Evacuations in Fernie, Fire in Crowsnest Pass Closes Highway, Other Fires to report

(RDEK RELEASE) An evacuation order remains in place for a number of homes and businesses around the arena in the City of Fernie after an ammonia leak Tuesday.

The facility has been secured; however, crews are still unable to safely enter the facility. At this time, three fatalities have been confirmed. No further details are available pending identification and notification of next of kin.

CIMCO Refrigeration is on scene assisting City crews and the City is working to acquire additional specialized resources to deal with the hazardous situation.

The evacuation will continue for residents in the evacuation area until the City is able to contain the leak and evacuees were provided with bus transportation to a local hotel this evening.  All homes between 9th Street and 13th Street and Highway 3 and 6th Ave have been evacuated. Red Apple, 7-Eleven, and Trinity Lodge are included in the evacuation.  Streets surrounding the Arena are closed:

9th Street from Highway 3 to 6th Ave

6th Ave from 9th Street to 11th Street

11th Street between Highway 3 and 6th Ave.

The City has declared a State of Local Emergency as they continue to deal with this tragedy.  Further updates are expected Wednesday.  You can visit the City of Fernie’s website www.fernie.ca for updates.

Highway 3 Closed – From Sparwood Through Crowsnest Pass

Highway 3 is closed from Sparwood through to Coleman in the Pass after a fast moving grassfire broke out Tuesday, creating zero visibility due to dense smoke.  No word yet on when the highway may be reopened – but if you are planning to travel that way, check www.alberta511.ca or www.drivebc.ca before you leave. As of 11PM Tuesday night, the fire was still listed as burning out of control with one section of Coleman evacuated and the remainder of residents being told to be ready to leave on a moment’s notice.  This was one of 7 fires of note in Alberta Tuesday — all flaring in the midst of the major winds we received.

New Fires Reported – Elk Valley

The BC Wildfire Service is reporting two fires in the Round Prairie area north of Elkford. – one is a small spot fire, the other is a bit larger at an estimated 4 hectares.  Neither fire is threatening any communities or structures.  The cause of both fires remains under investigation The BCWS also received a report of a fire in the Morrissey area and BC Hydro crews were heading out to investigate.