Hay River RCMP have confirmed that no explosive device was found after a bomb threat was called in to the local Esso station Tuesday afternoon.

Police closed off the area near the gas station around noon. The threat was deemed a false alarm hours later around 2:30 p.m.

Schools in the community were locked down and a number of homes were evacuated as a precautionary measure. RCMP are confident the area is now safe, prompting officials to lift lockdown notices.

“We take all complaints of threats very seriously and will continue to conduct a thorough investigation,” said RCMP Cst. Matt Halstead of the Hay River detachment.

“We are confident there is no imminent risk to the public in relation to the threat received. Now that the incident is over, our focus is going to shift to investigating this and hopefully we’ll be able to provide an update.

“We’re going to use every available resource to try and identify where this threat came from and investigate it fully.”

Schools locked down, homes evacuated

Halstead said there weren’t any direct threats made against the town’s schools, however officials decided to lock them down as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile, a number of homes directly behind the Esso station were evacuated by Hay River’s fire department, and a section of the Mackenzie Highway was temporarily closed.

RCMP say traffic is now moving as normal.