A substantial area of the NSW State forest estate has been impacted by bushfire.
When the immediate impact of bushfire has passed, our focus will move from firefighting to assessing the impact of the fires.
Both timber plantations and native forests have been impacted. However, not all the forests have been severely burned, particularly on the north coast and we expect many of them will recover in the coming months and years.
State forests are managed over the long-term to grow and regrow. Where the fire has not been intense, areas may quickly regenerate.
Where the fire has been more severe we may work to actively promote regeneration, using a range of techniques regularly employed to rapidly regrow forests following timber harvesting.
It is our intention that all areas impacted will be regenerated or replanted as soon as practical.
Rebuilding homes and infrastructure
With fire affecting homes and infrastructure right across the state, timber is vital to rebuilding the state. We are doing all we can to protect the timber resource, along with lives and property in local communities.
In the short-term, we have experienced a significant increase in demand for power poles and other products required by local communities as they begin to rebuild vital infrastructure.
Crews are continuing to deliver these critical products to support the rebuilding effort.
Softwood salvaging operations
Pine plantations around NSW have been impacted by fire.
Fortunately, pine trees affected by fire can be harvested. Once the outer bark is removed, the timber is still strong and suitable for a range of uses including landscaping and structural timber.
Pine trees can be salvaged for 12 months or more after a fire. Logs can also be stored for many years if immersed in water or under sprinklers.
We will work with local mills to help ensure timber is available for the NSW community to re-build after the fires and that the local timber industry has supply into the future.
Working for the long-term
Forestry is a long-term industry and we will be replanting and regrowing these plantations so they continue producing renewable, sustainable timber products for the future.
However, we know there will be an impact in years to come on the supply of timber for Australians and employment in regional towns like Tumut where the timber industry is a major employer and contributor to the local economy.
These fires are large, their impact great and the recovery for local industry will be challenging. But timber is a vital product – the ultimate renewable product – and we will regrow the areas affected.
Pine plantations produce structural timber for things like house frames, and with fire affecting so many homes and infrastructure right across NSW, timber will be vital to rebuilding of the state.
We are committed to working with the local mills to help ensure timber is available for the NSW community to re-build after the fires and that we regrow these plantations so our community has a long-term timber supply into the future.