Fire burns a million dollars in logwood business
A fire that was started to clear a plot of land on the Western Highway has resulted in major losses to a nearby company. The manager of the Pine Lumber Company got the news on Saturday afternoon that a bush fire near his log yard was out of control and spreading quickly. A combination of heat, strong winds and dried logs made it a tough task to contain the blaze, which continued into Sunday afternoon. News Five’s Delahnie Bain headed west today to find heaps of ashes where hundreds of logs once stood.
Delahnie Bain, Reporting
Ashes and logs were still smoldering today after a massive inferno on Saturday, devastated a logwood company on the Western Highway in Georgeville. Amin Bedran, the manager of the Pine Lumber Company, says the fire was lit in an adjacent lot, when heavy winds allowed it to spread quickly.
Amin Bedran, Manager, Pine Lumber Company Limited
“I got a call about two-thirty Saturday afternoon and came out to see a fire burning on the east of our property. Obviously somebody was burning their property—they had chopped it earlier in the day and decided to burn in the middle of the day in May with wah heavy easterly blowing. That property sits on the eastern side of our log yard even with us having a big fire break between our property and the log yard, there was no way we could contain it. As you guys can see what the flames have done to the trees behind us.”
The singed palm on this Cohune Tree indicates how high the flames rose as the Pine Lumber log yard was completely engulfed. Luckily, the fire was contained and kept from spreading to nearby buildings.
“In the beginning we were trying to see how much logs we could at least contain. It got so bad that we diverted from trying to save any of the logs in the log yard but trying to save our sawmill. So to answer your question we were here until nine, ten o’clock on Saturday night; that’s when it kinda died down. We had quite a bit of help from the Fire Department in San Ignacio, the guys in Spanish Lookout and my good friend Snooty Fox from San Ignacio and a lot of other people that came over to help.”
“And it continued to smolder on Sunday?”
“Yes, as the wind picked up on Sunday morning and it got hotter, we had to be out here with water trucks and we had to continue containing. Most of my equipment was up in the Pine Ridge, we had to move it down early Sunday morning to be working out here to contain this fire.”
The destroyed logs included Timber, Nargosta and Rosewood; it’s a loss estimated at almost a million dollars.
“Ninety percent of our logs in our yard; as you can see it’s a big log yard and you can see ashes and smoke all around you except for some little pine trees behind us that—so we lost quite a bit, all of our logs that were piled up over the dry season.”
“Any idea as to the value?”
“It would be difficult to say, I don’t know eight hundred thousand to a million dollars.”
According to Bedran, the disaster could have been avoided if they were forewarned that the cleared lot would have been burnt.
“How could you burn a lot in the east of us looking at all of these logs with the wind coming in this direction and all these buildings and if they needed to have done that, if we were told we would have been out here with our water trucks and our equipment if he had to burn or if we were called.”
“And you don’t know who the person is from the next lot?”
“No, I don’t know. The neighbors say it was some Spanish guy and after he lit it and he realized it was out of control he just ran off.”
Delahnie Bain for News Five.