Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 7, 2015

Business & Politics

B.C. to legislate $36-billion agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG

The Province
July 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Finance Minister Mike de Jong says the potential economic returns from British Columbia’s first liquefied-natural-gas deal will outweigh any targeted-tax tradeoffs included in a 25-year deal he expects to table in the legislature next week. De Jong said Monday he expects British Columbians will support the blueprint for the largest private-sector investment in the province’s history that is valued at $36 billion, estimated to create 4,500 construction jobs and projected to generate $9 billion in government revenues in a decade. He said B.C.’s entire forest industry generated between $550 million and $600 million for the province over the past five years.

Read More

North Shore forestry crisis reaches logjam

Canadian Press
July 7, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The forestry crisis on Quebec’s North Shore has reached a critical point. On Monday, Résolu, Remabec and Boisaco removed their equipment from logging areas. Local officials, union representatives and workers reiterated their demand for urgent intervention by Premier Philippe Couillard after a meeting last Tuesday with ministers Laurent Lessard, Carlos Leitâo and Jacques Daoust and company officials didn’t result in an agreement. During that meeting, the government announced it would provide $13 million in aid to the companies, but that did little to satisfy their demands.

Read More

SPI employees vote to drop union representation

Plumas County News
July 3, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

In an election held last week, employees at Sierra Pacific Industries’ Quincy sawmill overwhelmingly voted to discontinue being represented by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 3074. Of the 226 union employees eligible to vote, 211 cast their ballots Wednesday and Thursday, June 24-25. Seventy-five percent of those voters — 157 to 54 — sent a message that it is time to move on without the union’s involvement in the sawmill “We appreciate the confidence and trust our crew members have in our company,” said SPI spokesman Mark Pawlicki, director of corporate affairs and sustainability.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

John Keppler: Wood-pellet industry good for environment, economy

Letter to the Editor
The News & Observer
July 6, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

In response to the June 18 Point of View “The wood-pellet industry and the harm it’s causing”: Our energy company is creating hundreds of jobs and investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Eastern North Carolina while making an environmentally sustainable product that protects Southern forests. And our wood pellets – a small, seemingly ordinary product – bring big reductions in climate change around the world. Don’t take my word for it. Agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and researchers at Duke University and N.C. State University agree: Wood pellets are good for forests, the environment and the economy.

Read More

Forestry

Forestry meetings coming to Thunder Bay & Kenora next week

TB Newswatch
July 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY — Forestry ministers from across Canada will converge on Northwestern Ontario with industry leaders next week for three days of high-level meetings on the rebounding industry. The National Forest Innovation Summit will meet in Kenora on Wednesday and Thursday, then the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers will wrap up the week in Thunder Bay on Friday. The Kenora sessions will include roundtable discussions on emerging technologies and challenges to the sector. Kenora MP and Minister of Natural Resources, Greg Rickford will deliver a host address on Thursday.

Read More

Our View: Pass a Clean Wildfire Fighting Bill

Magic Valley
July 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

…Wildfires are exorbitantly expensive to fight. Each year the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management absorb firefighting costs in their budgets, often times depleting wildfire prevention programs. Without funds necessary to manage our forests and range lands to prevent or reduce fires, we are in a vicious cycle of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Sen. Mike Crapo and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, are working together to change the law so we fight the biggest and most costly fires with Federal Emergency Management Agency funds.

Read More

Guest Opinion: Oregon’s forests were born to burn

The Mail Tribune
July 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It is fire season, and dry forests like the Buckskin fire near Cave Junction were born to burn. While it is understandable to get caught up in hyperbole over fire, given it affects us all, we would like to offer an ecological perspective on fire as nature’s phoenix and ways to coexist safely. In our region fire is to dry forests as rain is to rainforests; both are important in the life of a forest to provide clean water, climate stabilization, hunting and fishing, outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat. A fire does not destroy a forest; rather, it simply resets nature’s clock as it has been doing for millennia. After a fire, the dead trees are not a “wasteland” that needs to be “restored” by logging, but rather their roots anchor fragile soils and trunks shield young seedlings from intense sunlight.

Read More

Guest Column: Shady outside interests control Oregon environmental groups

NR Today
July 3, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two of the loudest voices in Oregon state politics receive the majority of their funding from outside the state and get their marching orders from shady special interests, according to IRS documents and other public records. The Oregon Environmental Council and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters are considered among the most prominent environmental groups in the state. Few organizations have as much sway in the halls of the state capitol and in the voting booth. This year, the two environmental extremist groups have fought, with mixed success, to keep the state’s unpopular Clean Fuel program, increase public funding for electric vehicles and passenger rail boondoggles, and ban many children’s toys containing common chemicals, among other pet issues.

