The shelter-in-place alert for residents in Squamish, where crews are battling a fire, has been lifted.
On Twitter, the District says the air quality has improved, so the alert has been lifted, but conditions could change any time.
Schools will be open today, but kids will be kept inside.
While the creosote pilings at the dock at Squamish Terminals are still smoldering, 90% of the fire was contaned by midnight.
But not before 5 hours of billowing, pungent smoke forced Mayor Patricia Heintzman to issue a Shelter-in-Place order, telling everyone to stay indoors and close their windows.
The wood pulp-carrying vessel that was docked, its crew, and all 60 employees of the Squamish terminal are accounted for, and no injuries are reported so far.
The mayor of Squamish Patricia Heintzman says there was a strong, pungent, toxic smell in the air.
“I just drove down to the ocean front lands, you could see over on the terminals and there was a significant amount of billowing and dark-looking smoke coming off the ship at the terminal.”
“It’s pretty smelly, pretty toxic smelling. There was a number of people down there and the RCMP has asked us to move away because not knowing the air quality issues which might arise from this.”
“The fire was on the creosote pilings underneath the docks so there was a lot of billowing, fairly nasty-smelling toxic smoke.”
Vancouver Fire and Rescue sent fire boats to help battle the blaze, with the large plume of smoke forcing Squamish to enact its “shelter in place” protocol to keep individuals indoors, close all windows, and turn off all air intakes as questions over the toxicity of the smoke surfaced.
Kim Stegeman-Lowe with Squamish Terminals says everyone working on and around the dock got out safely.
“There was a ship at the dock, it’s an open-hatch carrier carrying wood pulp and it did not catch fire. It was safely moved away from the dock and all its crew was safe. We have about 60 employees on site at the time. They were all accounted for and evacuated.”
— Christian Thomson (@CTinVanCity) April 17, 2015
— James Lewis (@JLewisGlobal) April 17, 2015
— LizaCKNW980 (@lizaCKNW980) April 17, 2015