Vernon and North Okanagan
Wood piles ignite at Lumby's Tolko mill
Oct 6, 2012 / 8:21 am
The Lumby Fire Department responded to a pair of small fires at the Tolko Saw Mill Friday night.
Fire Chief Tony Clayton says the fires, burning in a pair of 'hog piles' about 500 metres apart, were started by spontaneous combustion.
"The hog piles are fairly big, and there was smoke billowing out of them," says Clayton.
"We got the worst of it out (Friday) night."
Nine firefighters and two trucks were dispatched to the scene. Clayton adds that Tolko put sprinklers on the fires overnight, and his team was heading back to the mill Saturday morning.
"We're going down there to oversee, assess and work with Tolko to try and get them completely extinguished."
Hog piles are essentially small bits of waste wood leftover by the mill and Clayton says it's not unheard of for these waste piles to ignite.
"The peelings, the chippings...it's kind of just a dirty mess of wood fibres."
And once they start burning, Clayton says, they become difficult to stop.
"This pile got too big and started burning underneath. You pretty much have to get machines in to rip it apart."
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