Explosions 'new territory' for beetle-ravaged lumber industry

Sawmill explosions in the B.C. Interior have thrown the province's forest industry into turmoil, raising concerns the mountain pine beetle's dam-age to the sector may be entering a new and more deadly phase.

The potential for dry beetle-killed wood to pose a safety hazard comes at a time when the industry is struggling to cope with pine beetle impact.

A report prepared before the explosive dust became an issue shows more sawmill closures and curtailments are on the way as the wood deteriorates in quality, leading to higher operating costs.