Impacts of 2020 Wildfires on West Coast Log Supply and Timber Markets

A joint study by FEA and MB&G

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In a short period of time, wildfires in western Oregon have damaged large volumes of standing timber, including inventory located on privately-owned industrial timberlands. The damage from these wildfires will impact log markets in the West for quite some time. In the near-term, salvage operations will attempt to recover as much of the burned timber as possible; and in the longer run, the loss of billions of board feet of timber will further stress log availability in a region already constrained by tight timber supply.

This study will provide detailed estimates of timber losses for three regions in western Oregon. The analysis will examine both the near-term and longer run impacts of the wildfires on log markets in these regions.

Topics Covered

Key Questions Answered

  • What is the area affected by the fires in terms of ownership class, damage severity, forest type and age class?
  • What is the volume of damaged timber on industrial timberlands?
  • What are realistic expectations in terms of volumes and timing for salvage operations? What will be the limiting factors?
  • How has the wildfires affected the region’s logging and trucking sectors?
  • How has expected harvest volumes shifted over the next 15 years?
  • What is the likely impact on log prices both near-term and longer run? How will this affect the competitiveness of the region’s mill capacity?