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  • Lytton Wildfire Not Caused by Passing Train, Investigation Concludes

    The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has concluded its investigation into allegations the the wildfire that devastated the town of Lytton BC was sparked by a passing Canadian National train. Shortly after the fire people came forward alleging they saw evidence of fire near the rails just minutes before the BC town of Lytton BC was engulfed in flames. TSB report conclusions: "The TSB investigation has not identified any link between railway operations and the fire. Further effort, beyond a Class 5 TSB investigation, is not warranted unless new information establishes that a TSB reportable event (i.e. an accident or incident involving rolling stock) occurred. The wildfire remains under investigation by BC Wildfire Service. The RCMP are conducting a preliminary inquiry to determine the need for a parallel criminal investigation." Many residents of Lytton are skeptical of the reports conclusions. They say the TSB never consulted any of the townspeople who allege they witnessed the fire's ignition. They point to allegations the wildfire was first reported "near the Canadian National (CN) right-of-way in the vicinity of Mile 98.14 of the CN Ashcroft Subdivision, just west of the town of Lytton," (TSB). A resident of Lytton has started a class-action suit against the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways alleging CN or CP rail caused or contributed to the wildfire. In Canada you are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.

  • The Housefly

    Throughout history, the Housefly has followed humans all over the world. There are over 150 thousand species of fly, only a few are considered pests. The housefly as we know it today appear to have branched off the fly family tree around 50 million or so years ago. Adult flies are gray or black, have slightly hairy bodies, a single pair of wings and red eyes. The eyes are set farther apart in the slightly larger female. Female houseflies mate only once. She stores the sperm laying eggs in batches of about 100. Decaying food or feces is a favorite place for the female fly to lay her eggs. She will lay half a dozen batches of eggs. In about a day the eggs hatch into small white larvae known as a maggots. In less than two weeks you have a new housefly. Several days later the female fly is capable of reproducing repeating the cycle. Adult flies normally live for two to four weeks, but can hibernate during the winter. Flies feed on liquid or semi-liquid substances. They also eat solid materials which they soften using their regurgitated saliva. Because flies eat decaying food and feces they often carry disease carrying pathogens on their bodies and feces. The fly spreads those pathogens, contaminating food and causing illness in humans. Research published by an international team of scientists puts flies and mosquitos into the same branch of the evolutionary tree. According to the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the mosquito and the housefly likely have a common ancestor. The split happened over 200 million years ago. Dr David Yeates from CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences: “The mosquito, March fly and common house fly are everyday members of these bursts of evolution, which occurred during unstable periods of Earth’s history when dramatic environmental change created new habitats for these ‘experimental’ flies." There are 150 thousand species of fly, that accounts for 10% of all known species

  • Okanagan Indian Band Starts GoFundMe Campaign to Restore Fire Losses

    The White Rock Lake fire that destroyed numerous homes and caused immeasurable grief may be extinguished but for many the hardship hasn't ended People have not only lost homes, businesses, farms and equipment have also been destroyed by the wildfire. The Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) has started a GoFundMe campaign to help members and residents on their territory rebuild their lives. Last July and August over 1000 people on OKIB land were forced to leave their homes, some for weeks . Thirty-five people, their homes destroyed, have nothing to return to. The OKIB has also lost thousands of acres of forests, hunting grounds and ceremonial lands. A number of the losses are uninsured, and the cultural significance of many possessions are of immeasurable value. People are coming forward offering financial help. To better organize the effort the Band has started a GoFundMe campaign. The goal is $50,000 by November 15th but much more is needed.

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