Trees Damaged in King Fire Given New Purposes

LINCOLN -- The day starts dark and early for workers unloading trees, freshly cut from the forest.

The trees come from the blackened mountains in the Eldorado Forest, ravaged by the King Fire in 2014.

The month-long blaze destroyed 100 thousand acres of land, including 12 residences and 68 structures.

"It's hard to see that type of devastation, that massive loss," Mark Luster, Community relations manager at Sierra Pacific Industries, said.

But Luster and his company believe there is a little bit of hope.

Just recently, large scale tree cleanup began. They are now salvaging what is left.

"The tree is dead, but under the bark, often the tree has some usable fiber. So we can take that fiber and turn it into wood products," Luster said.

Once the bark is stripped off, the trees come inside, where they are turned into usable wood.

The burn scar leaves a unique blue hue, but the makeup is still just as strong.

"You can make furniture, doors, tabletops, toys, a lot of the same things you cane make with green trees," Luster said.

As for the now empty part of the forest, replacements are already being planted.

"On Sierra Pacific land, after the King fire, we are planting over 6 million trees. So that's the beauty of the salvage operations," Luster said.

The hope is to have a brand new green forest as soon as possible.