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Fire rages through Shuswap area sawmill

Fire devastates Shuswap sawmill

More than 30 firefighters were needed to bring a sawmill fire in the Shuswap under control Thursday morning.

The blaze at Elite Forest Products in Malakwa was called in just before 6 a.m.

Fast moving flames destroyed the sawmill operation and about half of the buildings at the site.

Malakwa fire chief Joanne Held said the level of devastation may never let investigators understand what caused the blaze.

The mill was closed for the winter, but production was supposed to resume Friday.

Held said the mill manager is staying on site overnight into Friday to ensure the fire doesn’t reignite.

The mill’s planer was saved.

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A blaze at Elite Forest Products in Malakwa broke out just before 5 a.m. Thursday.
A blaze at Elite Forest Products in Malakwa broke out just before 5 a.m. Thursday. Contributed: Cassandra Oxtoby/ Global Okanagan

It’s not known how jobs at the mill will be affected by the fire.