Early morning fire erupts at R-Y Timber

Employee flown to burn center; planer building destroyed; manager says apparent cause was dust explosion
John Carroll - Enterprise Staff Writer
Monday, September 12, 2022
Article Image Alt Text

Photo by James Davisson

A fire rages at R-Y Timber — one of Livingston’s largest employers — early Monday morning. The sawmill suffered major fire damage, and one employee was life-flighted to a hospital in Salt Lake City with burn injuries.

Article Image Alt Text

Photo by Danielle Babcox

Firefighters are silhouetted against the flames as they work to extinguish the fire early Monday at R-Y Timber.


Article Image Alt Text

Photo by Danielle Babcox

Firefighters battle an intense fire Monday morning at R-Y Timber in Livingston.

Article Image Alt Text

Enterprise photo by Dwight Harriman

Emergency vehicles are pictured at the site of the R-Y Timber fire Monday morning around 7:30 a.m.

An early morning fire at R-Y Timber in Livingston on Monday destroyed a 6,000-square-foot building and machinery, and caused one employee to be life-flighted to a Salt Lake City hospital with burns, confirmed Dan Richards, the general manager at R-Y Timber.

The apparent cause of the fire — which started around 6 a.m. — was an electrical spark and a “dust explosion,” said Richards.

About 50 fire and police personnel were on location to battle the blaze with flames as high as “30 to 40 feet,” according to Danielle Babcox, public information officer for Park County Rural Fire District #1.

The fire was contained around 9 a.m., said Babcox, and was “not progressing to other buildings, but there are a lot of hot spots.”

Fighting the fire and helping with water operations were Park County Rural Fire, Livingston Fire and Rescue, Wilsall Fire District, Paradise Valley Fire, and other city and county officials.

Richards said the lumber company’s planer building was “burned to the ground.”

R-Y Timber employs about 70 people in Livingston. The sawmill makes 2-by-4 and 2-by-6-inch studs from timber grown in the Rocky Mountains.

Richards said it was too early to tell how the fire would affect operations or staff.

In May, R-Y Timber’s shuttered sawmill in Townsend caught fire, destroying the building and machinery.

Richards did not disclose the name of the employee who suffered burn injuries.

Special Sections