Muni settles rope swing lawsuit 

Mayor warns community about high fire risk

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BC WILDFIRE BRANCH - Fire concern Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden reminded citizens to be vigilant about fire safety, especially with a wildfire in the Elaho Valley.
  • Photo courtesy of the BC Wildfire Branch
  • Fire concern Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden reminded citizens to be vigilant about fire safety, especially with a wildfire in the Elaho Valley.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler has settled a claim over injuries caused by the rope swing at the Meadow Park Sports Centre.

But that's not the reason why the rope swing has been removed from the centre for good.

"... there were challenges in having it certified in order to receive the required operating permit issued by Vancouver Coastal Health," said municipal communications manager Michele Comeau.

"Up until recently it was unclear that the rope swing required a specific permit beyond the overall facility permit from VCH."

The swing was removed one year ago.

Comeau could not comment on the details of the rope swing settlement. The Municipal Insurance Association handled the claim.

The matter came before the Supreme Court of Canada in May 2013 when Vancouver resident Carol Crichton outlined her reasons for suing the municipality in a civil claim.

She said in July 2011 she attempted to jump into the pool using the rope swing.

"Upon entering the water her feet hit the bottom of the pool resulting in injury... as a result of the negligence of the Defendant Resort Municipality of Whistler and/or breach of statutory duty of the Defendant, Resort Municipality of Whistler and his servants and agents."

According to the claim, Crichton suffered injuries to her feet, ankles, hips, and her back and was looking for general damages, interest and costs.

Removing the rope swing has created more space for lane swimming and the municipality has also added more floating toys for kids.

Mayor reminds public to be vigilant of fires

With a forest fire burning in the Elaho Valley northwest of Whistler, and no end in sight to the non-stop sunshine, Whistler's mayor is reminding residents and guests about the fire hazard.

"We've got an elevated fire risk," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden during her mayor's report at Tuesday's council meeting, June 23.

"Be vigilant about fires, about disposing of cigarette butts."

No campfires are allowed right now, she reminded the public, as the forest rating is high.

The Elaho wildfire is expected to grow with the hot and dry conditions in the forecast.

The fire was discovered on Sunday, June 14 and has grown to an estimated 700 hectares.

The Wildfire Management Branch has determined that the wildfire was caused by lightning.

It is 40 per cent contained in very steep and inaccessible terrain, in thick forest.

The fire has moved through the area where the Elaho Giant — believed to be Canada's third largest Douglas fir — is located. The fire did burn intensely at the base of the tree. Firefighters are working hard to cool hotspots near the Giant's roots.

The thick protective bark, characteristic of Douglas firs, makes the tree more resilient to fire damage.

While the surface of the Elaho Giant is black at the lower base, the tree still stands and some green needles remain — the concern now is for any damage to the roots.

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