Burned timber still salvageable, but clock is ticking

By Melanie Law
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
May 11, 2018


Blackened logs have been a common sight, piled high on logging trucks travelling in to local mills this season. Since the 2017 wildfires got under control last October, 1.3 million cubic metres of fire-impacted timber has been put under cutting permits, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), tells the Observer. “Much of that is going to mills in the Cariboo, more Williams Lake than [Quesnel],” he explains, saying timber affected by the Plateau fire is still useable. Some of the burned timber is not merchantable due to the intensity of the fires. Between April 1 and Nov. 30, 2017, 1,346 wildfires had burned more than 1.2 million hectares in B.C., according to a FLNRORD press release issued in December 2017. Burned timber is only salvageable for a year or two after a fire, sometimes less.

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