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Tuesday, 07 November, 2017

Update 4: Fire at Tolko’s Lakeview Mill, Williams Lake

Williams Lake, British Columbia, (Monday, November 6, 2017, 6:27 p.m.). The fire at Williams Lake proved itself stubborn as flare-ups continued over the weekend and into early Monday morning. The fire, located largely in the offices' section of the sawmill, continued to burn between the ceiling and roof. Given the location of the fire, it was difficult to get at from the outside and we could not safely access to fight the fire from inside the building.

The Williams Lake Fire Department has attended the scene several times to aide in extinguishing flare-ups and monitor the location of the fire. As of this evening, the area is smoldering but under control.

This afternoon, we were able to complete a very early and high-level assessment of the damage and structural engineers have now started the work required to determine the integrity of the building. This work will be completed over the coming days and will help us determine our recovery plan for the mill. Our CEO, Brad Thorlakson, and members of the executive were also in Williams Lake today to survey the damage and speak to employees.

The planer has resumed operations with three shifts. We have put measures in place to ensure the safety of staff as they work in the planer, which is in a separate building. Supervisors will be contacting our employees directly with additional information.

Once again, we thank everyone who has helped us over the past four days. From the Williams Lake and area fire crews to our on-site employees, to the many people who have reached out and offered help, we are deeply grateful for your support and efforts. We want to assure you the people of Williams Lake, particularly our Lakeview employees, are in our thoughts and our goal, once the site is secure and safe, is to put in place a recovery plan that will see the mill return to operations as quickly as possible.

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