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Plant to be shuttered 30 days after explosions

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News,Business

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — A Plum Creek Timber Co. official says the company's Columbia Falls fiberboard plant will be closed for about a month following explosions and a fire.

Plum Creek Vice President of Northwest Resources and Manufacturing Tom Ray told the Daily Inter Lake Wednesday he expects operations to resume at the medium density fiberboard plant in 30 days.

Two or three explosions were reported Tuesday, followed by a fire. Early Wednesday, firefighters responded to another fire that flared up in the plant.

Columbia Falls Fire Chief Rick Hagen tells the Flathead Beacon combustible wood dust was the likely cause of the explosions.

The 66 employees and two contractors who were inside at the time of the initial explosions left safely, though some complained of smoke inhalation.

The plant employs 183 people total.

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