A Surrey-based sawmill company is donating enough lumber to rebuild 50 homes and buildings – roughly a half-million board feet – to Lytton and the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council in an effort to help them recover from the fire that recently burned the B.C. village to the ground.
“Teal Jones has felt the impact of traumatic fire events, but we were able to get back on solid footing with the help from the forestry community in British Columbia,” says Jack Gardner, great-grandson of Teal Jones’ founder and a spokesman for the family-owned company. “We feel terrible for the people of Lytton and Lytton First Nation affected by this fire, and want to pay that past assistance forward. We encourage other forestry businesses to join us in the rebuilding of these resource-dependent communities.”
Teal Jones issued a press release Monday noting it experienced fires at mills and woodlands in the past, with “perhaps the most significant” having occurred about 20 years ago when “campers violating a campfire ban near Boston Bar caused a significant forest fire that destroyed a large timber supply area. The company was able to recover with support from suppliers and employees.”
It’s B.C.’s largest privately owned timber company. Teal Jones has been investing $60 million in its Surrey headquarters since 2019.
Since 1946, the company has grown from a one-man shingle machine to over 2,000 employees in North America. Of those, 1,000 are in B.C., and half of those work in Surrey at Teal-Jones’ main site on Fraser River, just this side of Barnston Island.