In response to the surge of building after last fall’s wildfires, Friedman’s Home Improvement will open a new distribution yard to serve the construction industry.

Friedman’s has leased a 3.5-acre yard in the Pruitt Industrial Park off Shiloh Road in Windsor, the company announced Thursday. The yard, which features an existing 30,000-square-foot warehouse, is slated to start making its first deliveries in December.

Such a yard is needed to serve “the massive building efforts that will be going on in the next decade” around the region, said Barry Friedman, the company’s president and CEO.

“We feel the time is now for us to open up this yard,” he said.

The October wildfires were the most destructive in state history. The blazes claimed 40 lives and destroyed more than 6,000 homes in the North Bay.

Building industry leaders have predicted rebuilding what was lost in the fires could take a decade.

In Sonoma County, fire survivors to date have applied to rebuild more than 1,300 homes, according to city and county records. Nearly 5,300 homes burned in the county.

In addition to the rebuild efforts, elected officials have called for constructing as many as 30,000 new housing units in the county in the next five years. In the last decade, the county averaged less than 1,000 new units a year.

Friedman said his staff has long seen a need to separate contractor deliveries from the store yards that also serve the general public. Opening the distribution yard can allow more efficient deliveries to job sites and reduce congestion at the store yards.

“It’s going to enhance the service and ease of shopping for all customers,” he said.

Friedman’s has stores in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma and Ukiah.

The Windsor yard will not be open to the public. Contractors will continue to place orders through the sales teams at the four retail outlets, while deliveries will come from the new distribution center.

You can reach Staff Writer Robert Digitale at 707-521-5285 or robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @rdigit.