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West Fraser curtailing northern B.C. mills due to COVID-19

Week suspension to see more than 24 million board feet production loss
(via Facebook/West Fraser Timber)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has reached B.C.’s lumber industry and mills across the north will be halting work as a result.

West Fraser announced yesterday (March 25) curtailments at all its sawmills for one week starting Monday, March 30, which includes its locations in Quesnel, Fraser Lake, Smithers, Chetwynd, 100 Mile House and Williams Lake.

The company says, in a release, the production loss will be up to 24 million board feet in addition to its previous work reduction on March 19.

“Due to the nature of coronavirus, the World Health Organization indicates shipped goods are classed as a low likelihood to transmit the virus and are unlikely to be a contagion source,” says West Fraser. 

“Our primary focus is on managing and protecting our workforce resiliency and business continuity during this time.”

The uncertainty in the demand of forest products during the pandemic is another reason West Fraser has decided to temporarily shut down its operations.

As of Wednesday, there are nine confirmed COVID-19 cases in Northern Health and 659 in all of B.C.