Read More

Critique of forest collaboratives may lead to lawsuits

Participants disagree on effectiveness of meetings
The Bend Bulletin
July 3, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A collection of environmental groups airing grievances about the forest collaborative process may mean more lawsuits over timber projects, says the head of a Central Oregon-based environmental group. Frustrated with the results of forest collaboratives, Karen Coulter, executive director of the Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project in Fossil, said there may be more litigation now. Forest collaboratives involve public land management agencies, like the U.S. Forest Service, working with environmentalists, timber interests and local elected leaders to devise forest management plans on which all the parties involved agree. Such plans include thinning and prescribed burning near Black Butte Ranch in the Deschutes National Forest.

Read More

Mighty oaks: Restoration projects aim to bring back an iconic Oregon landscape

Corvallis Gazette-Times
July 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Adam Stebbins walks through an active logging site at Fort Hoskins Historic Park, the ground dotted with standing stumps and littered with broken limbs. A lone oak stands in the middle of the clearcut, looking a little battered. Stebbins points toward a line of Douglas firs crowding the edge of the clearing. They’ll be the next to go. “You can see from historic photos from the late 1800s, those trees, they weren’t even there,” he says. And they won’t be much longer. The Benton County Natural Areas and Parks Department is in the midst of cutting down conifers and thick underbrush that have encroached into what used to be an expansive meadow carpeted with native grasses and studded with spreading oak trees.

Read More

Fix forest roads with more federal dollars

Great Falls Tribune
July 2, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For the past few years, several existing roads within the Lewis and Clark National Forest have deteriorated to the point they are unsafe and dangerous to travel, whether you are trying to reach your favorite camping spot, fishing hole, cut firewood, do some hunting or just take a day trip to enjoy our forest. The U.S. Forest Service contends its road maintenance budgets have been cut back year after year. Without funding from Congress to keep these roads up, countless numbers of repair bills to vehicles, camper units, motor homes and trailers have resulted among those trying to navigate through potholed, rutted roads that used to be maintained.

Read More

Rumors of southern pine deaths have been exaggerated, researchers say

Phys.org
July 3, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


Researchers at the University of Georgia have a message for Southern tree farmers worried about unexplainable pine tree deaths: Don’t panic. A new study published in Forest Ecology and Management analyzed growth in thousands of pine tree plots across the Southeast and indicates that “southern pine decline” isn’t happening on a large scale. Some earlier reports and studies had hinted at large-scale deaths of pine trees from unexplained reasons. But looking at the hard data shows that this is not the case, said Kamal Gandhi, an associate professor and forest health expert at UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Read More

13 years after emerald ash borer’s arrival, metro Detroit communities embrace tree diversity

Model Media
July 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Detroiter Kevin Bingham is well acquainted with the plight of southeast Michigan’s ash trees. As a tree caregiver, he’s been working with various tree services in the metro area since 2001. Bingham noticed an upsurge in clients wanting ash trees pruned in 2002, followed by a spike in removal requests the next year. The “main catastrophe” hit Detroit and its suburbs between 2004 and 2007, when, he says, tree care companies were “removing them left and right.” After that, there wasn’t much left to do. Nearly all mature ashes in the area had been wiped out.

Read More

Tree-Killing Beetle Found in 3 NJ Counties

NBC Philidelphia
July 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

In the 1960s, the Beatles inspired a “tree-hugging” generation of hippies. Now, New Jersey residents should be on the lookout for a different kind of beetle that are attacking their ash trees. The emerald ash borer, a “highly destructive” beetle, has been detected in five New Jersey towns across three counties, New Jersey Department of Agriculture officials reported Monday. “Emerald ash borer is a fast-moving, highly destructive invasive pest, which could lead to the death of ash trees,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “Now that the beetle is in New Jersey and is starting to spread, we ask that towns put plans in place to respond to the beetle.”

Read More

A Glowing Way to Monitor Forest Health

Photonics.com
July 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A faint glow emitted from plants during photosynthesis could be key to measuring the health of large areas of forests and croplands in real time. The glow can be detected by spectrometers aboard orbiting satellites. Currently, the standard technique for measuring photosynthesis, called eddy covariance, relies on ground-based, tower-mounted detectors that monitor only smaller tracts of vegetation. Through a ground-based study, a research team has now helped to confirm that this subtle glow, known as solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF), can serve as a strong proxy for photosynthetic activity in a deciduous forest. The glow is invisible to the naked eye. The team was led by geoscientists from Brown University in Providence, R.I., and from the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. 

