Evacuated Fernie residents are returning home and the City will resume operations Monday as clean up starts at Memorial arena.
The investigation at the facility has moved away from emergency response after safe access was secured Sunday.
An Evacuation Order for approximately 95 residents was also lifted six days after an ammonia leak killed three people at the arena.
Fernie Fire Chief and Incident Commander Ted Ruiter said at a press conference Sunday following tests and consultation with several agencies it was determined there is no longer a safety risk in the arena.
The arena and community centre will remain closed to the public.
Ammonia specialists from Teck Trail operations and Agrium in Calgary have returned home.
The brine within the arena has become contaminated and will need to be completely removed.
The brine, which is essentially a salt-water solution, is used in the ice making process and once it has been extracted, will be taken to a hazardous waste company for safe disposal.
Air quality monitoring will continue.
Seven homes in the evacuated area still do not have power but Ruiter says BC Hydro is working to restore it.
These residents are urged to not open refrigerators at this time.
City CAO Norm McInnis says they want to sincerley thank residents for their cooperation and patience during this difficult time.
McInnis, who became very emotional during the press conference, also credits the volunteers at the reception centre for their “amazing” work this past week.
The City manager sent out his gratitude to all the agencies, ministries, and experts who helped with the response.
McInnis made note of thanking all of the businesses and residents who offered support and made donations to help evacuees.
The City will continue to support the families of the victims and McInnis says they are working with them to plan a community memorial.
Details will be announced when they are finalized.
– Fernie CAO Norm McInnis