Salvageable timber found in Brian Head Fire burn scar

Salvageable timber found in Brian Head Fire burn scar (Photo: D.J. Bolerjack / KUTV)

(KUTV) Need fire wood?

It’s been a pleasant surprise to many that some of the more than 70,000 acres that burned during the Brian Head Fire has salvageable wood.

But how much of it can actually be used? 2News found out.

The answer is, between 150 to an estimated 600 acres of timber is OK to de-bark, cut, split and package. Eric Taylor with the National Forest Service said this wood left over will likely be used for firewood. But before anyone can use this lumber Taylor said the wood needs to be collected off the burn scar floor, quickly.

“The quicker we can get to it the better, before it starts to rot,” Taylor said. It only takes a few weeks to start the rotting process.

The forest service is going to take bids for harvesting the wood. That will then open things up for Lumber mills and companies around the region to purchase this wood.

Taylor said they will likely sell it for less than $15 to $20 per hundred cubic feet.

“It's pretty inexpensive. It’s a fairly cheap value wood,” Taylor said.

Harvesters can't gather more of the timber scattered through the burn scar because of rough terrain. Taylor said that the high temperature fire actually burned a lot of the top soil away, exposing rocks they didn’t know were there.

“With some of these areas that are remote and hard to access we can't really get into some of the areas just because the road building and construction would cost more than the value of the wood itself,” he said.

The hope is to have the wood harvested by winter weather. Taylor said they are going to use the upcoming winter to plan for a few weeks they will go out and plant new trees in the wounded forest.

“We are excited to get in here and do some planting.”

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