Timber industry hit hard in weekend fires

Timber industry hit hard in weekend fires

19 January 2009

published by www.abc.net.au

Australia — The state’s timber industry has lost an estimated $100 million after fire destroyed a pine plantation north of Perth.

Fire destroyed about 2,500 hectares of pine plantation in Yanchep, and more than 70 hectares in Bridgetown in the south-west.

The Forest Product Commission’s Paul Biggs says the fires have wiped out a year’s supply of softwood for the local building industry.

These plantations are specifically being grown to produce structural timber for making roofing timbers in houses.

But Michael McLean from the Master Builder’s Association says the timber shortage will not have any immediate impact on the industry.

“Fortunately the industry’s in a downturn a the moment and it’s very early days to assess its impact,” he said.

It is believed both fires were deliberately lit.

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