Chilliwack BC: Logging trucks go up in flame – “there’s so much vandalism…”

Chilliwack Times. July 13:

Chilliwack logging company offers reward for $900,000 arson

The owner of a Harrison Mills logging company is irate after deliberately set fires destroyed nearly a million dollars worth of heavy machinery last weekend.

Sometime between the afternoon of June 28 and the morning of July 3 fire was set to three pieces of road building machinery sitting 11.5 kilometres up Mount Woodside Forest Service Road.

A 1997 Volvo dump truck, a 2004 John Deere excavator and a Finning rock drill—all belonging to Tamihi Logging Company—were destroyed. That has Tamihi Logging owner Brian Dorman spitting mad.

“We are choked,” said Dorman, who pegged the cost of the machines at $900,000. And even though the equipment is insured, the deductible will still cost the company $50,000, according to Dorman.

Tamihi Logging is pledging a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the arsons. If the vandalism continues, Dorman says he’ll increase the reward.

The road under construction was secured behind a locked gate. Dorman suspects that the illicit drug trade may be behind the arson attacks.

“I’m convinced that there is a grow op up there because they’ve been cutting our lock off for weeks,” he said. Dorman said his loggers have encountered marijuana grow operations on crown land at several spots around the Fraser Valley.

He said the arsons are hardly the first instances of vandalism encountered by Eastern Fraser Valley logging companies.

“There’s so much vandalism,” he said. Even so, the arsons he said the arsons are “absolutely on the extreme end of it.”

Dorman said thieves have stolen about $30,000 worth of diesel fuel over the past three years. On other occasions vandals have used guns to shoot up equipment.

Some of the destruction he attributes to “drunken punks [from Vancouver] trying to show off to their 16-year-old girlfriends.”

Dorman is now worried that he will have difficulty in the future insuring other pieces of equipment. So to put a stop to the destruction, he plans to hire full-time security guard to keep an eye on his machinery.

“We’re going to hire some muscle,” he told the Times. “And not the type in black and white suits.”

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