. We understand the inconvenience to travellers and appreciate everyone’s patience.”

Travellers are reminded to check in with their airline for the most up-to-date flight information before coming to the airport.

With files from Shelby Thom

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Man in critical condition following downtown assault: London, Ont. police

A man is in critical condition in hospital and police in London, Ont., say officers are investigating a serious assault downtown and appealing to the public for information.

Police say they were called to Richmond and Kent streets just after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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The victim was transported to hospital where he was listed in critical condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

Police have not provided any information about a suspect or suspects or how the victim sustained his injuries, aside from describing the incident as a serious assault.

Anyone with information about this incident if asked by police to contact them at (519) 661-5670 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

British navy warns of 'potential hijack' of ship off United Arab Emirates coast

WATCH: Mauritius oil spill: Experts fear catastrophic ecological disaster

The British navy warned Tuesday of a “potential hijack” of a ship off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf of Oman, without elaborating.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers and as commercial shipping in the region has found itself caught in the crosshairs. Most recently, the U.S., the U.K. and Israel have blamed Iran for a drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman that killed two people. Iran has denied involvement.

The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations initially warned ships Tuesday that “an incident is currently underway” off the coast of Fujairah. Hours later, they said the incident was a “potential hijack,” but provided no further details.

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Shipping authority Lloyd’s List and maritime intelligence firm Dryad Global both identified the vessel involved as Panama-flagged asphalt tanker Asphalt Princess. The vessel’s owner, listed as Emirati free zone-based Glory International, could not immediately be reached for comment late Tuesday.

The U.S. military’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet and the British Defense Ministry did not immediately return calls for comment. The Emirati government did not immediately acknowledge the incident.

Earlier, six oil tankers announced around the same time via their Automatic Identification System trackers that they were “not under command,” according to MarineTraffic.com. That typically means a vessel has lost power and can no longer steer.

“At the same time, if they are in the same vicinity and in the same place, then very rarely that happens,” said Ranjith Raja, an oil and shipping expert with data firm Refintiv. “Not all the vessels would lose their engines or their capability to steer at the same time.”

One of the vessels later began moving.

An Oman Royal Air Force Airbus C-295MPA, a maritime patrol aircraft, flew in circles for hours over the waters, according to data from FlightRadar24.com.

Apparently responding to the incident, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called the recent maritime attacks in the Persian Gulf “completely suspicious.” He denied that Iran was involved.

“Iran’s naval forces are ready for help and rescue in the region,” Khatibzadeh said.

Read more:
Migrants arrive in Malta after hijacking tanker that rescued them

The event comes just days after a drone struck an oil tanker linked to an Israeli billionaire off the coast of Oman, killing two crew members. The West blamed Iran for the attack, which marked the first known assault to have killed civilians in the yearslong shadow war targeting commercial vessels in the region.

Iran denied playing any role in the incident, though Tehran and its allied militias have used similar “suicide” drones in past attacks.

Israel, the United States and United Kingdom vowed a “collective response” to the attack, without elaborating.

The Gulf of Oman is near the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a fifth of all oil passes. Fujairah, on the UAE’s eastern coast, is a main port in the region for ships to take on new oil cargo, pick up supplies or trade out crew.

For the past two years, the waters off Fujairah have seen a series of explosions and hijackings. The U.S. Navy blamed Iran for a series of limpet mine attacks on vessels that damaged tankers.

In July 2019, Iran seized the British-flagged Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz as it was headed from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas to Dubai. The raid came after authorities in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, seized an Iranian supertanker carrying $130 million in crude oil on suspicion it was breaking European Union sanctions by taking the oil to Syria. Both vessels were later released.

Last year, an oil tanker sought by the U.S. over allegedly circumventing sanctions on Iran was hijacked off the Emirati coast in July, following months of tensions between Iran and the U.S. The vessel and its crew ended up in Iran, though Tehran never acknowledged the incident.

And in January, armed Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops stormed a South Korean tanker and forced the ship to change course and travel to Iran. While Iran insisted it stopped the ship for polluting, it came as Tehran sought to increase its leverage over Seoul ahead of negotiations over billions of dollars in Iranian assets frozen in South Korean banks.

___

Associated Press writer Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Faculty association calling for mandatory vaccination at Manitoba post-secondary schools

WATCH: The Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations wants to see mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies for students and staff returning to universities in-person.

