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Canada’s Norbord Begins Logging Burned Wood After Wildfire

Norbord is buying up wood burned by the Gustafsen wildfire. A local logging contractor, Rod Dillman, is the first to begin harvesting in the Gustafsen fire area, says Mike Kennedy, Woodlands Manager with Norbord in an email. He adds that there are some unique challenges logging burned wood.

“According to Rod, a primary challenge in logging the burned wood is the increased maintenance needed on his machines. There is a lot of ash dust which, even more than ‘normal’ dirt, tends to stick to surfaces and must be washed off rather than just wiped. It also makes it necessary to change air filters more frequently. Finally, carbon in the ash is hard on the knives used in the harvesting equipment. Rod also states that they are learning as they go, as this is the first time he has operated in such a large area of scorched timber.”

Kennedy says that luckily there are a few things that have moderated the effect of the fires on the trees, meaning most of the wood is still intact underneath the bark. “Certain species, for example, Douglas-fir with its thick bark, have evolved to withstand the effects of fire, which is a common natural event in the areas where it grows. Fire intensity was not uniform across the landscape, so in many places, trees were scorched on the bark only with minimal damage to the underlying wood. Entire trees are not necessarily affected, with more damage occurring in the bottom portion. It is often possible to buck this out with log processors at the roadside. Processing pressure can be increased to remove most of the severely burned bark or wood.”

They take pride in their adaptability to make the most of the fiber available and are very experienced using dry pine beetle killed wood, he says. “Norbord maintains the highest quality standards for our products and these standards are ensured through third-party certification by APA – The Engineered Wood Association. We have been able to use burned wood in the past.”

From 100 Mile Free Press: http://www.100milefreepress.net/news/norbord-starts-logging-burned-wood/

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