Quesnel, British Columbia – Due to fire activity in the Cariboo, Tolko Industries Ltd. will be curtailing its Quest Wood operation in Quesnel, B.C. as of Monday, July 24th. The mill employs approximately 200 people and produces 210 million board feet of dimension lumber on an annual basis.
“With wildfires burning and the fire risk still at extreme levels, we are unable to conduct logging activities," said Troy Connolly, Senior General Manager, Lumber. “This has led to a shortage of available fibre. As a result, our sawmill will be curtailed on Monday. Our planer will run for an additional week to ensure we meet our existing customer commitments.”
A return to operations date for the mill will be determined when the fire situation subsides.
Randy Chadney, General Manager for Cariboo Lumber said: “We will return to operations as soon as our log supply is replenished and we can sustain the mill for the foreseeable future. We have notified our employees of the situation and are working with the local union to ensure they can access financial supports moving forward. Employees can also use our Employee and Family Assistance Program to help them with family and financial planning.”
With the curtailment of Quest Wood, and the closures of our Lakeview and Soda Creek mills due to the evacuation order in Williams Lake, approximately 3 million board feet of lumber per day has been removed from the market.
Pino Pucci, Vice President Sales, Marketing and Logistics said that he recognizes the situation in Williams Lake is extremely stressful for employees, their families and the community, however, he wants to reassure customers that “orders currently in the system are being monitored and will be shipped when possible, barring road or rail disruptions.”