If you’re headed back to a university campus in Manitoba this fall, there’s a local organization hoping it’ll be mandatory for you to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 first.

Scott Forbes of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations (MOFA) told Global News that he’d like to see mandatory vaccinations set up as a rule for all of the province’s post-secondary institutions, and that doing so shouldn’t present any legal employment issues.

MOFA, which is made up of representatives from the University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba, Brandon University and Université de St. Boniface, passed a unanimous motion calling for the move.

Read more:
COVID-19 vaccine hurdles await international students eyeing campus life in Canada

“I’ve been reading, voraciously, legal opinions on this and it’s quite within the rights of governments and institutions to set restrictions based on public health considerations,” Forbes said.

Forbes said more than 400 colleges and universities south of the border have implemented similar rules, and that there are similar campaigns happening in Ontario, with the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association calling for a vaccine mandate, and Seneca College the first Canadian college to require vaccinations for all in-person activities.

Seneca’s president, David Agnew, told Global News earlier this month that the decision to restrict admission to vaccinated students and staff was an obvious decision in light of the pandemic.

“As we’re able to come back more and reopen more, it just seemed honestly like the right thing to do and the logical thing to do given how much emphasis both our government but also, of course, more importantly probably, our public health leaders are putting on getting the vaccines,” he said.

“We’re not forcing anybody, actually. We actually not making vaccines mandatory. We’re saying if you want to come on campus, you must be vaccinated.”

Read more:
Seneca College students, staff required to have COVID-19 vaccines in order to be on campus

Forbes said the vaccine requirements shouldn’t be much of an issue in this province, given that Manitobans have had experience — at least until the forthcoming changes to public health restrictions this weekend — needing shots to attend restaurants indoors, or movie theatres.

“In a university classroom, you go to one classroom, and then 15 minutes later you go to another one, and then 15 minutes later you go to another one,” he said.

“I would argue that movie theatres have substantially better ventilation systems than the antiquated HVAC systems at most of our universities with decades-old buildings.”

The University of Manitoba’s Jason Kindrachuk, an assistant professor of viral pathogenesis, said the success of vaccines against COVID-19 means it’s a reasonable precaution for schools to take.

“MOFA’s call for mandatory vaccination follows the resounding success vaccinations have had in our fight against COVID-19,” he said.

“I hope that by calling for this approach with time before the beginning of the term that our administrations and provincial government can take a science-based approach as they support of universities in the return to in-person learning.”

MOFA said there are still wrinkles that need to be ironed out with their proposal, including the need for plans for those who are medically unable to get the shot, as well as a grace period for international students who may not have had the opportunity yet.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Okanagan wildfires: Evacuation order for Two Mile Road wildfire rescinded

An evacuation order for the Two Mile Road wildfire that’s burning near Sicamous, B.C., has been rescinded.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District issued the downgrade on Tuesday. The order had been affecting 32 properties within the District of Sicamous.

Located just two kilometres south of Sicamous, the fire is estimated at 1,200 hectares and is classified as out of control.

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The properties now on evacuation alert include:

  • all properties within the District of Sicamous to the south of the Trans-Canada Highway, south of Stadnicki Road and east of the Sicamous Narrows and Mara Lake.
  • areas east of Highway 97A south to and including the community of Swansea Point.

According to BC Wildfire, the blaze is moving in a northeast direction, up and away from town.

“Rank 2-plus fire behaviour primarily observed above the community; however, the fire has not seen wind for nine days,” said BC Wildfire.

“Although precipitation is in the forecast, winds may become a challenge if it changes the direction of the fire.”

Fifty-nine firefighters, three helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment are battling the fire. Also assisting are crews from the Sicamous and Swansea fire departments.

Below is a list of other wildfires of note throughout the Okanagan, Shuswap, Similkameen, Boundary and West Kootenay regions:

Brenda Creek

More than 30 firefighters are still battling this wildfire, which was discovered on July 14.

Located around 40 kilometres west of West Kelowna, south of the Okanagan Connector, the fire size at 824 hectares has remained unchanged for days.

Three helicopters and 12 pieces of heavy equipment are also battling the blaze.

On Sunday, the fire received 1-2 millimetres of scattered rain.

BC Wildfire says while that helped, conditions are forecast to return to being warm and dry over. The BCWS also said there were strong winds recently, but fire guards and crews have held the perimeter successfully.

An evacuation order issued on July 15 by the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) remains in effect for Electoral Area H.

