Closed BC Interior sawmill adds to local woes

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
November 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Operations at a sawmill in British Columbia’s Interior, temporarily evacuated over the summer because of massive wildfires, has now been shut down following a fire inside the mill. For an industry already struggling with the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute, destruction by the mountain pine beetle and last summer’s massive wildfires, the shutdown of Tolko Industries’ Lakeview Mill in Williams Lake is just one more blow for the province’s forestry-dependent communities. Structural engineers aim to be able to get into the mill site on Monday to assess the damage, but the mill, which employs 170 workers, was already facing an uncertain future as it processed wood salvaged from forest fires that are still smouldering in some parts of B.C. “I don’t know how much more the people of Williams Lake can handle,” Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said on Sunday.

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