Tolko says no structural damage in B.C. mill fire

Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:55pm EDT
 
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Tolko Industries Ltd's Armstrong, British Columbia sawmill was undamaged by a fire that blazed through its wood supplies, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

The fire that erupted on Sunday in the mill's wood chip supply and spread to the log yard produced such heavy smoke it forced police to evacuate nearby homes and shut down a major highway through the community.

No injuries were reported, but water-dropping aircraft were needed to help control the blaze that was fanned by high winds and was expected to burn for several more days.

Privately held Tolko was still estimating the cost of the fire, and expected to release more information on Monday, spokeswoman Sheri Greeno said.

The mill, which produces lumber and plywood and employs about 150 people, was temporally idled last week because of weak market conditions.

(Reporting by Allan Dowd, Editing by Frank McGurty)