An evacuation alert also remains in place for Eneas Lakes, Pennask lake, Trepanier and Pennask Creek provincial parks.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) has also issued an evacuation alert for 18 properties, three recreational camping areas and Crown land within West Electoral Area, south of Highway 97C and northwest of Peachland.

Bunting Road

Located 41 kilometres north of Lumby, this fire is estimated at 4,932 hectares and is classified as out of control.

Eight firefighters and two helicopters are battling the blaze, which received a good amount of rain on Sunday.

However, visibility is poor due to wildfire smoke and the helicopters have been grounded.

BC Wildfire says crews have reported seeing people drive past closures into the active fire area, “creating a safety hazard not only to themselves but also to the responders in this active worksite.”

An evacuation order for 66 properties along Mabel Lake Forest Service Road (10,000 block to 17,000 block) is still in effect. The road is closed between the 14 and 40-kilometre marks.

Also, an expanded evacuation alert for the 3,000 to 6,000 block of Mabel Lake FSR is also still in effect.

Visit the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) for more information.

Crazy Creek Gorge FSR

This lightning-caused fire is located around 29 kilometres north of Sicamous and is estimated at 2,446 hectares.

It’s classified as being out of control, and is burning on a high, north-facing slope in a remote location.

BC Wildfire says Rank 4 and Rank 5 behaviour has been seen, and due to thick smoke and close to zero visibility, it hasn’t been able to update the fire’s size. However, it will try to do so using satellite imagery.

Last week, the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District issued an evacuation order for the communities of Queest Village and Pete Martin Bay.

Garrison Lake

Located 33 kilometres southwest of Princeton, this wildfire is estimated at 8,175 hectares and is classified as out of control.

BC Wildfire says rain on Sunday lessened fire behaviour, but that aggressive fire behaviour is occurring due to heavy winds.

“The fire is within close proximity of the highway, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is continuing to assess Highway 3 for risks to public safety,” said BC Wildfire.

An evacuation alert (affecting one property) and an evacuation order (affecting many properties) are in effect for the Kennedy Lake area.

BC Wildfire says due to visibility issues from smoke, an accurate size of the fire perimeter is not available.

“We have notified BC Parks about this fire as it has moved slightly into E.C. Manning Park, and BC Parks has issued a partial closure of E.C. Manning Park as a result,” said BC Wildfire.

Hunakwa Lake

This fire is estimated at 2,700 hectares and is located around nine kilometres southeast of Seymour Arm.

It is classified as out of control, and 27 firefighters and two helicopters are battling the blaze.

The fire received around three millimetres of rain on Sunday, which helped calm it down, but BC Wildfire says the size has been difficult to estimate because of smoke, which has also grounded the helicopters.

An evacuation order is in effect for part of Seymour Arm (Tranquility Bay and properties east of Seymour Arm Bay Road at Bughouse Bay, including Tipman Road and Bradley Road and boat-in only properties).

Michaud Creek

This fire is estimated at 8,847 hectares and is burning south of Edgewood, along the west shore of Lower Arrow Lake.

BC Wildfire says the area received three millimetres of rain overnight, and that cooler temperature plus increased humidity have improved burnable surface fuels.

However, it says larger fuels and deep soil remain highly combustible and would need significant rainfall to improve conditions.

Still, BC Wildfire says crews made good progress on the north control line, and the objective is to prevent it from growing that way.

The south flank and the north flank of the Renata Creek wildfire have been mostly inaccessible for aircraft to smoke conditions, but it is being monitored by satellite imagery.

Seventy-six firefighters are battling the blaze, as are five helicopters and 20 pieces of heavy equipment.

On Tuesday, the Regional District of Central Kootenay removed an evacuation alert for the wildfire.

Nk’Mip Creek

This fire, located near Osoyoos, is now estimated at 16,005 hectares, up recently from 13,000 hectares.

BC Wildfire says the increase is due to several days of fire growth following days of crews being unable to map it because of wildfire smoke.

“Conditions have returned to a drying trend with relative minimum humidity at 25 per cent and daily high temperature of 30 degrees,” BC Wildfire said on Tuesday.

“Winds are expected to be variable 5-15 km/h in the morning and southwest 10-20 km/h by the afternoon.”

One hundred and 86 firefighters are on scene, as are six helicopters and 24 pieces of heavy equipment.

