Timber industry may be set-back by blaze

April 27, 2007

Waycross -- One of Ware County's largest industries is taking a beating from the wildfires.

Ware County makes up more than 577,000 acres, 89 percent of that is timberlands. So far, more than 60,000 acres have been scorched by the wildfire. The industry impact is expected to be in the millions.

Industry wide, companies are expecting losses because establishment costs are so high and lumber prices are low right now. It will also be a hit for those who had retirement savings wrapped up in the trees.

"The loss for your private land owners that's put a lot of their funds into putting up timber for retirement will suffer the most severe loss because most of those private landowners are not able to insure their timber and in turn will be out minus what the salvage operations can recuperate.

Many mills want the trees salvaged as soon as possible. Damage to the trees will depend on how much heat they suffered in the fire.