No injuries were reported after a fire broke out at the International Paper pulp mill south of Grande Prairie on Saturday afternoon.
The County of Grande Prairie Regional Fire Service from the Dunes and Clairmont Stations responded to a reported fire in the International Paper wood room building at approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday (Aug 22).
Fire services helped the International Paper fire brigade upon arrival with what is being reported as an equipment fire within the wood room, a fire at the top of a chip pile, as well as several outdoor spot fires in the area of the wood room building and chip pad.
Crews say the fire was quickly brought under control and fire damage was limited to equipment in the wood room, and an area of a chip pile.
The fire is believed to have originated in the wood room equipment and spread through the chip blower system to the chip pile. They add that with high winds on Saturday, they believe embers blew off the chip pile, which also ignited several small spot fires in the area.
“An immediate call for additional resources and prompt action by the International Paper Fire Brigade prevented further damage to the wood room, spread in the chip pile area and further extension resulting from spot fires,” said Jason Nesbitt, Regional Fire Service Deputy Chief.
“The regional fire service has an excellent working relationship with International Paper and regularly visits the site for familiarization and training. By doing these pre-planning events, our service and regional partners are prepared to respond to any type of emergency at the International Paper Pulp Mill.”
The County Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire.