Thick smoke is pouring across Port Moody at this hour, from a working fire at the Flavelle Sawmill.
Fire crews are on scene, and early reports suggest a pile of sawdust next to the mill has caught fire. Firefighters from Coquitlam have been called in to help as crews in Port Moody battle the blaze.
Coquitlam fire chief Wayne Pierlot says the amount of potential flammable material can make mill fires particularly stuborn.
“Any fire that gets deep rooted in a combustible source such as shavings or lumber, stacked lumber or otherwise, can be very difficult. A lot of variables any time you fight industrial fires.”
Pierlot also said the blaze may take more than a day to put out.
“It’s not like you just send a bunch of firefighters up the slope of the sawdust pile with hose lines. First, they’re going to make sure that the fire is actually contained to that area, and once they have it under control or partially put out, they’ll begin the hard work of taking that pile apart to make sure it’s out.”
The mill is next to the popular Rocky Point Park and smoke is blanketing the area.
Severe smoke has forced the evacuation of rocky point park, the pier, and boathouse — and the closure of Murray street.
The city says it looks like the fire started in a conveyor system, but the cause is still under investigation.
PMFR has responded to a Fire at Flavelle Mill. Please avoid the area of Murray & Moody Street until further notice.— PortMoodyFireRescue (@PortMoodyFR) July 18, 2016