Fires destroy nearly $50 million in timber - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fires destroy nearly $50 million in timber

June 27, 2007

Waycross - The Georgia Forestry Commission estimates $48 million of timber have been lost to the South Georgia Wildfires.

And what wasn't killed off is slowly dying each day.  "There's a lot of it on the border line of being dead now," says Darrell Musgrove of Mullis Logging.

With the timber industry taking such a massive hit, small crews like this are working throughout Ware Charlton, and Clinch counties to salvage what they can.  "There's a lot of it to cut. A lot more than what we'll be able to cut so there's a lot of crews in there cutting," he says.

With only one mill accepting the damaged goods, it's a job with an air of urgency.  "If they get full, they'll cut everybody off.  They don't want anymore than they can use," says Danny Maddox, a Chief Ranger with the Forestry Commission.

The timber that's salvaged can be used for brown paper products. But many of these trees were young and growers will still loose money on the wood that makes to it to market.  "They've lost a lot of growth potential they could have had over the next several years," Maddox adds.

It will take years to pull the industry out of its rut, but it will continue to rebound with the growth of each new tree.

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