A loud boom and smoke sightings near Montrose resulted in multiple 9-1-1 calls to Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue early Monday morning. (Trail Times file photo)

Beaver Valley startled by earth shaking boom early Monday

Calls to 9-1-1 began around 8 a.m. following a loud boom and smoke near Montrose early Monday.

Calls flooded into regional fire rescue early Monday morning with reports of an alarmingly loud boom and smoke near Montrose.

Beaver Valley residents were awoken by the thunderous sound at around 8 a.m., when it resounded across the vale from the direction of a range known locally as Blizzard Mountain.

Fortunately, the big bang was not an emergency – a local rock drilling and blasting company was making way for a new logging road.

“We had multiple 9-1-1 calls for an explosion and smoke in the Blizzard Mountain area,” confirmed Fire Chief Dan Derby. “This is the second time we’ve responded, last Thursday there was similar reporting of an explosion.”

By the time fire crews neared the area last week, the smoke had dissipated, so the circumstances remained an unknown.

“Today, we were able to confirm this is the result of a contractor doing some blasting, but we were not notified ahead of time in regard to these activities,” Derby said. “This morning we had multiple calls of smoke sightings and we responded based on the information provided … we send the resources we need to because it’s a reported fire and we don’t know until we get more information that it’ s not a fire.”

Montrose residents should take note there’ll likely be more loud booms as road construction continues.

“We are going to be conducting blasting operations up there for awhile,” Chris Sherbinin from K C Drilling and Blasting told the Trail Times. “What’s happening is we are building a logging road, and when they hit rock, we have to blast it.

“So it’s somewhat predictable but it’s not 100 per cent.”

Blasting times are under restriction, such as on Monday, those operations had to wind up by 1 p.m.

“What we are doing now is developing a list of people that we are going to call before we blast, that way we don’t have that type of emergency response, ” Sherbinin said. “I guess it startled the community, and with all the incidents of fire going on throughout the province, everybody is on heightened awareness.”