MACKENZIE (NEWS1130) – A BC Interior community that faced devastation following sawmill closures is taking the lessons it learned to Burns Lake. The District of Mackenzie is offering its help, knowing that the future of the Babine sawmill is very much uncertain.

Mayor Stephanie Killam has seen five sawmills close in recent years, all of which bounced back and reopened. She knows how tough it can be.

“When you lose your major industry, it’s devastating,” she admits. “At the time, you don’t know what to do. So, you have to try and find ways to make things work. We have had that expertise and have offered [it to] Burns Lake when they decide that they are ready.”

“There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. But you have to deal with the hit that you get and figure your way on how you’re going to make things work. That’s very tough to do,” explains Killam.

Her advice is for Burns Lake to ask other communities, agencies and universities for help getting people working again. Workers at the sawmill are unemployed; there’s no word on when the mill will reopen.