Fire damages Bear Mountain Products

By SUE RYAN

News staff writer

January 20, 2007

CASCADE LOCKS — The smell of smoke still lingered in the air Friday morning at Bear Mountain Forest Products.

The pellet manufacturer endured a three-alarm fire that began about 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon. No one was injured in the fire. A factory shed, used as storage for sawdust, was destroyed and a pellet-storage warehouse was partially burned. Close to 20 percent of the factory’s pellets burned in the fire.

Manager Tim Wingerd was busy with Cascade Locks Fire Chief Jeff Pricher and representatives from the state fire marshal’s office as they began their investigation into the cause of Thursday’s blaze.

“We working on getting a complete assessment right now and finding out a timeline for when we can get back into production,” Wingerd said. “Right now we are closed as we don’t have any electricity to the plant although we have generators set up to power the offices.”

“The cause is under investigation,” Pricher said.

Seven fire departments responded to the blaze. In addition to Cascade Locks, those included Hood River Fire, West Side Fire, and Corbett Fire from Oregon. Fire departments from North Bonneville, Carson, and Stevenson responded from Washington

Bear Mountain Forest Products located in Cascade Locks in the early 1990s. In July, the company signed a 40-year lease with the Port of Cascade Locks. The company is one of three tenants at the port’s industrial park property.

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