The recent bushfires in Victoria, Australia are estimated to have destroyed around 25,000ha of “merchantableforest, according to VicForests, the organisation that manages timber harvesting in state forests.
The loss in terms of timber and “economic activity related to its harvestingis reckoned to be A$600m (US$418m).
In addition to the loss of native forest, an estimated 18,000ha of pine and eucalypt plantations were also destroyed.
The worst hit plantation company was HVP Plantations which lost 16,500ha, or 10% of its estate. “Victoria builds 42,000 houses a year, so we have lost the equivalent of one-and-half years of timber used in housing construction,said HVP’s chief executive Linda Sewell.
VicForests estimates it has 12 months to harvest salvageable timber before it dries out.