Read More

Specialty timber workers’ request to access World Heritage forests may have Commonwealth backing

ABC News, Australia
July 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmanian specialty timber workers may have Federal Government backing in their bid to have their craft recognised by UNESCO. The specialty timber sector wants access to about 9,000 hectares of World Heritage listed forest. It believes Tasmania’s cultural history in timber crafting should be recognised by the United Nations in a similar way to the state’s Indigenous heritage.

a

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change to push sockeye salmon prices up 70% over the long term: study

Business in Vancouver
July 6, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sockeye salmon … prices react to fish-stock shortages driven by climate change, according to a Vancity report released July 6. The price of sockeye salmon is forecast to soar 70% or more – in 2015 dollars – by 2050 due to an expected 21% drop in stocks of that species. Changes in ocean chemistry caused by carbon dioxide emissions have already hurt key marine ecosystems and organisms, including seafood… “Without action, climate change will have massive and mostly irreversible impacts on ocean ecosystems and the fish they provide,” said study co-author Dr. Rashid Sumaila, director and professor of the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Economics.

Read More

Global warming exacerbates B.C. wildfire severity, scientist says

Fire seasons will be longer, more intense as temperatures rise
Vancouver Sun
July 6, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

When it comes to the skies overhead, it appears that orange is the new blue. Get ready for more of the apocalyptic haze as scientists warn that climate change is blazing a whole new trail for the Earth. “Climate change is one of the most serious problems we are facing on the planet,” said John Innes, dean of forestry at the University of B.C. Innes blames the wildfire outbreak on a trend to warmer temperatures that has been exacerbated by several cyclical ocean patterns leading to warmer water.

Read More

First woodchips to be exported out of Esperance in Western Australia this week bound for China

ABC News, Australia
July 7, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

This week, the first woodchip ship to ever leave Esperance in Western Australia will set sail for China. Trees were originally due to be felled in the south-east coastal town eight years ago, but slow growth rates and the demise of managed investment schemes saw the asset lie idle for nearly a decade. The trees stand on valuable cropping and grazing land and, in the past couple of years, without any prospect of chipping on the horizon, many blocks were raked and burnt to make way for traditional agriculture once again.

Read More

Arctic shrubs may cause greenhouse emissions, report says

Whister Question
July 6, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

One of the largest ever studies of how climate change is remaking the face of the Arctic has found that shrubs are gradually taking over the tundra. And David Hik, co-author of the paper in Nature Climate Change, said the increasing dominance of shrubs over grasses is likely to be the cause of its own climate feedback. “The shrubs are a dark surface and they reflect less of the sun’s radiation back into the atmosphere,” he said. Shrub roots, which penetrate deeper into the soil than grass roots, are also likely to break up permafrost and allow water to trickle down into it. “All of the evidence is that that leads to the release of stored carbon into the atmosphere,” Hik said.

Read More

Forest Fires

Long-time logger helped B.C. fight previous forest fires

Globe and Mail
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The man who died while helping fight a forest fire near Sechelt over the weekend had been logging on British Columbia’s coast for 40 years and was well known around his hometown as a local hero. John Phare, 60, who lived in Roberts Creek, had been contracted by BC Wildfire Service to cut down trees at the site of the Old Sechelt Mine fire on Sunday when he was struck by a falling tree. He died at the scene, the coroners service said.  “Everybody called him a hero, no matter what, because he helped people
all the time,” said his brother, Lonnie Phare. “He was well liked in the
whole community.”

Read More

Martin Mars on water tomorrow: Wayne Coulson

Alberni Valley News
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A long awaited sight will greet Alberni Valley residents tomorrow when the Martin Mars waterbomber hits the Sproat Lake waters. “The Mars will be watered tomorrow and the training of flight crews starts at 10 a.m. tomorrow and should be doing test flying on Wednesday afternoon.,” said Coulson in an email to the News. The waterbomber is currently on standby. If the Mars is sent to fight fires it will do so under an existing helicopter contract with the provincial government, he said.

Read More

Local crews on site and on alert

Comox Valley Record
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Six members of the Comox Fire Department are lending their resources to help fight the growing forest fire on Dog Mountain, on the south end of Sproat Lake Provincial Park near Port Alberni. Comox Fire Chief Gord Schreiner told The Record from the fire scene as of Monday, the crew will also help with their structural protection trailer. …The BC Wildfire Service danger rating for the majority of Vancouver Island is rated at extreme, meaning dry forest fuels and the fire risk is very serious. Cumberland Fire Chief Mike Williamson said the smoke hanging in the Comox Valley is impeding on their nightly patrols of the area. …“One of our highest risks is a forest fire, because we’re completely surrounded by forest. If we get the wrong winds, it’s very dangerous to Cumberland.”

