The clean-up of a major oil spill in the Peace Country has been suspended. It comes after a crew member called in for help earlier in the day forcing an evacuation of the site.

Workers sat idle for most of the day as they waited for word on the suspended operation. Prior to this, members were part of a team cleaning up the province's worst spill in decades. Thousands of barrels of oil leaked out of the pipeline operated by Midstream Canada Pipelines.

And just kilometres away, the small community of Little Buffalo hopes the clean-up resumes quickly.

Many have expressed concerns about the long-term health effects from the leak.

"First and foremost, I guess is the health concerns of our community members," said Steve Noskey, Lubicon First Nation Chief.

The community's school was shut down for a week because of the strong smell in the air. The school is back up and running with provincial monitoring units on site. 

The principal is frustrated with what he calls a lack of communication from the company involved.

"At this point no information to the school or the community is very disturbing to everyone," said Brian Alexander, principal of Little Buffalo School.

The broken stretch of the pipeline has been repaired. The ERCB is testing it, and the strength of other portions of line.

There is no word on the condition of the worker who issued a distress call earlier in the day. The operation is expected to resume Thursday.

With files from Bill Fortier