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Wildfires Hamper Log Haulers

CROWSNEST PASS, Alta. - Log and lumber haulers in B.C. and Alberta now have another challenge to deal with - hundreds of wildfires that are wiping out prime forests.Fires have raged in the two western...


LUMBER: B.C. and Alberta widlfires are just one more headache for haulers.
LUMBER: B.C. and Alberta widlfires are just one more headache for haulers.

CROWSNEST PASS, Alta. – Log and lumber haulers in B.C. and Alberta now have another challenge to deal with – hundreds of wildfires that are wiping out prime forests.

Fires have raged in the two westernmost Canadian provinces for most of the summer, destroying thousands of hectares of forests.

Among the worst was the Lost Creek fire in the Crowsnest Pass region of Alberta, near the B.C. border.

There, more than 20,000 hectares of forest were wiped out.

“This could affect our business greatly,” Larry Ruzek, co-owner of Atlas Lumber, whose firm has harvesting rights in the area recently told local media. “We don’t know how much yet, but we know this is very serious.”

Ruzek said his company hopes to retain the salvage – wood that still retains some value and can still be sold. Also being eaten up by the fires are plantations – areas of young trees that would normally be harvestable in 30 years or so.

“That won’t affect us right now, but there are some areas that are burned quite heavily and this has to be assessed before we know where we are at,” said Ruzek.

Young forests that will emerge from the fire-ravaged woodlands won’t be harvestable for decades. Areas affected by the fires will start regreening next year.


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