'Business as usual' after grain dryer fire near Unity, says CEO

Snow and wet weather meant there was a lot of grain being dried at a Unity-area grain terminal when a new grain dryer caught fire earlier this week.

40 tonnes in dryer at the time of the fire

The grain dryer which caught fire east of Unity earlier this week was installed in January to replace a dryer which caught fire in November 2016. (Submitted by Unity RCMP)

Snow and wet weather meant there was a lot of grain being dried at a Unity, Sask.-area grain terminal when a new grain dryer caught fire earlier this week.

The new dryer, installed in January by North West Terminal Ltd. at a cost of about $1.8 million, replaced one which was also destroyed in a fire in November 2016.

"We're very fortunate the fire was contained to the grain dryer itself," said North West Terminal CEO Jason Skinner, who added there was about 40 metric tonnes of grain in the dryer at the time.

The company's offices were nearby and had to be evacuated because of the fire. 

Skinner said the dryer will have to be assessed but it's back to "business as usual" following the Thursday morning fire.

He said a temporary dryer may be needed to help customers get through the rest of harvest but could take up to a month before it's back in commission.

"I don't think it'll pose any type of delay to farmers," Skinner said. "It may mean they'll have to look at other options in terms of getting grain dried until we can do something."

About 78 per cent of the province's crops are in the bin, according to the province's crop report for the week of Oct. 2 to 8.

Unity is about 170 kilometres west of Saskatoon.