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News / Clark County News

Longview wood chip fire nearly extinguished

Wood chip mountain smolders for fourth day

By Craig Brown, Columbian Editor
Published: July 21, 2023, 11:20am

A fire in a mountain of wood chips at a Longview mill was nearly extinguished by Friday evening, with only six small piles smoldering and emitting light smoke.

Earlier in the day, local fire chiefs took turns overseeing private firefighting efforts at Nippon Dynaware Packaging, located along the Columbia River waterfront near the Lewis and Clark Bridge. Contractors and mill employees used bulldozers to pull the pile apart so large streams of water could be played on the smoldering fire.

Crews also worked to remove damaged conveyors, which were a safety hazard and restricting firefighting efforts.

The fire was reported at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday and prevailing winds carried the smoke south into Clark County, making air conditions here unhealthy. The smoke has since moderated and air conditions have improved. Friday morning’s air quality was rated as “Good” by the website airnow.gov.

The company uses the wood chips to make bleached paperboard for liquid products including coffee, milk and sake.