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Roseburg Forest Products looks at sprinkler system, faces lawsuit from Mill Fire

Mill Fire
Erik Neumann
Burned homes near the origin of the Mill Fire in Weed, CA

Springfield-based Roseburg Forest Products owns the veneer facility in Weed, California that was ground zero for the September 2nd Mill Fire. The company said in a statement it’s looking into a “third party” sprinkler system as the source of the fire that destroyed 132 structures and took two lives.

Roseburg Forest Products spokesperson Peter Hillan told KLCC they’re working with Weed city officials to start a fund of up to $50 million dollars to help the community recover. “So that those who need temporary shelter, food and water, clothing, transportation needs, medical supplies, that we can help them out right away," he said, adding, "It’s not an admission of anything, other than Roseburg doing what I think any town or affected community would hope that a good corporate citizen would do.”

Since the statement came out, a family who lost a home in the fire has filed a lawsuit against Roseburg Forest Products. Hillan said he’s aware of it but hasn’t seen the details.

Cal Fire’s investigation of the source of the fire is expected to take about two weeks.

Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.