The cause of the Dec. 19, 2013 mill fire which destroyed the Northern Forest Products Ltd. mill on Tachie Road has been ruled “undetermined.”
Fort St. James Fire Chief Mike Navratil said the structure was fully involved when fire crews arrived shortly after the 6 a.m. call by a resident from across Stuart Lake who could see the blaze.
Sixteen firefighters worked for four hours to contain the blaze, and kept it from spreading.
The mill squared logs for transport but no employees were on site when the fire started and Navratil said there had only been a cleanup crew working the night before, with no mill equipment operating during the night and no recent welding.
The mill employed around 10 people directly.
The mill was the second small mill owned by KDL Group to burn in 2013, after the fence post mill also on Tachie Road burned back in April of this year.
The fence post mill was not rebuilt.
The more recent fire caused electrical impacts on the local ski hill as well, as the ski hill is located just up the hill from the destroyed mill.
The Murray Ridge Ski Area had attempted to open up for the holiday skiers after a good snowfall, but had to shut down again after a short in the line reportedly shut down the t-bar tow.
The issue was resolved later in the week.