Elk Valley trails above Fernie. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Five call-outs in a week: Summer recreation in full swing as temps rise

Fernie SAR is reminding locals to be careful on the trails

It’s going to be a hot weekend – and a hot week after, so there will be a lot of folks out and about enjoying the weather and taking advantage of summer.

In Fernie, the local Search and Rescue team has responded to five calls to trail injuries in just the last week, but the head of Fernie SAR, Simon Piney said that was “reasonably typical for this area once people get out and about on the trails.”

“The thing to remember is a lot of our trails are close to town, and they give a false sense of security sometimes,” he said.

“Just because you can see town, doesn’t mean the trails are especially safe – it can still be difficult to get someone off a steep trail in a wooded area,” he said, encouraging those recreating around Fernie to always pack provisions just in case they have to wait for rescuers to come and get them.

With temperatures forecast to soar into the 30s, folks getting out about should pack plenty of water, wear a hat and seek out shade – and then there’s the water, which Piney said folks should stay diligent around.

“Even on a hot day that water can be incredibly cold, and it never stops moving.”

Piney encouraged anyone that wanted to recreate on the river to be careful given the visibility of floaty toys for adults and children.

“People need to be aware … they can get in trouble quickly.”

So far, Piney said Fernie SAR had thankfully received no calls to do with the river.

SAR messaging remains the same over the next few days: If you get in trouble, call 911 and call it quickly, be ready with a description of where you are (and be sure to mention backcountry or trails if you are outside of town), and be prepared to wait given the terrain and the safety of the rescuers themselves.

Meanwhile, weekend recreation seekers are being warned away from going swimming in Fernie’s Maiden Lake, after the City of Fernie posted a swim warning on Facebook on Friday, saying that high levels of E.coli were discovered during routine testing.

“A contaminated sample is suspected to be the cause of the results,” reads a city release. “Further testing will follow on Monday when labs are open for processing.”

Temperatures on Monday will also be quite high, with forecasts in the upper 30s.

READ MORE: Warm temperatures soar as heat wave blankets the Kootenays

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