the time trial of loggers to dispose of the burnt wood

In New Aquitaine, 31,000 hectares of forest were ravaged by the fires of summer 2022. Romain Duprat / DR

In the Landes as in Gironde, the plots ravaged by the fires of this summer must be cleaned and reforested as soon as possible.

Le Figaro Bordeaux

In the spring, it will be too late. “Every day that passes multiplies the health risks“, explains Michel Bazin, secretary general of the Association of forestry contractors (Aetf) of New Aquitaine. The Girondin forest manager, who was alongside the firefighters during the July fires, describes the race against the clock initiated by the sector. The stocks of burnt wood must be disposed of. Quick. Still standing, mostly dead or asphyxiated, adult maritime pines are ideal prey for bark beetles. The presence of these harmful insects, attracted by the charred bark and the still green heart of the trees, has already been spotted on the 31,000 hectares ravaged by the flames. Only winter further slows down their progression, which endangers the healthy parts of the farms.

The other stake of the chronometer is economic. The burnt material, which has already lost 20% of its initial value, risks rotting if not harvested quickly. In the Landes as in Gironde, the agenda is slaughter. At a steady pace that forces foresters to find new outlets. “100% of our customers have agreed to take back part of the burnt harvest», rejoices Romain Duprat, a local wood trader. Furnishings, floors, carpentry, trunks well “only a little cookedcan still be valued.

Burnt wood transformed into Made in France furniture

In the Vendée bocage, ten kilometers from Puy-du-Fou, David Soulard had not consumed burnt wood for twenty years in his workshops. This year, he did not hesitate. “Our stock was falling, the market is tight and I needed it“, admits the director of the Gautier group, which manufactures furniture Made in France . Every week, 50 tonnes of calcined bark from the Landes and the Gironde are transported to the factory. The black film, notably resold for mulching, in no way hinders its workers. A win-win for the brand that “out of solidarity» is supplied at green wood prices. “Our employees are very proud of this action, which gives meaning to their job. In this sector where recruitment is not easy, it is important», emphasizes Pierre Grolleau, head of the company’s panel activity.

The Gautier workshops in the Vendée produce furniture Made in France from the forests that burned in Gironde and the Landes in July 2022. Gautier Group / DR

The sector is not in “danger”

A most appreciable solidarity of the world of the forest, although it is necessary “relativize» the extent of the damage according to Michel Bazin. “The Landes massif covers 1,700,000 hectares. This summer’s fires were big, but they’re only a small part of it“Explains the one who is also vice-president of the wood commission of the National Federation of Territorial Entrepreneurs (Fnedt).

Within two years, the burned plots will be completely reforested. “In 2009, 204,000 hectares suffered from storm Klaus. In 1999, 148,000 hectares had been devastated. The forest is still there and it grows every year in France“, he insists.

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