Canfor is closing is mill here for two weeks beginning July 26, citing problems with getting its product to market because of transportation disruptions stemming from the ongoing wildfire situation in southern B.C.
The company is also closing its Plateau mill near Vanderhoof for the same reason and says similar actions are taking place at its other Canadian operations.
“Site specific plans are being developed for each mill and we’re working it identify activities that will continue during the downtime like maintenance activities and keeping the scales open in an effort to minimize the impacts on our employees and contractors,” says Canfor official Michelle Ward.
“Harvesting and hauling activities will continue where it is safe to do so.”
The company not only is having trouble getting its product to market, it also has a backlog of inventory awaiting shipment.
In all the mill closures mean a production reduction of 115 million board feet.
“While we recognize and appreciate the hard work of all the transportation providers, it will take some time to clear the backlog,” said Ward.
One factor affecting rail transport is a federal government order for rail companies to reduce the speed of their trains in the face of record high temperatures.
That’s meant to lower the risk of sparks and the subsequent potential to start fires.
The temporary closures come following a record 2020 performance and a strong 2021 showing based a large demand for lumber from increasing housing starts in the United States combined with a boom in home and other renovations as people found themselves more at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.