Green belt where encampment was found is just metres from house of Joanne Mitchell’s friend. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge residents clean up fire pit

Spend the weekend hauling out trash from Cottonwood area

While the city continues the long process of closing Anita Place Tent City, residents in the Cottonwood area are worried their homes could be destroyed as a result of campfires in a nearby ravine.

A handful of residents cleared out a small camp on Cottonwood Drive, just south of 119th Avenue, on the weekend, something that Susan Einarsson says should have been done by the city bylaws department.

She lives in a townhouse next to the wooded area, where a small camp was found by other residents. She joined the cleanup effort after seeing other residents’ plans on Facebook.

She called the bylaws department, but didn’t get any information.

Einarsson said that the amount of drug paraphernalia found at the site was “shocking,” and said there was evidence of one campfire and three other areas where fires were started, although the reasons for that are not certain.

“You can imagine if a fire took off there at night. This was well beyond, ‘Hey we’re offended.’ This is our lives, and our property and our homes on the line.

Einarsson is a videographer and broadcast journalist and voluntarily produced a video where she interviewed Mayor Michael Morden about the issue of homelessness this past spring. She said she told Morden that TV crews were on the way to the site on the weekend.

Morden said Tuesday that “camps have been popping up periodically all over the city.”

He added that Maple Ridge is “doing far more than our share of housing per capita and cannot properly resource all these people with this level of complex needs.”

On Monday, a bylaw crew hauled away the remainder of the refuse.

Maple Ridge fire chief Howard Exner said Monday that “we haven’t had a noticeable increase,” in the number of calls to put out fires in the bushes around Maple Ridge.

 

Joanne Mitchell helped clean up camp site off Cottonwood Drive on the weekend. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Just Posted

Rental, condo supply grows in Maple Ridge

More projects planned for downtown

Feds chip in $702k to kickstart new daycare program

Will provide 462 new spaces in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Man charged in 2018 hit-and-run in Maple Ridge

Michael Howard Thomas was charged on July 19 in provincial court

Pride flags stolen from Maple Ridge church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Golden Ears United reverend

Whonnock man tried but could not save victim of Maple Ridge fire

Michel Lefebvre was among many who attempted to enter the burning building

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Man arrested after allegedly attacking people with syringe in Burnaby mall

Police say that no one has yet to come forward with injuries consistent with needle stab wounds

Limited-stop RapidBus service to roll out in Metro Vancouver starting January 2020

TransLink announced five routes that connect 11 communities

Horgan hints at Daylight Saving Time changes after record survey response

More than 223,000 online surveys were submitted in the government’s public consultation

Memorial park bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in Kitsilano, for now

Vancouver Park Board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of B.C. couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

Most Read