Oregon Wildfires Are Negatively Impacting the State’s Forestland and Timber Industry

Massive statewide wildfires continue to ravage Oregon’s forestlands and their timber industry as well. Jim Gersback, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Forestry is reporting that the wildfires have burned more than 1 million acres across Oregon so far in 2020. Gersback said that the agency does not know how much of that is privately managed timber. Groups representing loggers and wood products manufactures are estimating the losses will total in the hundreds of millions of dollars and that will include charred timberland that will take decades to replant and regrow once the fires are completely extinguished. Kyle Williams, director of forest protection for the Oregon Forest and Industries Council, said he is working with members to determine the extent of the damage. Rex Storm, executive vice president of the Associated Oregon Loggers, said his group is also in the midst of surveying fire damage. He estimates about 100 vehicles and heavy machines may have been left to burn on various job sites as the fires spread out of control. They include logging trucks, harvesters and bulldozers.

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