Timber Company To Start Replanting Trees One Year After Germann Road Wildfire

Lyme Timber Company Will Work With DNR To Repopulate 4,800 Acres Of Destroyed Timber

Above, the scene in Douglas County following the Germann Road wildfire. Photo: Rudy Listing/WHSA-FM.

The company that took the brunt of last year’s wildfire in Douglas County says it will keep the property, and begin replacing the pine trees destroyed in the blaze.

The Germann Road fire was the largest forest fire in the state in 33 years, burning through 7,500 acres a year ago. The Lyme Timber Company owned most of that land and lost 4,800 acres of timber. The company’s forestry operations director Sean Ross says they were able to salvage some burned timber over 25 percent of that area, but that otherwise the pines were destroyed.

Ross says they’re working with the Department of Natural Resources to see what trees come back this summer.

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“Species like jack pine usually come in after a fire,” said Ross. “The DNR has a strong desire to have some natural forest in that region, so wherever we can have a healthy, productive natural forest come in, we’re going to go with that.”

Other areas will be seeded with red pine. Ross says red pine can be harvested after 25 years and jack pine takes 40 years. Nevertheless, he says the New Hampshire-based company isn’t going to sell the land.

“The fire doesn’t change any of our thinking in terms of our investment in the property or ownership plans,” said Ross.

Ross says although the fire was fast and dangerous, he remains impressed at the response by state and local firefighters to contain it after two days.

“I’ve heard folks say that had that wind not shifted and had they not maintained that cone shape, instead of a 7,000 or 8,000 acre fire it could have been 50,000 acres,” said Ross.

A 90-degree wind shift directed the fire toward an area lake; had that not happened, it would have continued northward toward a vast unbroken pine forest.