FESBC helps community salvage burnt wood for bioenergy

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) helped a community harvest wood burned in forest fires to convert it into bioenergy.

After a forest fire burns through a forest, a lot of debris and charred trees are left in place, such as in the Elephant Hill fire in 2017. Often times this charred woody fiber can burn again but is left and unrecovered, as the economic cost of doing so exceeds market value.

The Clinton Community Forest (CCF) has requested funding from FESBC to protect the community by recovering burnt fibers.

In partnership with Ledcor Group and Arrow Transportation Systems, FESBC and CCF aimed to recover as much burnt and wasted fiber as possible. Funding of $ 512,000 (€ 360,000) was provided to recover and use 32,000 cubic meters of poor quality waste fiber, or approximately 580 truck loads.

“Usable and viable wood can still be salvaged after a forest fire, but only for a period of time afterwards,” said Steve Law, RPF, CEO of CCF.

“Normally we would selectively cut Douglas fir and we had about 50% left. After a big fire, most of the work consists of replanting without compensating for the cost by selling the logs. Without the funding from the FESBC, this work would not have been economical and the fiber would probably have been burnt. The financial support allowed us to recover the fiber instead.

“Some of the recovered fiber was crushed and trucked by Arrow and Ledcor to Kamloops,” said Ian Brown, vice president of lumber and fiber supplies at Ledcor Group.

“This fiber was used as a biofuel to generate electricity and thermal energy, and in some cases the biomass logs affected by the fire were trucked and sorted at River City Fiber to make products at pulp base and biofuel. “

The project included funding of $ 128,000 (€ 90,000) to create a 100-meter-wide fuel cut-off southeast of the village of Clinton to help reduce future risk of forest fires to the community. . A fuel cut is an area where the trees are further apart, and the amount of flammable wood is reduced to slow a forest fire.

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