'It's supply and demand': B.C. wildfires driving up price of lumber in N.L.

Sheldon Colbourne, the president of the Provincial Home Builders Association, said Tuesday lumber prices have begun to rise dramatically across Newfoundland and Labrador.

Wildfires are shutting down mills, price of plywood increasing

Lumber prices have jumped following the closure of mills in B.C. due to wildfires. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

As wildfires continue to burn in British Columbia, some side effects are beginning to trickle down to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sheldon Colbourne, the president of the provincial branch of the Canadian Home Builders' Association, said Tuesday prices of lumber have begun to rise dramatically across the province.

"The mills [in B.C.] are actually shut down so they're not producing any plywood in there," said Colbourne.

"It's supply and demand and it's starting to run out, so the price is going up."

A large portion of the plywood used for construction here comes from western Canada, and that means that home builders are already starting to feel the impact of the wildfires on their pocketbooks.

Fires have burned more of B.C. this year than any year since 1961. (Shawn Cahill)

"On a piece of two by four, two by six, on retail you're probably going up a dollar a piece," said Colbourne.

Prices of plywood, he added, have also been going up anywhere from 30 to 45 per cent.

"That's something that's likely to continue," said Colbourne.

"Right now some suppliers are saying it could be [like this until] October. It seems to go up a lot faster than it comes down," he said. 

Province allocating resources 

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Bryne said in a statement that the province will send additional resources to assist in the effort to fight wildfires in B.C.

Two CL-415 air tankers will be sent to Quebec for a four-day period to backfill for air tankers that had been sent to B.C.

"Our thoughts remain with the residents of British Columbia and those who are fighting the fires on their behalf,'' said Bryne in the release.

The statement also said that adequate equipment and resources remain in place to manage fires in Newfoundland and Labrador, including a fleet of strategically placed water bombers and several helicopters. 

With files from the Central Morning Show and Todd O'Brien