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B.C. sawmills not inspected for fire risk

Many B.C. sawmills are going without fire inspections, even though provincial law requires municipalities to inspect all public buildings regularly.


September 17, 2012
By John Tenpenny


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The sawmill inspections, required under the B.C. Fire Services Act, were not conducted in four of nine Interior municipalities surveyed by The Vancouver Sun. They include Mackenzie, Fort St. James, Houston and Williams Lake, communities that are home to about one dozen sawmills.

Outside municipalities, there is no mandate to inspect sawmills or other public buildings, according to the B.C. fire commissioner’s office.

The importance of fire inspections at sawmills came to public attention this year after two sawmills – in Burns Lake and Prince George – exploded and burned, killing four workers and injuring dozens of others.

Wood dust is suspected as a factor in the explosions.

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