Houston Chronicle: East Texas Fires Cost $3.4 Billion
The economic impact of more than 2,000 wildfires across East Texas in the past 10 months is approaching $3.4 billion, according to economists with the Texas Forest Service.
That includes $97 million in raw timber value.
The Forest Service says 2,151 wildfires have destroyed 175 million cubic feet of timber since the start of the wildfire season last November.
That could have yielded $1.6 billion in paper, furniture and homes.
Along with the heavy toll on people and property, these fires have significantly damaged the forestland - and the forest sector as a whole - in East Texas," Chris Edgar, a forest resource analyst with Texas Forest Service, said in a statement. "It's a tremendous loss for the East Texas timber industry."
The largest fire of the season - a two-week burn in Cass and Marion counties - destroyed 17.3 million cubic feet of timber earlier this month. It also destroyed 66 homes.
Closer to Houston, the blaze that roared through Grimes, Waller and Montgomery counties earlier this month destroyed 73 homes and 20.8 million cubic feet of timber, with a value of $12.8 million.