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East Texas timber salvageable after wildfire

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — More than one-third of the nearly 36 million cubic feet of timber killed earlier this year by wildfires in Grimes, Jasper, Trinity and Polk counties has been salvaged, according to Texas Forest Service analysts.

The salvaged timber was collected through August from the Bearing Fire in Trinity and Polk counties, the Powerline Fire in Jasper County and the Dyer Mills Fire in Grimes County, all of which burned in June.

The timber will be used to produce up to $110 million worth of forest products like homes, furniture and paper, the creation of which will spur roughly $241 million worth of total economic activity in East Texas.

“This effort is a testament to the hard work and cooperation of logging contractors, foresters and forest owners to mitigate timber losses from these devastating wildfires,” said Burl Carraway, Texas Forest Service Sustainable Forestry Department Head. “These positive impacts would have been lost had salvage not occurred.”

Dyer Mill Fire
The Dyer Mill Fire ignited June 21 and burned for almost three weeks, charring 5,280 acres and destroying 30 homes in Grimes County. The blaze ravaged 4.7 to 6.7 million cubic feet of timber, which was worth $2.5 million to $3.6 million as it stood in the forest — a figure also known as stumpage value.

Powerline Fire
The Powerline Fire ignited on June 21 and burned for more than three weeks, charring 4,197 acres in Jasper County, which ranks the highest among all counties in East Texas when it comes to reliance on forest industries. The blaze ravaged 3.3 to 5.1 million cubic feet of timber, which was worth $2 to $3.1 million as it stood in the forest — a figure also known as stumpage value.

Bearing Fire
The Bearing Fire ignited on June 30 and burned for more than a month in Trinity and Polk counties, charring 22,222 acres and destroying one home. The blaze ravaged 21.4 to 30.6 million cubic feet of timber, which was worth $12.8 to $18.3 million as it stood in the forest — a figure also known as stumpage value.

Salvage efforts were aided by the motor carrier waiver granted by Gov. Rick Perry. The waiver allowed more fire-damaged timber to be salvaged.
Though salvage estimates go only through the end of August, salvage operations are continuing with some of the remaining charred timber being used to create energy for Texas.

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