Logging company loses equipment worth $1.6 million in Sawyers Valley fire

Arson Squad detective Kevin Wisbey calling for people to come forward with information about Sunday's Sawyers Valley fire.
Stock image.
Arson Squad detective Kevin Wisbey calling for people to come forward with information about Sunday's Sawyers Valley fire. Stock image.

A LOGGING company has been left with a massive damage bill from Sunday’s deliberately lit bushfire.

Arson Squad detective Kevin Wisbey said the company had lost valuable equipment.

“I’ve been told $1.6 million worth of equipment,” he said.

Forest Products Commission strategic planner Henry Hausen said the company had been contracted to harvest pine planted in the region about 25 years ago.

“They lost a specialist-built trailer, an eight-wheel forwarder that carries wood from the forest to the roadside and a harvester with a log optimiser on the head,” he said.

Mr Hausen said the commission would wait for the Parks and Wildlife Service and other government authorities to declare the area safe before it and the company returned.

“They will be keen to recover their gear and salvage what they can off the incinerated machinery,” he said.

“We will salvage what product we can from that area for sale as “short rounds” or damaged woodchip.”

Sgt Wisbey repeated his call for anyone in the area on Sunday to come forward.

He said there were campers, off-road motorcyclists and a silver Ford Falcon sedan seen leaving the area.

“We just want those people to identify themselves so we can eliminate them,” he said. “Even if they saw nothing.”

He confirmed there were two ignition points to the fire, fairly close together, which, fanned by an easterly, burned through 4000ha of bushland and “I’m sure… killed wildlife”.