Flare-ups continue at Tolko’s Lakeview sawmill in Williams Lake where a fire broke out Thursday around 6:20 p.m. Photo submitted

Flare-ups continue at Tolko’s Lakeview sawmill

Flare-ups continue at Tolko sawmill in Williams Lake Monday, but employees working at the planer

Flare-ups during the weekend have kept firefighting crews busy Tolko’s Lakeview Division in Williams Lake where a fire broke out in the sawmill at about 6:20 p.m. last Thursday.

“It appears the fire is hiding in the ceiling a bit, and that’s what we are dealing with,” communications advisor Janice Lockyer told the Tribune Monday.

WorkSafeBC continues to be on site and the Williams Lake Fire Dept. were on scene off and on throughout the weekend, with assistance from the 150 Mile Volunteer Fire Dept. from 9 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday.

Lockyer said the fire has mostly impacted saw filer and general sawmill offices.

As of yet, no cause of the fire has not been determined and Lockyer said because of the flare-ups the structural engineer had not been able to get in to inspect the building.

United Steelworkers Local 2017 first vice-president Paul French said Monday the union is “kind of nervous,” but that employees are working on the planer today, just not in the sawmill.

“I know they are running three shifts at the planer and the trucks are still coming in,” French said. “I think they are trying to have people doing whatever they can. I haven’t talked to them yet to know what the numbers are, but Tolko is trying to accommodate their employees with work.”

Mayor Walt Cobb said he spoke with Tolko’s woodlands manager Tom Hoffman Monday morning who told him a structural engineer is on their way to Williams Lake today.

“Tom told me they have to get the cladding off today, but most of the really expensive heavy equipment is all intact and wasn’t damaged,” Cobb said. “They lost some computers from the water damage.”

As for the fire, Cobb said “that’s all we need after the summer of wildfires, we don’t need any more bad news.”

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