Chasm sawmill to close; 176 employees out of work

West Fraser will be permanently closing its Chasm lumber mill, the company announced today (June 17).

According to a press release, West Fraser will also be eliminating the third shift from its 100 Mile House lumber mill. 

Both changes will take effect during the third quarter of 2019, notes the release.

“We sincerely regret the impact this decision will have on our employees, their families and the affected communities. We will be making efforts to mitigate the effects of this business decision, including opportunities for affected employees to transition to other company locations,” says Ray Ferris, president and chief operating officer, in the release.

The decision is a result of "well-documented timber supply constraints," adds Ferris, including the mountain pine beetle infestation, the recent wildfire seasons, price declines in lumber markets and high saw log costs.

The curtailments and closures will impact around 176 employees at Chasm and around 34 employees at 100 Mile House, according to the company's statement.

Today's news follows similar announcements made earlier this month. Canfor plans to close its Vavenby mill while Norbord will be indefinitely curtailing production at its oriented strand board mill in 100 Mile House starting in August.

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