The wildfires continue to burn in British Columbia and it’s more than just smoky air that’s affecting southern Alberta.
Tom Nixon, owner of Logic Lumber in Lethbridge, has noticed a shortened supply of lumber is driving up prices.
“It’s the worst I’ve seen in 45 years,” he said.
“Mills are running out of log decks, so there’s no trees to get the lumber out of and shipment is a big big problem… on the trucking end.”
The wildfires have been raging in B.C. since April, destroying over 400,000 hectares of forest, closing roads, and logging companies have been forced to reassign logging equipment to firefighting and prevention.
Market analysts say it has interrupted especially the supply of structural wood panels, like plywood and oriented strand board (OSB), causing prices on those products to shoot up to more than 30 per cent higher than mid-2016 prices.
Russel Taylor at International Wood Products in Vancouver, says it’s one more blow to an already volatile market.
Bruce Galts at Galko Homes says the rise in prices shouldn’t affect homeowners immediately, but might slow down housing starts in Lethbridge.
“Some products are hard to get at all because they might have closed the plant… even trying to get trucks through the areas in B.C. has made it difficult.”
Galts and others are looking into October for the market to stabilize but say it could be even longer.