2020 Labor Day Fires : Economic Impacts

While 2020 was not the largest fire year in Oregon’s history, the Labor Day 2020 fires burned more acres in the Cascades than any other year and set a record for fire acreage on lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry.

These fires destroyed thousands of structures, displaced tens of thousands of people, and caused nine deaths. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent fighting the fires. The restoration and reforestation job facing Oregon’s forest managers is monumental.

This analysis evaluates nine of the largest Labor Day fires and three other fires that burned before Labor Day. To estimate the economic impacts of the fires on Oregon’s Forest Sector, this study quantifies the impacts of the fires on Oregon’s Forest Sector in terms of:

• forestland acreage burned
• volume and value of timber on the burned acres
• long-term impact on future timber supply
• sector-specific impacts on loggers, small landowners and nurseries
• the costs of forest restoration
• the impact on employment in the Forest Sector