Fire crews converge to extinguish Athol lumber mill fire - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fire crews converge to extinguish Athol lumber mill fire

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PHOTO: Lynn Weishaar PHOTO: Lynn Weishaar
ATHOL, Idaho -

A fire broke out at Merritt Brothers Lumber Company in Athol on Wednesday. 

A thick black plume of smoke could be seen for miles Wednesday morning, but it soon diminished as crews got the fire under control. We're told the fire burned in the planner building, which is right next to the storage building were all the finished wood is stored. 

It took four separate fire departments to get a handle on the fire.

The fire broke out around 11 a.m. Firefighters say the fire was so hot the wood inside the storage building could have caught fire itself. Combine that with the dry conditions and the heat, and the fire could have turned out much worse.

"From a firefighting point of view, with the gear and the 90 degree temperatures, that's always a strain on crews that way. But being a wood plant, if you will, it probably didn't have a great factor on that," said Jim Lyon with the Northern Lakes Fire Protection District.

No injuries were reported and investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire and the cost of any damage to the lumber company.

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