Routine forestry blasting rattles campers

Some campers got a start from explosions used during logging road construction on Aug. 27.

A massive lightning strike? A plane crash?

A loud boom in the Akolkolex area on Aug. 27 was enough to make some campers call into authorities, who could be heard radioing coordinates about and following up on the calls. The Times Review took a bike ride past the RCMP and Revelstoke SAR office to see if they were saddling up for something. Nothing but crickets.

A day later on the morning of Aug. 28, the Revelstoke RCMP spokesperson said police weren’t hunting for any missing aircraft — or dealing with any breaking incidents besides a truck in the ditch near Rogers Pass.

It turns out the boom came from a road-building crew operating seven kilometres up the Akolkolex forest service road. They were building an access road to a B.C. Timber Sales cutblock using explosives.

Ministry of Forests Compliance and Enforcement supervisor Gerald Hills said everything was permitted and above board. “It was a surface blast, which is normally quite a lot louder,” explained Hills — drilled blasts are quieter. He also speculated the location added to the acoustics, noting it was just across the Columbia from Blanket Creek, where some campers were a little rattled.

 

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