The Labor Day 2020 windstorm resulted in five simultaneous “megafires”– fires greater than 100,000 acres in size – in Oregon, as well as 12 other fires ranging from 112 to 50,951 acres. All these fires either started or blew up on Sept. 7 and 8, 2020, and in a matter of days more than 1 million acres burned.
In light of 2020’s historic fire season, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) commissioned a study examining how the Oregon forest sector, the portion of the state economy that’s reliant on forests, was affected. Conducted by experts from the natural resource consulting firm Mason, Bruce & Girard, in partnership with the forestry economic analysis and forecasting firm Forest Economic Advisors, the report looks at the economic impacts of last year’s Labor Day fires on the sector, which ranged from lost timber and forestry and logging equipment to forest restoration efforts made more difficult by unanticipated demand for resources such as tree seedlings.
2020 Labor Day Fires – Economic Impacts to Oregon’s Forest Sector full report looks at the various ways forest landowners and businesses such as logging companies and sawmills were affected by last year’s fires, presenting its finding that the Labor Day wildfires had substantial impacts on the sector and will continue to impact Oregon’s timber supply, forest-related employment and other economic factors well into the future.
The 2020 Labor Day Fires – Economic Impacts to Oregon's Forest Sector summary report covers the key findings of the full 2020 Labor Day Fires report. It takes a graphical approach to summarizing the economic topics examined by the research team. Accompanying the statistical summaries are profiles of individuals who were affected by the fires, and the opportunity to put salvage wood into a beautiful new structure.
We look at the five megafires included in the 2020 Labor Day Fires report, and provide a four-page summary of information about each wildfire. We know how these fires affected the statewide forest sector, but see how they affected your county.
On Nov. 16, 2021, a webinar was held to promote a more in-depth discussion of the economic impacts of the 2020 Labor Day fires. The videos below are recordings of the five presentations from the webinar.
2020 Labor Day Fires: Economic Impacts to Oregon’s Forest Sector Report
Mark Rasmussen and Roger Lord, Mason, Bruce & Girard
Rocky Goodnow, Forest Economic Advisors
Gail Krumenauer, Oregon Employment Department
Forest Restoration and Salvage Panel
Private landowners: Seth Barnes, Oregon Forest & Industries Council
State ownership: Ron Zilli, Oregon Department of Forestry
Federal ownership: Abe Wheeler, Bureau of Land Management
Forest Operators: Impacts, Challenges and Opportunities
Rex Storm, Associated Oregon Loggers
Impacts on Markets and Mills
Tyler Freres, Freres Lumber Co.
Family forests: Alicia Christiansen and Glenn Ahrens, Oregon State University Extension Service
Seedling availability: Astrea Strawn, Oregon Department of Forestry
Nursery production and capacity: Jeff Stone, Oregon Association of Nurseries
All lands restoration project: Amy Markus, U.S. Forest Service, and Brian Kittler, American Forests