VANCOUVER - West Fraser Timber Co. (WFT.TO) Ltd. says it will permanently curtail about 300 million board feet of lumber production at two mills next year, affecting 135 employees.

The Vancouver-based producer says the curtailments at its Fraser Lake and Quesnel sawmills will be achieved through the elimination of a third shift at each mill.

The reduction is expected to impact about 60 employees in Fraser Lake and 75 at Quesnel over the first and second quarters of 2019.

The company says it expects to mitigate the impact on employees by offering them work at other West Fraser operations.

West Fraser says the decision better aligns production with timber supply in light of shortages resulting from the mountain pine beetle infestations.

The industry has also faced U.S. import tariffs that have been offset by higher lumber prices until they recently declined.