CALGARY, ALBERTA – Rapidly spreading wildfires in Western Canada’s British Columbia on Monday disrupted timber and mining operations, damaged equipment at a regional electric utility and forced thousands from homes in the interior of the province.
Authorities said at least 10 of more than 200 fires burning across the province were close to residential communities. Some 38,000 hectares (93,900 acres) had been ravaged as of midday on Monday. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported, but some 14,000 people have been forced from their homes.
West Fraser Timber Co said it had temporarily suspended operations at 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Chasm. It said the sites have total annual production capacity of 800 million board feet of lumber and 270 million square feet of plywood.
“The fire situation in the Interior of British Columbia is volatile and the situation is evolving,” said West Fraser, one of several Canadian lumber producers targeted by new U.S. tariffs in April as a long-running trade dispute escalated.
Vancouver-based EnGold Mines Ltd said it had suspended exploration in British Columbia, home to all of its operations.
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