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12th September 2020
News Release
September 11, 2020

UPDATE: Fire at Schnitzer Steel under control but expected to burn for several days; air
and water quality assessments ongoing

NORTH OYSTER, BC The fire that began in an industrial yard yesterday morning just south of
the Nanaimo Airport is now under control, but fire suppression efforts are anticipated to last
several days given the nature of fueling materials.

Dozens of fire fighters from numerous departments in the Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo regions
remained on scene overnight and are continuing suppression efforts this morning, approximately
half of the resources deployed to the site at the height of the blaze yesterday afternoon. The threat
of the fire exposure to adjacent properties and structures has significantly lessened, however
crews continue to monitor wind speed and direction.

Contracted environmental consultants continue to conduct air quality monitoring on site and in
the vicinity of the fire. Groundwater contamination remains a concern, and ground water travel
time and impact assessments are ongoing. Water samples form various sites in the surrounding
area are being sent for testing, and those results will be shared with impacted residents and other
stakeholders as they become available by the respective provincial agencies.

Drinking water quality inquiries should be forwarded to the Drinking Water Officer through your health authority; Island Health, Health Protection and Environmental Services at 250.755.6215.

Further updates will be posted to the CVRD website at as they become available,
and on the CVRD Facebook page at
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For media inquires, please contact:
Kris Schumacher
Manager, Communications & Engagement