British Columbia

Fire tears through northeastern B.C. log yard

A fire at the West Fraser mill in Chetwynd, B.C. continues to burn Friday after it was discovered Thursday afternoon. An investigation into the cause of the fire and the amount of damage caused will begin once the fire has been put out, said mill officials.

West Fraser forestry company says no one has been injured and the mill itself is not threatened

A fire burns in a log yard in Chetwynd, B.C. (Submitted)

A fire at a log yard in northeastern B.C. continues to burn this morning after it was spotted Thursday afternoon.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., on Thursday, employees at the West Fraser mill in Chetwynd, B.C., noticed a fire burning among logs where they are stored, according to an email from a West Fraser spokesperson.

The company says firefighters, including those from the Chetwynd Volunteer Fire Department, remain on site and air support is currently being used to help extinguish the fire. 

West Fraser said in a statement the mill itself is not at risk and that the fire has been contained to the log yard as firefighters from several area departments work to stop its spread.

A fire burns at the Chetwynd, B.C., West Fraser mill log yard on Sept. 16, 2021. (Submitted)

No injuries have been reported as a result of the fire.

Chetwynd Mayor Allen Courtoreille says two B.C. Wildfire Service helicopters equipped with water buckets were among the crews that responded.

Courtoreille, who saw the fire, said it was a big one. 

"The flames itself were quite high. The rows of logs that sit there — they're approximately 20 to 30 feet high and the flames were up above that," he said. 

Courtoreille says around 300 workers work at this particular mill, and that for now he is deferring to the company to handle requests for information. 

West Fraser says an investigation into the cause of the fire and an estimate of the damage will begin when the fire is out.

North District RCMP say the fire is not considered suspicious.

The fire department declined to speak with CBC News Friday morning, and directed requests for information back to the company.

With files from Radio West, Andrew Kurjata and The Canadian Press

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