Southeast Alaska company markets fireplace logs across state for first time

KETCHIKAN – An Alaska-made product that aims to be an environmentally friendly alternative to regular wood logs will be sold for the first time across the state.

Viking Firelogs made on Prince of Wales Island are being shipped to the nine Walmart stores in the state, the Ketchikan Daily News Wednesday.

The 3-pound logs are made from the compressed trimmings and waste from Viking Lumber’s two sawmills. No adhesives or binders are used in the making of the logs, the company said.

Don Reed and DJ Hansen created Tongass Wholesale Distribution to distribute and market the product, which has previously been sold only on the island.

“It‘s basically a byproduct, something renewable, sustainable, green,” Hansen said.

Each store will get two 2,000-pound pallets of the logs to sell. These shipments of logs will serve in part to test the product’s commercial performance, Hansen said.

“So every Walmart store in Alaska now has two pallets, and we‘ll cross our fingers and hope that sales go good so they‘ll take more,” Hansen said.

At peak production, the operation on Prince of Wales Island can make up to 10 tons of logs per day, Hansen said.

Depending on the success of the product, Tongass Wholesale Distribution might push the other stores across the U.S., Reed said.

The company is also looking for other Alaska-made products to distributor to a wider consumer base.

“There’s probably a lot of really good products that are made in Alaska that just aren’t getting to the markets, so that’s one of the things that we want to do,” Reed said. “Whether it’s small, medium or large, we want to set up a channel for you – to get it into the markets.”


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