4 Tips for Harvesting, Using and Buying Timber Salvaged From Fire

Timber salvage is an ethical and acceptable source of wood from trees that would otherwise get wasted. The salvaging utilizes live or dead trees in forests, farms or urban areas that have not been derived from state forests or natural forests to make useful construction materials, craft works, firewood or furniture. Nonetheless, it is possible to get timber salvaged from burnt forests, but there are numerous legal, logistical and ethical issues that should get considered. Below are some tips to keep in mind irrespective of whether you will undertake the timber salvaging yourself or buy the lumber from a logging company.

Local logging laws

Before an individual can head into a burnt forest for timber salvaging, it is mandatory for them to have the right permits and permissions from the local logging authorities. For instance, in Western Australia, logging is prohibited. However, an individual is allowed to cumulatively collect firewood of up to one tonne within a period of sixty days provided the wood gets collected and no trees get cut down. 

Trees on private land

For individuals whose properties are affected by bushfires, they are allowed to fall and harvest the trees for timber salvage. Nonetheless, they have to follow the rules depicted by the local authorities. For instance, in New South Wales they use the 10/50 rule which outlines that individuals are allowed to cut down the trees located within a 10 metre radius of their property, and they can also remove any bushland within 50 metres from the buildings on their property. The rule only applies to fire mitigation, however. If the area has already experienced a bushfire, an individual can utilize the same rule for timber salvage.

Timber salvage building materials

The Australian government has specific building laws that delegate which type of salvage timber can get used for construction in bushfire prone areas. Thus whether buy the salvaged timber from professional loggers or undertake the timber salvaging yourself, it is vital to check if it meets the building requirements in your area. Typically, the salvaged timber needs to get treated using a fire retardant, and it also has to be a fire resistant timber salvage. Examples of fire resistant timber salvage species include silver top ash, Blackbutt and spotted gum.

Inquiring about timber salvage strategies

When buying timber salvaged from an area ravaged by bushfire, it is essential to make sure the suppliers logging methods were in accordance with the set environmental laws. Sustainable loggers only timber salvage burnt trees that have no chance of life. Additionally, they should leave a few snags to provide shelter for animals and insects in order to facilitate biodiversity.