The consumer price for plywood and OSB (oriented strand board) in the north has doubled over the last few weeks due to the wildfire crisis, according to several Smithers businesses.
Sales Manager Chris Mitchell with the Smithers Lumber Yard says the overall cost of lumber has also increased significantly.
He says most of the mills for their plywood are located in the Williams Lake area where loggers are unable to harvest enough in the affected areas to keep up.
“Can we pull it out of other areas of the country and all that? No, it’s tough. Because each province and each area have already delegated that kind of wood for their exports and their local stores,” says Mitchell.
He says the crisis is the cherry on the cake for the industry especially considering the province is still reeling from the pine beetle epidemic.
Contractors, the construction industry, and home owners are also some of the people that will feel the pinch, says Mitchell.
“I think it’s tough for the consumer as well because you’ve budgeted for a certain price range. But a natural disaster like this has put it back quite a bit. And we’re trying to keep it competitive.”
Talking with suppliers, Mitchell says the prices are likely to stay where they are for another 6-8 weeks.