The region's wood processors have warned of a million-dollar downturn following the fire's destruction of major forests around the state.
General manager of the Tumut-based Bago Hardwood Sawmill, David Knowles told The Daily Advertiser he expects a $2.5 million loss this year, following the decimation of the Bago State Forest, south of Batlow.
"We've had to put off work for a week, and we're looking like we might be facing between six weeks and several months without log," Mr Knowles said.
"I don't know how we'll stay in business. Farmers have been wiped out, small businesses are struggling but we can't survive without timber and there's nothing anyone can do at this point."
While the hardwood industry faces an absence of supply, neighbouring softwood processors are confronting an overabundance of damaged product.
Up to 32,000 hectares of the Riverina Highland's softwood reserves have been damaged by the fires, forcing an extreme race against time to process anything usable.
Consequently, 230 employees at the Hyne Timber Mill in Tumbarumba are looking to recommence operations in the next few days.
"We've met with local growers to see how they've been impacted [but] our growers are still assessing what can be salvaged," said general manager Peter Hyne.
Without a specific indication of the damage or how long the salvaged wood will last, both the Hyne Mill and Bago Mill are facing uncertainties.
"Hardwood is salvageable for longer, so there's not that race against time as much," Mr Knowles said.
"[For us] it's a case of how do we get recovery timber now? If we can get through the short term, then at the medium term we'll be viable. But how do we get from today to March?"
The small 14-employee operation has already had to turn down orders for January and February. Without the certainty of supply in the future, Mr Knowles concludes he may not see any income until after April.
"How many small businesses can operate without a dollar in five months? We support four or five companies in the town, and all our workers are Tumut locals. It could mean a $1.5 million loss [to Tumut]," he said.