The fire has prompted several evacuation orders and restrictions from the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

There is also an area restriction order that was issued on July 24.

Octopus Creek

Located around 11 kilometres south of Fauquier, the fire is estimated at 18,337 hectares.

Like the Michaud Creek wildfire, this fire received three millimetres of rain.

And on Tuesday, the Regional District of Central Kootenay reduced a portion of an evacuation order for Fauquier to an evacuation alert.

Sixteen properties south of the approximate 15.5 km mark on Applegrove Road will remain on evacuation order, while 152 properties will be reduced to an evacuation alert.

“This reduction to an alert means residents can return to their properties, but must be prepared to leave on short notice should conditions change,” said the regional district.

Eighty-two firefighters and five helicopters plus 12 pieces of heavy equipment are battling the blaze.

Thomas Creek

This fire is located around three kilometres northeast of Okanagan Falls.

It is estimated at 10,280 hectares and is classified as out of control.

On Monday night, the fire grew on the southeast corner, where crews are now working to establish containment and tie the escape back into fireguards.

“Active fire behaviour and growth continues to be observed along the north flank in the Derenzy and McLean Clan Lake area,” BC Wildfire said on Tuesday.

“The new size estimate reflects the growth observed in these areas. This growth did not impact the control objectives set out for this flank of the fire.”

BC Wildfire says weather conditions have returned to a drying trend with relative minimum humidity at 25 per cent and daily high temperature of 30 C.

Winds are expected to be variable 5-15 km/h in the morning and southwest 10-20 km/h by the afternoon.

Twenty-seven firefighters are on scene, as are 34 military personnel, three helicopters and 23 pieces of heavy equipment.

A total of 724 properties are under an evacuation alert, while another eight are under an evacuation order.

Three Valley Lake

Located around 18 kilometres southwest of Revelstoke, this fire is estimated at 500 hectares, up from 309 hectares.

BC Wildfire says the fire is showing Rank 1 and Rank 2 behaviour to the south, and is slightly more aggressive to the north.

It also said rocks dislodging from steep cliffs on the east side of Three Valley Gap are causing a safety hazard.

An evacuation order is in effect for Three Valley Lake, including the area bordering the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway.

An evacuation alert is in effect for two properties west of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Sixteen firefighters are battling the blaze.

White Rock Lake

This out-of-control fire is located around 34 kilometres north of Vernon, near the small community of Westwold, and is estimated at 32,500 hectares.

BC Wildfire says there were variable amounts of precipitation over the past 48 hours, but given the current drought conditions, the minimal precipitation provided only a short reprieve.

A weak southwest flow will bring drier, warmer air back to the region, which will quickly dry out forest fuels. For Tuesday afternoon, winds will be southwest 10-20 km/h, easing down into the evening with temperature highs near 30 degrees.

There are several evacuation alerts and orders in effect because of the fire which can be seen on the following area websites:

One hundred and 36 firefighters, 99 of which are from Quebec, 11 helicopters and 42 pieces of heavy equipment are battling the blaze.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Dartmouth, N.S. massage therapist charged with another sexual assault

A massage therapist from Dartmouth, N.S., who was convicted of a violent sexual assault in June has been charged with another sexual assault.

In a statement, Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Const. John MacLeod said members of the police force’s sexual assault investigation team arrested Trevor Jordan Stevens, 34, on Tuesday.

Read more:
Nova Scotia massage therapist found guilty of violent sexual assault

“On April 12, 2021, police received a report of a sexual assault that had occurred in Dartmouth by a massage therapist during appointments,” said MacLeod. “As a result of the investigation, SAIT members arrested the man today.”

The alleged incidents happened between 2017 and 2019. Stevens was scheduled to appear in Halifax provincial court on Tuesday to face one count each of sexual assault and aggravated assault.

“Out of respect and concern for the victim’s privacy and wellbeing, we are not releasing any further details regarding the incident,” the statement said.

Second sexual assault charge

In June, Stevens was found guilty of sexual assault, assault, overcoming resistance by attempting to choke, suffocate or strangle another person, and one count of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

The offence happened in January 2013 at Stevens’ home in Dartmouth, which is also where he operated his massage practice. Stevens was charged in 2018.

Stevens was a member of the Massage Therapists’ Association of Nova Scotia and his membership was suspended in late May after the association learned of the charges against him.

Stevens is due in court for a sentencing hearing in that case on Nov. 26.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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