The months of December, January and February are very important to sawmills trying to get their winter decks of logs in before the rains and wet conditions of spring arrives. These months of winter logging provide sub-freezing temperatures that allows loggers to operate over frozen ground conditions in the forests and remove the timber with little damage to the soil and to the roads they are driving on.
During these winter months, sawmills must deck up enough logs in their yards to allow them to operate during the months of March, April and part of May when conditions in the forests are wet and the soil and roads are too moist to operate on. Winter logging can be tough on equipment and tough on the loggers working in the woods, often in sub-zero temperatures. Equipment can freeze up, more breakdowns occur during this time, and with the deep snow and ice, accidents are more prevalent.
So the next time you see a log truck going down the road with snow on top of the logs, think about the loggers working hard in the woods helping the sawmills get in their winter decks before the spring breakup takes place and all of the loggers and their equipment have to exit our Forests.
Below are some pictures from Vaagen Brothers Lumber log yard, as they are building up their winter decks. On a recent trip to the Colville and Kettle Falls area, the temperatures were dropping to -15 degrees Fahrenheit.