Driftwood recovered from dam in northern Japan given to people to use as fuel

Driftwood recovered from a dam in northern Japan's Yamagata Prefecture has been given to people, who are struggling with higher fuel costs.

Every year, usually in the spring, the prefectural government recovers driftwood from a dam in the town of Mamurogawa, so that it will not damage the structure.

On Friday, people in more than 45 mini trucks visited the office that manages the dam. They picked up pieces of driftwood that can be used as fuel.

Logs that were about 40 centimeters in length were loaded onto the vehicles. The logs were cut from oak, beech and sawtooth oak trees.

Officials say the number of people who came to pick up firewood was more than double the number that they usually see in one year. That may be due to a sharp increase in fuel costs. The wood can be used to heat greenhouses and homes.

The officials say they recovered about 20 tons of driftwood from the dam. They added that all the wood was taken.

A man in his 70s came from Shinjo City, which is nearby. He said the wood will help him save money on fuel.

Takahashi Kenichi is a prefectural official in charge of managing the dam. He said that he hopes the driftwood will be used effectively. He also said he hopes the wood will help people.