Read More

Lightning sparks wildfires in Revelstoke area

Revelstoke Times Review
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Several small wildfires were sparked by lightning in the Revelstoke area last week, however the community has so far been spared the large blazes impacting other parts of the Southeast Fire Centre. The BC Wildfire Service listed two forest fires near Revelstoke — a 0.5 hectare fire in the East Twin Creek area east of town, and a 0.3 hectare fire near Greenbush Lake southwest of town. 

Read More

Province will pursue those who start wildfires in BC

Chek News
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the majority of fires burning in BC, including two on Vancouver Island, are deemed to be human-caused, the Province says it will be focusing efforts on finding those responsible. Fires caused by people can be by accident or on purpose but officials with the Wildfire Management Branch of BC says efforts will be made to determine the exact cause and who did it. “These fires are expensive for taxpayers, they’re very dangerous, they put peoples’ lives in jeopardy and they take resources away from our ability to fight lightening-caused fires. …The recent fire activity has many people on edge, including those who fight fires.

Read More

Forest fire surrounds La Ronge airport

Mayor calls situation very serious
CBC News
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest fires continue to creep closer to the town of La Ronge. According to Mayor Thomas Sierzycki, fire has surrounded the town’s airport. As well, fire is now on both sides of Highway 102, about three kilometres away from major residential areas. “Currently, the fire threat is very serious to the community,” said Sierzycki. Over the next few days, Sierzycki said crews will be looking at cutting a number of fire lines to slow the fire’s progress.

Read More

184 Active Wildfires in Province; 27 Started Yesterday Alone

Boundary Sentinel
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Province is cautioning all British Columbians to be diligent with fire safety and report all wildfires to authorities as 184 active fires are being fought across British Columbia with nine evacuation alerts and orders currently in effect, impacting over 800 homes. Twenty-seven new fires started in B.C. yesterday, with extreme fire hazard rating in many areas, and hot and dry weather conditions continuing to present challenges to firefighting efforts. British Columbians are urged to be responsible and abide by all fire bans and evacuation orders until conditions change. Campfire bans have now been implemented across the province.

Read More

Scores of wildfires in Western Canada creating a disaster of historic proportions

National Post
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest fire season has hit Canada early, and it has hit Canada hard. As of Monday more than 2 million hectares of forest were on fire, thousands were on the run, several battalions’ worth of soldiers were being scrambled to Saskatchewan and even B.C.’s famously moist rainforests had become dry enough to be torn through by flames. National Post reporter Tristin Hopper reports that with searing temperatures and bone-dry conditions forecast for the immediate future, it may just be the beginning:

Read More

Climate change a big factor in persistent wildfires: Professor

Wildland fire expert says decreased rains are due to ‘lazy jetstream’
CBC News
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

According to an expert of wildland fire, Saskatchewan’s smoky skies and persistent blazes can be largely attributed to climate change.  Mike Flannigan is a professor in the department of renewable resources at the University of Alberta.  A former weather man with Environment Canada, Flannigan says climate change is contributing to a lazy jet stream, effectively decreasing the energy needed to create rain and wet conditions.

Read More

Dog Mountain fire grows to 125 hectares

Alberni Valley News
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West


The B.C. Fire Service reported that the Dog Mountain fire had grown
to 125 hectares, the Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department reported.  According to the B.C.F.S., fire conditions in the North Island have
improved somewhat, which may allow for more resources to be sent to the
Alberni Valley.

Read More

Montreal Lake chief says fire damage is frustrating and heartbreaking

Six structures including a trailer were destroyed by fire.
CBC News
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Edward Henderson, Chief of the Montreal Lake First Nation, has confirmed that six structures, including a four-plex, were lost to forest fires. Henderson said people are sad to learn the news, but said, “We were blessed that we didn’t lose more structures at this time.”  “It’s been frustrating, it’s been heartbreaking,” he said, “to inform people that they’ve lost their homes.”  Henderson said 15 families have lost their homes.

Read More

Wildfires continue to burn outside Pemberton

Whistler Question
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfires burning outside of Pemberton continue to blanket the Sea to Sky corridor with thick smoke. A 5,000-hectare fire that was sparked by lightning near Boulder Creek, about 23 km northwest of Pemberton Meadows, has prompted an evacuation order on both sides of the Lillooet Forest Service Road, from the nine km mark to the top of the Pemberton Valley, according to BC Wildfire Service. It’s currently 0 per cent contained and members of the public are advised to stay out of the area. Poor visibility due to the smoke on Monday (July 6) has kept crews from flying helicopters into the area to cool down hot spots.

