LIBBY, Mont. December 11, 2018 – The wild fires in 2017 and 2018 burned over 100,000 acres of the Kootenai National Forest. In response to these fires, the Kootenai National Forest has offered in 2018 or will be offering in the spring of 2019, fire salvage timber sales in the burned areas.
The fire salvage sale projects were developed with collaboration from Kootenai National Forest employees and other Region 1 specialists who were willing to come to our local communities to assist in preparing salvage timber sales. These efforts also included discussions with state and county government, general public, and timber industry representatives.
Part of the 2017 salvage sales, the salvage deck sales, were sold in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, for an approximate volume of 4 MMBF. The remaining 2017 fire salvage sales that were offered and sold on the Kootenai totaled approximately 50 MMBF.
The area purchasers of these sales responded quickly to the need for this salvaged timber to be harvested. Their diligent work will contribute to restoration efforts in the burned areas.
The salvage opportunities from the 2018 fires are currently being analyzed. Any potential sales from these fires are planned to be offered in 2019. The fire salvage decks generated from suppression activities have been packaged as timber sales and have recently been sold or are being sold. The approximate volume from these deck sales is 4 MMBF.
These salvage sale projects protect the health and safety of the public, by removing burned trees. The sales contribute to recovering the economic value of forest products in a timely manner. This may help contribute to employment and income in local communities while avoiding the loss of commodity value, all while working toward the objective of restoration.
For more information, contact Stacey Hazen, Timber Management Officer, at 406-293-6211.