While the Penticton Indian Band is struggling with illegal garbage dumpers, users of the Carmi Road area are saying the problem is far spread across the region.
Multiple comments on the Western News’ Facebook page indicate backcountry users are seeing the same issues in Carmi that the Penticton Indian Band is struggling with.
Related: First Nation land trashed by dumpers
“I saw a lot of beer cans, beer boxes, pallets. Also so many people shooting off the road at what ever they can with make shift shooting ranges,” wrote Lisa Jack on Facebook.
“Carmi has been an issue as long as I can remember. I know its a popular party spot so some of the things (furniture, pallets, you name it) are used for fires. This area should be better monitored as well,” added Sherry Mitchell.
Miranda Tumbach has been visiting the Carmi area for the past six weeks and is infuriated at the mess that is piling up.
“Our first trip up there, it was really, really bad — all the way up,” said Tumbach. “At every turn off, all the way up, huge dump piles scattered across acres of land.
“There is entire computer systems, speaker systems, stereos smashed everywhere, broken glass everywhere because people go up and shoot things. A lot of shell casings and broken bottles.”
Tumbach said her family has been working hard to clean up the one area they always like to visit, but it is never ending.
“We are bringing down two or three bags of garbage every time. I am seven months pregnant and it is getting pretty annoying,” said Tumbach.
“Every time we go up, there is new garbage. There are couches, car parts, huge metal insulation and piping. Couches thrown off embankments off the side of the road, stuff I can’t even get to if I wanted too.”
During her most recent visit she found a document with a name on it in a new pile of garbage, she reported it to authorities.
“Every time we go up there in the morning there are still fires burning, logs burning,” said Tumbach.
“They leave things in dangerous spots that could ignite a fire. It is awful. There is an area literally the size of a baseball diamond with garbage everywhere, and tons of it. It is a dumping ground.”
Tumbach has reported the issues to the RCMP, the Regional District of Okanagan-Simlkameen and the city, but feels little is being done. She reached out to the Okanagan Forest Task Force based in Kelowna, but they are too overwhelmed with illegal dumping around Kelowna to come help.
“He told me they would mark it down as a problem area and they would try to make it out here, but it is not likely to happen,” said Tumbach.
“I am hoping somebody steps in. Someone needs to be in charge of this, the volunteer task force can’t be the only ones. They are maxed out. They are an awesome organization, doing what they can but they don’t have anymore support.”
Tumbach said she is truly fearful an unstoppable fire may ignite because of this illegal dumping.
“With forest fires around here it is just really scary. There is glass everywhere. I do my best, I put on gloves and I do my best to clean up, but I can’t do it all. I have reached out on Facebook to try to organize a community cleanup, but I haven’t really had anybody offer to help out, so I am doing it on my own,” added Tumbach.
“Fort McMurray was a year ago and it gives me a sick feeling to my stomach.”