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BNSF chips in by helping Indian reservation move salvaged logs

On Jan. 15, Burlington Northern Santa Fe moved the first unit train of burned logs salvaged from last year's forest fires at the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Snowflake, Ariz.

In conjunction with Apache Railway, BNSF plans to move the logs in daily unit and manifest trains from Snowflake to mills in California, Oregon and Washington. To accommodate the loads, BNSF modified 230 rail cars, which will be used by Apache Railway.

During the next six months, BNSF expects to transport 5,000 cars of logs — enough to make 85 million board feet of lumber.

"The trees must be harvested quickly to avoid further decomposition from the fire damage," said Chadeen Palmer, spokesperson for the White Mountain Apache Tribe, in a prepared statement.

The logs will be made into high-grade door and window moulding, and framing material for home construction.

The timber was damaged last summer during the Rodeo-Chediski fire — the largest wildfire in Arizona's history — which burned 469,000 acres on the reservation.

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More News from 1/16/2003