Williams Lake, British Columbia (Friday, November 3, 2017: 12:20 p.m.). Firefighters remain on site today at our Lakeview mill in Williams Lake, working to fully extinguish the fire that began last evening at approximately 6:20 p.m. As their efforts continue, we want to inform employees that the mill (sawmill and planer) will not operate today. Supervisors will be contacting employees directly to share additional details as they become available.
We cannot comment on the extent of the damage to the structure at this time as we do not have access to the interior of the sawmill. We will have more information when the fire is out and following an examination of the affected areas by structural engineers. We anticipate this assessment will occur over the weekend and into next week.
We are grateful for the effort of everyone involved to combat and contain the fire. We particularly want to thank our on-site employees. Thanks to their calm and quick efforts last evening, the site evacuation went smoothly and there were no injuries. We also want to thank first responders from the community and surrounding area who have done exceptional work containing and mitigating the impact of the blaze. Thank you for your tireless efforts.
Our priority now is to ensure the fire is out, that our employees understand what happens next, and that we can begin the work to put a recovery plan in place to return the mill to operations.
Tolko’s Lakeview Division employs approximately 170 full-time and casual employees and produces around 240 mbf per year.
We will continue to provide further updates as information becomes available.