Entwistle update

On May 9, during a regular inspection of the fibre piles at our Entwistle plant, workers observed smoke and followed standard procedure to extinguish the smolder with onsite hoses. Due to the high winds, flames rapidly formed and escalated.  Sparks and embers spread outside our property lines onto the Old Entwistle community sides of the tracks.  Our workers had called 911 for the fire department’s assistance and were able to extinguish the fire in that area before it spread into the neighborhood.

All Entwistle plant workers are safe and no injuries have occurred. The safety of our employees and Entwistle community is our top priority. The Entwistle plant has been placed into an idle state as we work with the fire department to contain the situation as quickly and as safety as possible. Also, CN Railroad has been contacted and is aware of the situation.

If any members of the Entwistle community have been impacted by the situation, we ask that you contact us at [email protected] for questions or assistance.

For the latest updates, please see below:

Monday, May 13 update

Equipment and contractors continued to successfully move the fibre piles and cooling the material. There were no significant hot spots found in the piles today and multiple tours of the wetland with thermal cameras show there were no heat sources.

This will be the last update, but if there are any changes that require further community awareness, we will post them here. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Saturday, May 11 update

Throughout the night the Drax team monitored for any hot spots. There was only one event where a small amount of smoke was visible, which the team quickly responded to, applied water and resolved the issue immediately. Close monitoring of the fibre piles and wooded areas continued through the night with no signs of smolders occurring.

The onsite team is preparing the facility for a restart with members focused on getting all equipment ready to support the pile rolling if required. Inspections of equipment will be completed prior to the restart of operations. All equipment and resources are onsite (excavator operator, bulldozer operator, independent fire truck, water trucks) to continue pond filling and support workers as they continue monitoring of the area. All required hoses, sprinklers and pumps have been placed as required. Winds remain calm – currently at 9 km/hr from the North with potential gusts to 30 km/hr throughout the day. The Drax team will prepare to bring the plant back online with production expected to resume around 11:00 am this morning once all systems are brought safely back online.

NOTE TO COMMUNITY: Unrelated to the facility fibre pile situation, there are reported forest fires in the Grande Prairie and FT McMurray areas which are several hundred kilometers away from the Drax facility but smoke is being blown into the area. This smoke is not coming from the Entwistle plant.

Friday, May 10 Update

At 10pm (May 9) last night, the fire was brought under control with no visible flames. With that positive development, the fire department stood down for the day. Additional contractors were scheduled to support the night shift and additional sprinklers were placed strategically around the fibre pile. There were no significant flare ups overnight. Workers continue to focus on inspections and identifying any small spot smolders around the area.