Fernie Arena Ammonia Release

DISCLAIMER: Information provided is based on reports received by Emergency Management B.C. Information provided is considered to be current at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.

Incident Description

Incident Date October 17, 2017 
Name Fernie Arena Ammonia Release (DGIR 172432)
Source Arena
Nearest Community Fernie, B.C.
Spilled Content Ammonia
Who is involved? Fernie Fire Department, BC Ambulance Service, B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, Emergency Management B.C., City of Fernie, B.C. Interior Health Authority, WorkSafeBC, RAM Environmental Response Ltd. 


Response Phase Detail

The responsible person or spiller is legally required to clean-up or manage the clean-up of a spill. In incidents where the responsible person is unknown, unable or unwilling to manage the clean up, the Ministry of Environment may assume the role. The updates below reflect the Ministry’s oversight of the spillers’ actions; details describe the spill response phase, only, and not the complete lifecycle of the spill. See More Information for other related reports. 

Updates are in reverse chronological order, with the most recent at the top. Industry-specific language may be explained in the Glossary of Terms (PDF).

Most Recent Update

October 18, 2017 - 4:21 pm

The air monitor readings are still too high for the two casualties to be safely removed from the Fernie Memorial Arena. The building will continue to be ventilated. When safe levels are reached, the investigation and recovery work will occur. 

For further updates on this incident, please visit: Fernie.ca 

Incident Location

October 18, 2017 - 10:53 am

Three people have been confirmed dead after an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena yesterday, October 17, 2017.

At 7:30 pm on October 17, 2017, an Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) with B.C. Ministry of Environment was dispatched to the incident site at the request of the Fernie Fire Department. The responding EERO is helping to create safe hazardous material response procedures to continue to address this incident.

The responding EERO is part of a joint technical safety committee to assist first responders. This joint committee includes: Fernie Fire Department, B.C. Ministry of Environment and WorkSafeBC.

RAM Environmental Ltd. and GHD Engineering have been contracted for the response. Perimeter air monitoring is being coordinated by GHD Engineering. The responding EERO will stay on site as part of the joint technical safety committee until the building is ventilated to safe levels.​

For more information on this incident, please visit: Fernie.ca


October 17, 2017 - 2:00 pm

An ammonia release has occurred at the Fernie Memorial Arena. The Fernie Fire Department and BC Ambulance Service are on scene. The surrounding area has been evacuated to ensure public safety. Highway 3 remains open to traffic. 

The local Emergency Program Coordinator has established an Emergency Social Services reception center at the Senior Citizens Drop-In Centre (562 3rd Avenue). An Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) with B.C. Ministry of Environment is monitoring the situation and is able to provide technical guidance if required.

More information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.