Fire at Plum Creek Plant Shuts Down Production Line

Fire at Columbia Falls plant did minimal damage, but fire-suppression equipment needs to recharge

By Molly Priddy

An early morning fire at the Plum Creek medium-density fiberboard plant in Columbia Falls will result in the company shutting down a production line for up to six days.

The fire, which started at about 6 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20, originated on Line 1 at the plant. It started in the area where the fiber is held before it is fed into the processing line, according to Kathy Budinick, senior director of communications with Plum Creek.

There were no injuries as a result of the fire, and all employees were able to exit the building safely.

While it appears that there was no damage to the equipment on Line 1, production won’t start up again until the fire-suppression equipment can recharge, Budinick said, which can take four to six days. The company is also investigating the incident and taking time to clean up, she said.

Line 2 at the plant is already back to production, she said.

The MDF plant was closed for about a month last summer after a fire and explosion blew out the building’s walls.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.