Lumber company says one of its machines may have started deadly fire in California
License picture” alt=”The remains of several burnt-out homes are seen in Weed, Calif., last Saturday, where the factory fire burned about 4,000 acres and killed at least two people. Photo by Peter DaSilva/UPI | License picture“/>
September 8 (UPI) — A wood products company said it was investigating the possibility that one of its machines started a deadly wildfire in northern California that charred 4,000 acres and killed at least two people.
The company, Roseburg Forest Products, said its cogeneration plant could ignite the factory fire in the far north of the state last Friday. The fire destroyed more than 100 structures and killed two women.
Roseburg said the investigation centered on a machine at its Weed, Calif. plant that was used to cool ash ejected from the cogeneration power plant.
The factory produces its own electricity in a facility powered by leftover wood, and a generator ejects ash after consuming the wood.
“This particular machine is perhaps the most likely candidate for what propelled or started the fire,” company spokesman Pete Hillan said, according to the Redding’s recording projector.
“We are still investigating. We don’t know yet. But of all the things that were near where the fire appears to have started, this appears to be the most risky item.”
Authorities said the factory fire in Siskiyou County, near the California-Oregon border, was about 75% contained as of Thursday.
On Monday, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said the two women, ages 66 and 73, died in Weed.
The Roseburg plant employs approximately 140 people. The fire of the mill destroyed two buildings at the rear of his property, but most of the plant was undamaged and continues to be operational.