The Gustafsen wildfire aftermath in August 2017. File photo.

The Gustafsen wildfire aftermath in August 2017. File photo.

100 Mile OSB Mill to temporarily suspend operations due to a lack of wood

Norbord says wildfires and winter conditions to blame

The Norbord oriented strand board (OSB) mill in 100 Mile House will suspend production temporarily due to a wood shortage. The suspension is expected to commence on about May 14 and to last for about one month.

The 2017 wildfires damaged logging areas; and the severe winter weather conditions this winter have limited loggers’ ability to access the forests during the months when the mill typically build annual inventory, according to a release by Norbord.

“Combined, these extraordinary circumstances have impacted Norbord’s ability to secure a sufficient wood supply to operate the mill on a continuous basis during this one-month period.”

During the suspension, Norbord will continue to supply its customers with OSB from its other mills and 100 Mile will continue to receive log deliveries during this period.

“The company currently estimates that the curtailment will negatively impact its second quarter 2018 financial results by approximately US$5 million.”

The 100 Mile House mill has a stated annual production capacity of 440 million square feet (3/8-inch basis), according to the release.

UPDATE 3:20 p.m.: Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett asked in the legislature for permits to log the wood around the mill. She also said long-term stability with a commitment from the Ministry of Forests.

Without long-term timber supply, getting logging contractors is problematic as they require stability as well, she said.

Minister Doug Donaldson said he shared the concerns and that he would take Barnett up on her offer to provide assistance, acknowledging that 160 direct jobs would be affected as well as other associated jobs.

“It’s going to be a very, very difficult situation. So my sympathies go out to the workers at this point.”

According to Donaldson Norbord is looking at the redeployment of some of the workers.

Barnett reiterated that the biggest issue is long-term tenure.

“Short-term tenure, after what we’ve just been through in the fire season, will not work anymore.”

Donaldson added that in addition to the 160 direct jobs, there are 113 contracted jobs and an additional 368 indirect and induced jobs according to Norbord’s own numbers.

Speaking afterwards, Barnett said it’s a situation they hoped never to get into.

She said some logging contractors had to leave and some got better tenures during and after the fires.

The fibre Norbord uses is different from what the other mills use, says Barnett, adding they don’t use sawlogs. They are the largest consumer of deciduous timber and low-quality, non-sawlog-grade conifer logs in the Cariboo, according to Barnett.

“We do know that there’s two years of burned wood out there. So let’s get a good two year burned wood licence and then let work to move forward to have a licence on other fibre that is available.”

Barnett says she’s concerned about the whole forest industry but says that she knows Williams Lake is in a good position with lots of fibre in their mills for spring breakup with permits in place for the future. West Fraser in 100 Mile House is also in a better position than Norbord, she says, adding that she doesn’t know how good that position is.

“I do know that Chasm at 59 Mile is very very very short of fibre.”

“Hopefully this will be very short term, if they have to close for any length of time.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

First Journey Trails CEO Thomas Schoen (from left), Jimco Services’ James Doerfling, Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars and Sugar Cane Archaeology’s Marvin Bob break ground on a new mountain biking trail network project at WLFN. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
WATCH: Williams Lake First Nation breaks ground on multi-use bike trail project

Phase one of the project will see the construction of a 1,750-metre hiking and biking trail

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

Kira Stowell rode her way to first place in the senior pole bending event at the combined High School Rodeo in Quesnel in the only event of 2020. All regional high school events have been cancelled, although there are still hopes for provincials. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
High school rodeo events cancelled

Rodeos were planned for Williams Lake and Quesnel in early May

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus is closed April 22, 23, Interior Health confirmed. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake COVID-19 vaccine community clinic closed April 22, 23

Interior Health said closure comes as all appointments caught up, or rescheduled earlier

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Most Read