Canada Sawmill Fires

A devastating fire at Port Dover, ON’s, Porter Lumber Wednesday morning is expected to have caused $3 million in damage to the solid wood production facility, said the Simcoe Reformer. No injuries were reported. However, damage is pegged at $3 million. The property was not insured.

As well, the local fire department was called Wednesday evening to the Galloway Sawmill located between the towns of Elko and Jaffray in British Columbia, according to the Cranbrook Townsman.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but it originated in some machinery attached to the mill, more specifically a conveyor belt.

Sawmill Fires, Canada

By time Norfolk Fire & Rescue arrived at the scene of the fire at Porter Lumber on St. John’s Road East in Port Dover, ON, the sawmill’s main processing centre was fully involved.

The processing centre that was destroyed had a floor area of about 6,000 square feet and was filled with equipment. Norfolk Fire & Rescue has traced the origins of the fire to an electrical panel in a room at the rear of the mill.

The blaze prompted an overwhelming response from Norfolk Fire & Rescue and the Haldimand County Fire Department. A total of 51 firefighters pitched in to save the surrounding lumber and buildings. Pumpers, tankers and personnel responded from Port Dover, Simcoe, Waterford, Delhi, Vittoria, St. Williams, Jarvis and Hagersville.

The Porter family has run a lumber mill in this location since 1944. Porter estimates the fire will impact 200 jobs directly and indirectly once loggers, truckers and associated trades are factored in.

At the Galloway Sawmill in British Columbia, there is damage to the conveyor system and the fire spread into the chip piles and brush areas surrounding it, though the full extent of the damage has yet to be determined. Jaffray Fire Chief Dave Boreen informed the Townsman that an investigation commenced early Thursday morning and that the fire was quickly responded to and contained within a relatively short time.

That fire was contained pretty quickly, crews were kept on overnight actioning a few non-serious hot spots.