Wildfire Furniture – From Disaster to Design!
Have you noticed lately? Wildfires across the world are raging bigger and more intense; they are burning hotter, and lasting longer, causing more personal loss and destruction than ever before in history. Over the past 10 years, there were an average of 64,100 forest fires burning annually in the United States alone, with an average of 6.8 million acres burned every year.
In 2019 alone, 50,477 wildfires burned 4.7 million acres nationwide. Now you want to talk about doing something good right there where you are, using what you have available … 4.7 million acres is a lot of burnt trees, and even more log furniture!
Making Wildfire Furniture from local wildfires is one of the purest forms of a “full-circle” sustainable business there is. To take what many see as waste and find good ways to make it work, that’s what my log furniture and this website is all about.
Wildfire Furniture Rocks in All Shapes and Sizes
My name is Mitchell Dillman. I am a professional wood and metal artist living and working in Penrose, Colorado. I make rustic log furniture, fixtures, and home decor using burnt trees harvested from our local Colorado wildfires. From disaster to design, that’s my mantra…from lemons to lemonade … log furniture from burnt trees, let’s do this!
On June 8, 2002, the Hayman Fire was just getting started a few miles from my custom home construction job-site located in Teller, County, Colorado. Ten days later, after having burned almost 140,000 acres and 133 homes, the Hayman Fire was at the time, the largest wildfire in the state’s recorded history. It was right then, right there, using some of those burnt logs, that I started my journey into making log furniture using “Wildfire Wood”.
On June 23, 2012, the Waldo Canyon Fire first appeared as a small plume of smoke just a few miles west of my home and small workshop located on the Westside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Within just a few days, on June 26, the Waldo Canyon Fire crested the ridge of Queens Canyon and proceeded to burn directly into Colorado Springs neighborhoods, ravaging over 346 homes, killing 3 and displacing thousands.
The devastation caused by those wildfires was almost overwhelming … to see those entire forests … entire neighborhoods burned, houses I had built and worked on … I had to let my neighbors know there was something more to be done with some of their burnt trees than just hauling them off the the local landfill!
Wildfire Wood Furniture – Part 3
As a wildfire moves through the forest some trees are burned more than others. Depending on the severity and intensity of the fire, some trees will burn away to almost nothing, while others are just singed, or left almost untouched…but once 90% or more of their needles are gone, they ain’t coming back …and neither is that tree.
At the time, new home construction was just starting to come back after the 2008 crash, but that didn’t matter … I had already made up my mind … I was going to show the world how-to make log furniture using some of our local wildfire wood and this website. That little Westside storage unit was just the beginning…
Wildfire Wood Furniture – Part 1
Wildfire Wood Furniture – Part 2
One year later, the Black Forest Fire was yet another local Colorado forest fire that began near Highway 83 and Shoup Road, just a few miles north of Colorado Springs in Black Forest, Colorado . By June 20, 2013, this wildfire was considered 100 percent contained, but not before having burned 14,280 acres, destroying at least 509 homes, and taking two more lives. This was now the most destructive fire in the state’s history, surpassing the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire.
Sometimes you don’t really know why things happen the way they do… It’s hard to understand unless you have lived through it … the amount of destruction caused by these wildfires, the way they disrupt and destroy peoples lives, and how they demolish entire neighborhoods; they char the earth, everything on it, and alter the landscape so you don’t even know where you are anymore …
Life of Limb – From Disaster to Design
“Wildfire Wood” furniture is all about taking something bad and making it good. Using something that would generally be discarded and making it work. When you make a piece of furniture from an old burnt tree you are not only saving a part of your local history, but passing it on for others to enjoy, and maybe learn from for years to come.
All forests in the world need to be given the same name, so that people can understand that there is only one forest in the world and that every burning forest is his own forest, no matter where in the world! ~
One-of-a-kind Wildfire Furniture
Now, during the current 2020 wildfire season, the Pine Gulch Fire has become the largest wildfire in Colorado states history. California wildfires are burning millions of acres burned. Oregon, Washington State, the entire western U.S., there’s no end in sight …
As of September 13, 2020, large wildfire activity continues across many western states, where some of the largest fires in history are now burning over 4.6 million acres. More than 30,000 firefighters and support personnel are assigned to these incidents across the country. Evacuation orders remain in effect for communities near 36 large fires in the West … and there is No end in sight …
From Disaster to Design!
Colorado Wildfire Wood and Cold Rolled Steel
Get risk reduction steps that can make your home safer during a wildfire.