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Crews Harvesting Wildfire Timber

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Josephine County is reaping in the benefits from the wildfires over the summer.

The Josephine County Forestry Department is harvesting forest lands burned from three wildfires this summer. Those three fires – Stratton, Dad’s Creek and Brimstone – burned about 2,600 acres.

Crews are harvesting about half of that and they started last week. The county has completed 11 sales. Boise-Cascade is one of the companies buying from the county.

The Forestry Department estimates it will generate a little over a million dollars from all of the sales. The money goes into the general fund where county commissioners will divvy it out. The Forestry Department already spoke with commissioners and say most of that money will go back to them.

“We need some of that back to help reforest. We’re expecting the cost to reforest run up to $750,000, because some of the areas didn’t have large enough trees to reforest to log on. But we still need to reforest it anyway,” said Vic Harris with Josephine County Forestry.

The Forestry Department will plant about a million trees in the areas of those wildfires in the next three years. County Commissioners have to approve the timber sales and two sales have already been voted on to move forward.