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Contract workers clear brush on the outskirts of Payson in an effort to create a buffer zone to slow wildfires sufficiently for firefighters to keep them away from town.

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Economics set limit on tree-thinning plan

Salvaging millions of fire-killed trees will likely overwhelm limited capacity of mills and power plants

The debate about salvaging millions of board feet of lumber left behind by the state’s largest wildfire has illuminated the challenging economics of the plan to use a revived timber industry to protect Rim Country from catastrophic wildfires. “We’ve flooded the market already,” said Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests timber manager Ray Rugg of the demand for wood from burned trees cut down along nearly 200 miles of roads in the area burned by the Wallow Fire last summer.

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