LEWISTON (AP) – Irving Forest Product’s Pinkham Saw Mill in Aroostook County is being permanently closed, resulting in the loss of 64 jobs.

Irving spokeswoman Mary Keith says workers were briefed Tuesday on plans to close the mill on Aug. 25. The company cited the ongoing slump in home construction as well as a 97 percent increase in fuel costs and a 40 percent increase in transportation costs since 2000.

The company says a fire that destroyed part of the mill on Monday accelerated the timetable. Irving hopes some workers will take jobs at the company’s other operations in Maine.

The mill, which is in Nashville Plantation west of Ashland, was shut down indefinitely last January, but it reopened in May. U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud says the mill’s permanent closing demonstrates that it’s going to take time for the housing market to improve.

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