Collins Companies' sawmill in Lakeview, Oregon, set to begin logging on portions of US Forest Service land damaged by Barry Point fire in 2012 that burned almost 93,000 acres of public and private lands

LOS ANGELES , September 2, 2013 () – The Collins Companies’ sawmill in Lakeview, Oregon, is set to begin logging on U.S. Forest Service lands damaged by last year’s Barry Point fire, the Herald and News reported on Aug. 31.

The fire burned 92,977 acres of land in Lake and Modoc counties, most of it in the Fremont-Winema National Forest and the Modoc National Forest; 11,200 acres of the total burned was private land, according to the newspaper.

Some 24,300 acres of Collins land was impacted by the fire and the Lakeview mill’s resource manager Lee Fledderjohann said about two-thirds of that had been harvested. The 14 logging companies Collins has contracts with have been delivering up to 145 truckloads of logs on an almost daily basis, he said.

With public--as with private--lands, Fledderjohann noted, the goal is to harvest trees—in particular ponderosa pine—before blue stain and bugs detract from their commercial value.

The Lakeview Sawmill (formerly the Fremont Sawmill) will log in the Fremont-Winema National Forest under contract with the Forest Service, once the federal agency clears hurdles to enable harvesting of up to 25 million board ft. (mmbf) of timber, the Herald and News reported.

Collins also recently purchased a Modoc National Forest timber sale on fire-damaged lands after receiving approval from the Forest Service’s regional forester.

Fledderjohann said crews would continue to harvest company owned lands while transitioning to Forest Service lands if the Fremont-Winema contracts are approved.

The Lakeview mill is currently operating a 40-hour week, though it has been operating as many as 50 hours per week during some periods, and Fledderjohann said hours could be added with more logs set to become available.

Lower value trees are being harvested along with commercial-grade timber, to create landscapes for future planting, said Fledderjohann, adding that contractors had chipped some trees for Collins’ sawmill in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

The Barry Point Fire was started by lightening on Aug. 5, 2012 and spread rapidly over the next few weeks, crossing into California on Aug. 14 before it was contained on Aug. 27 at approximately 93,000 acres, Forest Service documents show. No homes were lost, but there was considerable property loss to landowners and permittees in and around the two national forests and Oregon Dept. of Forestry-protected lands.

The primary sources of this article are the Herald and News, Klamath Falls, Oregon, Aug. 31, 2013, and a U.S. Forest Service review of the Barry Point Fire on Jan. 9,
2013.

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