Salvaging Charred Trees

Every year, fires burn millions of hectares of forest worldwide. Often, as was the case with some of the fires during the recent tragedy in Victoria Australia, the fires are deliberately lit. Hard working firefighters fight the flames, and clean-up crews including sawmillers, salvage the remains.

Forest fires burning, leading to salvaging charred trees. Forest fires can have devastating affects when they burn in the wrong areas, or at the wrong frequency or temperature.

If near settlements, lives can be lost, buildings destroyed and local economies shattered.

As fires that burn at over 320º Celsius travel through a forest, the leading edge of the fire dries out the trees, preparing them for the flames. As the water content turns to steam, it can blast the tree apart and provide small wood chips for the fire to ignite and grow. The hotter the fire burns the more likely it is to kill the tree instead of char it.

Most forest fires spread at a rate of less than 0.5 km/h, but the fastest fires can burn at 6 km/h or more. The speed depends on tree types and moisture content, wind, atmospheric conditions, and the amount of scrub available to fuel the fire.

Charred Trees after the forest fire, awaiting salvaging So what happens when the flames burn down, the smoke clears and the ash cools? The clean-up.

Logging companies and land owners are part of the clean-up crew of a forest fire. They come in and remove the ‘garbage’ trees, taking them away to be milled into useable lumber.

Trees must be salvaged as soon as possible (within four to six weeks), before they succumb to insects and disease. Dead trees tend to rot quickly and surviving trees are highly likely to become infected.

Salvaging charred trees is the first task, the next is trying to sell them. Many commercial sawmills either will not purchase the burned trees, or will give ‘fire sale’ prices for it. Dead trees dry out fast, and because prices are based on weight, the seller loses out.

A tree farmer who has suffered tree loss due to fires, may not get anywhere near the value of his trees if he attempts to sell it to a commercial outfit. But there is another option; he can harvest and mill the timber himself.

Many woodlot owners have already prepared for the worst; an unplanned fire on their farm. Harvesting gear and portable sawmills can be found around the world in areas of high fire risk, and they can be the salvation of a salvager.

Salvaging charred trees in the forest with a Peterson Sawmill. A Peterson Portable Sawmill is the ideal choice for such a task. Petersons have a range of sawmills that can be set up in any location, meaning that you don’t need to cart your burned trees to a fixed mill site.

With a range of power options and blade sizes, the Peterson sawmill can be tailored to the needs of the farmer, or those affected, giving the best value for money.

Peterson blades can be sharpened directly on the mill in under five minutes, and when dealing with sooty, damaged tree bark, this is a major benefit.

Petersons is a family run operation, and CEO Kerris Browne and her husband Chris feel for those affected by forest fires.

“The fires that recently took the lives of over 200 of our neighbours in Victoria upset our whole family here in New Zealand,” she said. “We can’t imagine what it would be like to have to rebuild our lives from scratch, but we’d like to help victims of forest fires do just that.”

Kerris and Chris are offering anyone affected by forest fire a chance to utilise trees on their property, by giving a major discount on any of their range of portable sawmills.

“After a tragedy like this, comes reality; waking up in the morning and envisioning the long road ahead. A portable sawmill can help you more than you’d think. It can help with salvaging charred trees, rebuild your home and make money for your family to live on – it could be your saving grace.”

If you would like to speak to Kerris or one of her team about the special deal they are offering to victims of forest fires worldwide, contact Petersons and plan your future.

For more information on Peterson’s range of portable mills click here.

Contact  the Peterson Portable Sawmills friendly sales team.

– Forest images courtesy Wikipedia

Related Articles
Scroll to Top

Looking for our sawmill prices?

Peterson Portable Sawmills manufacture and export worldwide from our factory in Rotorua, New Zealand. Encountering fluctuating freight, raw materials, currencies and export costs, therefore we have tailored pricelists pertaining to each country.
We also have over 40 different mill configurations to suit all applications, so it often helps to call and speak to us about your particular needs.

If you would like to recieve a copy of our digital Info Pack and Price List, please click here.