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Fire at Tolko mill

The Lumby Fire Department was called to the Tolko mill near Lumby early Wednesday morning after a report of a fire in the hog fuel pile.

The hog fuel pile – which consists of sawdust and wood waste – caught fire just before 5 a.m.

Fire Chief Tony Clayton said there was smoke and fire coming out of the pile when crews arrived.

“It's about 10-feet deep by an acre,” he said, adding the fire had a lot of potential to become a significant blaze.

When crews arrived, Clayton said the fire was “burning around two edges of the pile.”

He said the wood waste generates its own heat and the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion.

“If the wind had come up it could have spread,” said Clayton. “There were lots of concerns with this one considering how dry it is.”

Clayton said no structures or trees were threatened, but he was concerned about embers landing on the dry grass around the pile.

Crews responded to the blaze with 10 firefighters, two water tenders, one fire engine and a command vehicle.

A loader was also brought in to dig into the pile to make sure it was completely extinguished.  

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