On the morning of June 13th, a straw fire began at Columbia Straw’s Lyons Ferry location.
As of 6:00 am, June 19th, the fire had been reduced to a pile of smoldering straw about a stack’s width and 1 foot high. A fire team with truck and Columbia Straw individuals continue to work round the clock cutting, stirring, and monitoring the pile for the next 24-36 hours preventing potential flare ups. Phil Farmer of Columbia Straw said, “… the entire team responded quickly and competently and they immediately moved to 24 hour rotation maintaining control of the situation.”
Exact origin of the fire is still unknown, but speculation points to nearby traffic debris of WA-261.
The fire has less than a 1% impact on Columbia Pulp’s total straw inventory which is spread across multiple sites and separated by highways and water. This loss will have no impact on the start-up of the Lyons Ferry plant.
Moving forward, Columbia Straw will continue their operations and enhance their ongoing fire response and prevention tactics. Farmer also stated, “Columbia Straw met with the fire chiefs from the responding districts in a post mortem on 6/19 at which time we worked jointly to improve our Stack Yard construction SOP, our fire prevention plan, and our fire response plan. These changes will be implemented as quickly as possible.”