Fire spontaneously combusts at mill

A potentially disastrous mill fire was snuffed out by Lumby firefighters early this morning

A potentially disastrous mill fire was snuffed out by Lumby firefighters early this morning.

A small fire spontaneously erupted in a waste pile at the Whitevalley Tolko Mill at around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“It was somebody driving by who called it in and he was there with a backpack pump so until we got there, so that helped,” said Lumby fire chief Tony Clayton.

Although the blaze was small, sitting near the log yard amongst additional sawmill waste, “it had the potential to be quite disastrous,” said Clayton.

“But we got there and got some water on it before it got nasty.”

And although it was just a small piece of the pile that was burning, thermal camera imaging showed hot spots throughout a significant portion of the pile.

Lumby firefighters actioned the blaze for six hours until it was safe for Tolko to take over with sprinklers on the pile.

Two tenders, an engine, commander unit and 10 firefighters were on scene.