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More from Roger Richardson on the fire near spotted lake this afternoon:
“I returned to the scene a few minutes ago and the smoldering had increased in one area and there were several other spots as well. Two forestry vehicles are there observing the area. The fire was in a long strip covering about three acres.”
No details yet on how the fire started.
This was the scene around 1:00 p.m. today just east of Spotted Lake on Highway 3.
The car caught fire and this spread to the sagebrush along the road. The fire had spread a block west with heavy smoke covering the road. The Osoyoos fire department had a small vehicle on the scene along with the RCMP.
Around 3:00 P.M. some areas were still smoldering.
Photos and story submitted by Roger Richardson
Bird lovers are encouraged to help protect bird populations and prevent the spread of infectious diseases through the regular cleaning of birdfeeders and birdbaths.
During spring, many small migratory songbirds are returning home from winter retreats to the south. Species such as pine siskins, redpolls and grosbeaks are commonly found in large flocks at this time of year. This can result in high-density congregations of birds around birdfeeders and water sources such as birdbaths.
While this is a wonderful opportunity for birders, the increased density of the birds as well as the stress of weather and nutrition challenges can lead to the spread of serious and even fatal diseases among the birds, such as avian conjunctivitis, avian pox virus and salmonella bacterium. Some diseases not only threaten local bird populations, but can spread to pets and people handling infected birds or contaminated materials.
The public can help maintain bird health and prevent the spread of these diseases through a number of simple measures. The most important thing people can do is to clean their birdfeeders and birdbaths regularly. This should include replacing birdbath water every few days, and scrubbing and cleaning feeders and birdbaths as well as the area around them at least every couple of weeks. Other things bird lovers can do to help include:
- Spreading out multiple feeders to discourage crowding. Use smaller feeders that allow only one or two birds at a time, and that are made of plastic or metal, rather than wood.
- Keep the area under the feeders clean. Locating them above cement will make this task easier.
- If you see one or two diseased birds in your area, take your feeder down immediately and clean it.
- If you have more than three diseased birds in your area, encourage the birds to disperse for a while. Take your feeders down for a week or two, clean them well, and re-hang them.
- Consider letting your neighbours know so that they can take action too.
Identifying affected birds varies with the disease, but here are some common signs to look for:
- Birds with avian conjunctivitis have red, swollen, watery or crusted eyes, and may have trouble feeding. You may see them remaining on the ground near the feeder. This disease may be spread by feeders with small openings that birds rub the sides of their heads on.
- Birds with avian pox virus may have warty lesions on the unfeathered parts of their head, legs or feet.
- Birds with salmonella bacterium may be found dead or appear very tame and sit quietly for hours or days, often with their feathers fluffed out. Salmonella can easily spread to pets or humans and so strict hygiene should be enforced in these situations.
Earth Hour encourages people to conserve energy by turning off lights and electronics for one hour. British Columbians participating can celebrate the hour by having a candlelight dinner, talking to neighbours, stargazing, camping, playing board games — the possibilities are endless.
During last year’s Earth Hour, the province saved 65 megawatt hours of electricity and reduced the provincial electricity load by 1% — the equivalent of turning off about 1.4 million lights. The cities with the highest reduction in energy use were Whistler and Esquimalt with 6%. Last year, 69 B.C. communities, countless businesses and thousands of citizens took part in this 60-minute event.
Earth Hour has grown to become the world’s biggest mass participation event in history according to the World Wildlife Fund. This year, British Columbians will join their counterparts in six continents, 120 countries and 24 time zones in turning off their lights and powering down.
The World Wildlife Fund originated Earth Hour in Sydney, Australia in 2007. It is a worldwide grassroots movement uniting people to raise awareness around a broad range of environmental issues. Earth Hour began as a lights-off event and has grown over the past nine years to include more than 7,000 cities and towns worldwide.