As Pat Williams stared out of the Shell station window at work around 12:15 Monday April 18th, he noticed a flare-up of dust in the Swift Creek slide area on Swift Mountain. Last summer’s major slides led to an evacuation alert for 40 downstream residents. Mayor Owen Torgerson said it’s not surprising a steeper grade and dry weather is producing some surface movement and whiffs of dust. When the evacuation alert was lifted, he said the area of the landslide had been assessed by qualified professionals who advised there was no imminent risk to public safety. He reminded residents that while no trail closures are in effect, landslides are a natural hazard in mountain valleys. He encouraged residents to sign up for emergency alerts through the Village’s Voyent Alert system. “Of course, the landslide potentially poses a risk to Swift Creek, which is the water source for the Village of Valemount,” he said. “Per recommendations, monitoring of water levels in the creek is ongoing. This will be a tell-tale sign of blockage upstream and outburst flooding.” He said in response to the Swift Creek landslide last year, the Village hired Kalageo Geosciences Ltd. to conduct an exploratory water-well drilling program in December 2021. The Village Public works and a drilling contractor drilled near the pump house north of Golden Years Lodge. He said the water well program was initiated in case Swift Creek was not able to sustain a suitable source of drinking water, both long-term volume due to community growth as well as in emergencies. Council has not yet received a report outlining the drilling results. Torgerson said the Atmospheric River event in the southwest portion of the province has kept many geotechnical companies busy, including Kalageo. /LAURA KEIL