WILLIAMS LAKE (NEWS 1130) – The province’s Forests Minister says the historic wildfire season that has charred more than 11,500 square kilometres of land will have lingering implications for the logging industry.
Doug Donaldson says an estimated 53 million cubic metres of timber has burned, which calls for short-term plans to salvage any wood that can still be sold, and long-term plans for reforestation.
Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Council of Forest Industries, says salvaging usable timber to allow mills and the communities around them to get back to work is a priority.
Although mill infrastructure hasn’t been destroyed by fires, she says the shortage of timber and wood fibre, especially in the Interior, has left companies unable to operate.
The BC Wildfire Service says 158 fires are still burning in the province, bringing the total number since April 1 to 1,212 blazes.
Yurkovich says the industry is working closely with the provincial government on recovery efforts, and discussions about changing forest-management practices are expected to continue beyond the current fire season.
BC has experienced a record-breaking wildfire season.