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Wood Innovation Research Lab - Building Fire Updates

There was an explosion and fire in downtown Prince George on the morning of Aug. 22, 2023 at a building next to UNBC’s Wood Innovation and Research Lab (WIRL). The lab’s west wall caught fire, the building was impacted by the explosion, and a significant amount of water was released inside the building from the sprinkler system. Fortunately, no UNBC personnel or students were on site and UNBC community members are safe. Some bystanders suffered serious injuries; the UNBC community sends positive thoughts to those who have been impacted. We also thank the emergency personnel who responded quickly and limited the damage to WIRL.

April 4, 2024 - Building repairs are nearing completion. The building remains closed for regular operations, but interior repairs are almost complete and the process of moving equipment back in has begun. We anticipate normal building occupancy by mid-April, although some research operations will be limited while we replace state-of-the-art equipment.

UNBC is committed to providing a safe campus for students, faculty, staff and guests. Our goal is to encourage people to be prepared for emergencies and disasters and to respond to, and recover quickly from, unexpected disruptions. UNBC’s commitment to emergency management has the full support of the President and senior executive and our planning is based on the British Columbia Emergency Management System (BCEMS) which is based on the Incident Command System. BCEMS are the lead coordinating agency for the Provincial Government who mandated its application to all Ministries; this system is also adopted by municipalities, districts, regions and agencies across the Province.

UNBC is committed to the following:

  1. Providing for the safety and health of all responders.
  2. Saving lives.
  3. Reducing suffering.
  4. Protecting public health.
  5. Protecting the University’s infrastructure.
  6. Protecting the University’s property.
  7. Restoring the University’s operations.
  8. Protecting the environment.
  9. Reducing economic and social losses.