Firefighters deemed the mill at Winlock Fibre LLC a total loss following an intense fire that broke out at the sawmill early Wednesday morning.
The first units who arrived at the scene just after 3 a.m. on July 28 found heavy fire conditions from the large mill structure that threatened an additional structure in the 400 block of E. Hale Road.
Crews were able to launch a defensive attack and contain the fire to the mill structure, but were unable to save the mill.
“The loss of the mill is estimated to be several million dollars and devastating to our community and the 56 employees,” wrote Lewis County Fire District 15 in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon.
The fire was determined to be under control by 6:25 a.m. and units remained at the scene extinguishing hot spots until 2 p.m.
Approximately 50 firefighters in total responded to the blaze, including crews from Lewis County Fire Districts 15 in Winlock, District 2 in Toledo, District 20 in Vader, District 5 in Napavine, District 1 in Onalaska, District 13 in Boistfort, District 8 in Salkum, District 3 in Mossyrock, District 6 in Chehalis, Cowlitz Fire Districts 6 in Castle Rock, District 2 in Kelso and the state Department of Ecology.
The Lewis County Fire Marshal is currently investigating the cause and origin of the fire.