Crews were called to the Pinnacle Renewable Energy pellet manufacturing plant in Lavington, BC on Tuesday after a blaze ignited in a piece of drying equipment inside the facility, local news organizations reported.
Dispatched to the site at about 10:30 a.m., firefighters arrived at the facility and learned a deluge system in the dryer was triggered and that an onsite team was working to douse the flames, officials told GlobalNews.ca.
Reports said the fire generated a large volume of heavy smoke. The fire was extinguished by 1 p.m.
“It could have been a lot worse, but their fire system that they have in place definitely helped out,” Lavington Fire Chief Marty Wright said in coverage by Vernon Matters.
This May, a “process upset” caused a fire in one of the plant’s two dryers. The facility sustained minor damages during that incident.
Stephanie Hoffmann, a councilor for the District of Coldstream, expressed concerns that the plant may “endanger” the community, the local school, and first responders to the Vernon Morning Star.
“It just goes to show that no matter what kind of promises of safety measures and ‘state of the art’ technology Pinnacle assured council and our community with, the industry of making wood pellets is a continuous risk of fire and explosion,” the councilor said in an interview with the newspaper.