A loader working at the Northern Interior Forest Products (NIFP) mill site caught fire on Wednesday, July 17, and within minutes it was fully engulfed.
The mill is located a few kilometres from Highway 27 on Tachie Road.
The machine “went up instantly,” said Justin O’Hara, who was operating the equipment at the time. He said the smoke came from the engine of the machine when it started, but spread quickly.
The Fort St. James Volunteer Fire Department arrived within minutes and contained the blaze to the machine, keeping it from spreading to the decked logs nearby.
Fort St. James Fire Chief Rob Bennett said the machine was fully involved upon their arrival.
It did not take long for the firefighters to calm the blaze, however, and within a matter of only minutes more, the blaze was reduced to some smoke from the wreckage of the loader.
Two fire engines and one tank truck responded to the fire, and firefighters were letting the machine cool off after it had been doused with water at just after 4 p.m..
NIFP was the site of another fire on April 5 which destroyed the mill itself, which has not been rebuilt.
KDL Group owns and operates the site and was the owner of the loader which burned.