The gates have been closed at the Western Forest Products Ladysmith sawmill division since Sept. 21 due to a log shortage caused by the summer wildfires. (Mike Gregory Photo)

The gates have been closed at the Western Forest Products Ladysmith sawmill division since Sept. 21 due to a log shortage caused by the summer wildfires. (Mike Gregory Photo)

Ladysmith sawmill operations suspended due to log shortage

The Western Forest Products Ladysmith sawmill division has been closed until further notice due to a log shortage resulting from this summer’s wildfires, the Chronicle has confirmed.

The local plant ceased operations as of Sept. 21 through to mid-October, although no firm date for a reopening is known as of yet.

Spokesperson Babita Khunkhun said the company’s goal is “to minimize the downtime and replenish inventories as soon as possible.”

“There are 80 employees who are impacted by this temporary suspension of operations,” said Khunkhun. “We have been working to offer employees opportunities to fill shifts at our other mills where vacancies exist.”

All other WFP facilities continue to operate as usual.

The Ladysmith mill operates 80 per week and no specifics were available on the number of logs typically processed, or the how severe the shortage was leading to the temporary loss of work.

Work was last curtailed for two weeks in September 2017.

Khunkhun said the severity of the wildfires in BC over the summer led to the temporary closure.

“This measure was taken as a result of a lack of logs that fit the mill, which was compounded by the recent fire season,” she said.