Read More

B.C. asks for help as wildfires rage across province

B.C. has already spent $80 million on firefighting efforts this year, blowing through a planned $63-million budget
Vancouver Sun
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government has put in a request for help from other provinces as firefighters struggle to get B.C.’s wildfires under control. B.C. has already spent more than $80 million on firefighting efforts so far this year, blowing through a planned $63-million budget, Forests Minister Steve Thomson told reporters Monday morning. “We’re at a critical stage in our resources, depending on the number of new fire starts. We need to look across the country for support,” he said. “Requests are in, but those requests need to be balanced off against requests from all other provinces.”

Read More

Forest fire hazard high in Sault, Sudbury areas

Soo Today
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

As of the early afternoon of July 6, three new fires have been confirmed in the region in the previous 24 hours. All of these occurred in the Sudbury region, and two have seen been declared out. The active fire, Sudbury 26, is being held. Currently there are ten active fires in the region, a majority of which are being observed in the far north. The forest fire hazard ranges from low to extreme.

a

Read More

House Republicans push to deregulate the U.S. Forest Service

Washington Examiner
July 7, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States

House Republicans next week will consider legislation aimed at eliminating red tape at the U.S. Forest Service so it can fight wildfires and other natural disasters more efficiently and with fewer regulatory delays. According to a House aide, the bill is meant to make it easier for the Forest Service to take steps such as removing dead trees after a fire and other efforts to reduce the risk of new fires, without first having to undertake “lengthy and costly planning processes.” Those requirements have made the agency “overly cautious,” the aide said.

Read More

Firefighters continue work on blazes in Montana, Idaho

Missoulian
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Fire crews spent the Fourth of July strengthening fire lines on the Glacier Rim fire north of Columbia Falls. The fire has been burning for more than a week now. High winds in the area on Saturday night caused the fire to cross containment lines to the south and southwest. The human-caused fire is partially burning in the area of the 2003 Roberts fire, in an area of heavy dead timber, and fire crews are worried about falling snags. A total of 92 firefighters are currently working on the Glacier Rim fire, which was listed as 70 percent contained on Sunday, and continuing to hold at 85 acres in size.

Read More

Oregon’s Corner Creek fire now 15 percent contained

Longview Daily News
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

DAYVILLE, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Forestry reports some progress in containing a wildfire that has scorched 40 square miles and continues to burn actively on the west side of the South Fork John Day River. The Forestry Department says the Corner Creek fire in the Ochoco National Forest has generally stayed within control lines to the east, south and southwest. And crews late Sunday were able to complete a burnout operation on the west side.

Read More

USFS: Conditions Ideal For Megafires This Summer

Capital Public Radio News
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service is re-examining how it manages wildfires this summer.  It has historically tried to let lightning-caused fires burn in remote areas as a way to reduce forest density. The hope was to keep forests, particularly in northern California, healthy. Chris Schow with the U.S. Forest Service Fire Aviation and Management Division says that way of managing wildfire probably won’t work this year. “Due to weather conditions well beyond our control, we could see another megafire,” says Schow.  Those are fires that can burn hundreds of thousands of acres severely. He says the forest service is attacking all fires quickly.

Read More

B.C. roasts thanks to bad forest policy and climate change

Vancouver Observer
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, US West, Canada West

A century of aggressive forest fire suppression, accelerating climate change fueled by burning fracked gas and oil and large population growth is leading to a human-created perfect firestorm. Provincial fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek wasn’t encouraging when he said, a couple of days ago: “There’s no relief in sight in the weather forecast. We’re expecting temperatures in the mid-30s, and absolutely no rain in the near future. That’s definitely cause for concern.” But B.C.’s forest fire crisis, which led on July 3 to a province-wide ban on all outdoor fires, began, in reality, not with this year’s unseasonably warm, dry spring, but over a century ago — specifically in the year 1912.

Read More

Technology helps keep tabs on lightning, forest fires

SF Gate
July 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

It’s lightning that ignites most forest fires. It’s the human-caused blazes, often from illegal campfires, that often set off the biggest infernos. To get a handle on both, agencies have created websites that update locations and conditions for lightning strikes and forest fires. At the same time, standard summer-campfire restrictions were put in place over the weekend for most of California’s parks, national forests and wilderness. Thunderstorm cells with strobe-like thunderbolts followed by soul-shaking thunder arose in pockets Saturday night across the high Sierra, Cascade and Shasta-Siskiyou ranges.

Read More