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4/30/2007

Desperate Georgia farmers scurry to save their trees after fire

Georgia, USA
Photo: T
he tops of burned pines sit beneath a passing rain cloud in the Gardi community near Jesup. A fire on Easter burned the trees, which must be harvested quickly before they lose all their value.

April 29, 2007
TIMBER - Tree farmers must work just as fast as the wildfires racing across Southeast Georgia if they are to have any hope of salvaging timber burned by the massive infernos. "The hotter the fire, the shorter the time you've got to get it to the mill." At least $65 million of timber has been destroyed by Ware County wildfires sparked April 16 when wind blew down a power line. As little as 15 percent of that timber might be salvaged. "Burned wood can be used for brown paper bags. But charred wood, which has a lot of carbon in it, can't be bleached white enough to use for toilet paper or diapers in today's market." Hypothetically, if the burned areas are harvested immediately, they could be replanted in the fall. "But in practicality, it's going to be very difficult to get all that burned wood out of there quickly."
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