There was a fire at a Surrey mill on Tuesday, July 4. (Photos: Shane MacKichan)

UPDATE: Bird may have caused large fire at Surrey sawmill

Worker treated for smoke inhalation after large fire at Surrey sawmill

SURREY – Thirty firefighters were called to put out a large wood chip pile fire at a Surrey mill on Tuesday night.

Battalion Chief Reo Jerome said two piles of wood chips, both 40 to 50 feet tall, were on fire when emergency crews arrived on scene around 6 p.m. in the 17800-block of Triggs Road.

“You know wood,” he told the Now-Leader Wednesday morning. “There were two huge piles of wood chips and the wind was blowing quite heavily so it spread from on chip pile on the other.”

Though Jerome said it wasn’t entirely clear what caused the fire, it may have been a bird.

“There was a power outage and a loud bang the owner heard just before,” he revealed. “So there’s speculation that a bird could’ve touched the power lines.”

Jerome said one worker at the mill was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

“He was busy fighting the fire and took in some smoke,” he sad.

Jerome said thankfully the owner of the mill had large front end loaders that helped put out the fire.

“With these types of fires, the fire ends up burying down and gets deep seeded in the piles. The only way to get the fire out is to pull the piles apart.”

A couple of aerial firefighting apparatuses were used to help spray water on the fire, he added.

He praised all involved for their efforts.

“Staff did a great job. They isolated the fire from getting to the hopper, which would have allowed the fire to spread into the building.”

All told, fire crews were on scene for close to four hours.