Fernie Search and Rescue

Welcome to Fernie Search and Rescue

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Fernie Search and Rescue is a not for profit volunteer organization dedicated to assist those individuals who find themselves in emergency situations. Fernie SAR's inception dates back to the early 70's when several individuals formed a loosely organized group. In 1993 the group was reorganised to become an official society and over the years has completed numerous tasks.

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  1. To organize and operate a volunteer search and rescue group in the Kootenay region of British Columbia.
  2. To train and arrange for training of volunteers in search and rescue operations.
  3. To provide support and assistance to other organizations with similar purposes in the form of manpower and equipment on a loan basis for training purposes as required.
  4. To promote awareness and skills in outdoor and wilderness safety to the public.
  5. To provide training and education in outdoor and wilderness safety to the public.
  6. To organize and conduct actual searches and rescue operations as may from time to time be required.
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Geographical area

Fernie SAR covers a significant portion of south eastern British Columbia, with a considerable diversity of terrain. The area north of Fernie and west of Sparwood and Elkford is mountainous with steep walls of poor quality rock unsuitable for technical climbing. The numerous valleys are deep, with fast flowing creeks and rivers, with some class 5 rapids.

Fernie itself lies in the Elk Valley, between the Lizard Range and Morrissey Ridge. The area due west of Fernie drops down from the Lizard Range into the Bull River Valley, with Cedar Valley climbing slowly from the Elk Valley just south of town. The Lizard Range follows the lower Elk River to the southeast. Behind this range, to the west is the Columbia River Basin, part of the Rocky Mountain Trench. The Columbia Basin is a region of relatively flat land encompassing Lake Koocanusa, the reservoir of the Libby dam in Montana. The lake rises and lowers in cycles along with the spring runoff. At low water there are large areas of open sand dunes with the Kootenay River channel flowing between them. The Elk River empties into Lake Koocanusa.

To the East, the area extends to the Alberta boundary, turning southeast, along Waterton National Park to the U.S. border. From Fernie, Coal Valley heads due east rising gently into the MacDonald range. This is high rolling country, dotted with small lakes and ponds, extending down into the wide Flathead River basin. The Flathead River is one of the few pristine rivers left in British Columbia and is similar in size to the Elk River. The countryside in the basin also contains marshes and bogs before rising up sharply in the East to the Rocky Mountains along the Alberta border.

This web site has been created by and is provided by VolunteerRescue of SKRPC Holdings Inc., Fernie, BC, Canada.