Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 18, 2015

Business & Politics

Sawmill operators fined for accident

Northern Ontario Business
August 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The operators of a Sioux Lookout area sawmill were fined $48,000 after a worker’s arm was crushed in a 2013 industrial accident. Justice of the Peace Danalyn MacKinnon imposed the fine on McKenzie Lumber of Thunder Bay in an Ontario Court of Justice in Dryden, Aug. 11. The trial took place last Dec. 1 in Sioux Lookout. The company was found guilty on March 19. The court heard that on March 12, 2013, workers at the McKenzie Lumber mill in Hudson, near Sioux Lookout, using an industrial saw machine that cuts round logs into board lumber. The worker’s arm was crushed by a side canter on the machine during a mechanical breakdown

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Celebrating 100 years of health and safety in forestry, pulp and paper industries

Written by Workplace Safety North (WSN)
Wawa News
August 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario is celebrating 100 years of worker health and safety in the forestry, pulp and paper industries. From September 24 to 25 in Thunder Bay, Workplace Safety North (WSN) will host a centennial conference, with the help of the Lakehead Regional Safety Council, to celebrate health and safety excellence and share the latest information and innovations.  “At the dawn of the industrial revolution, many workers endured
gruelling physical labour and dangerous working conditions in factories,
mines, railways, and logging camps,” says Candys Ballanger-Michaud, WSN
Chief Executive Officer and conference keynote speaker. “From 1915 to
2015, Workplace Safety North and its legacy organizations have been
dedicated to a single mission: to make workplaces safer.”

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Mercer International’s 2Q revenues decreased by 6% to $266.9 million

Lesprom
August 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Mercer International Inc. reported results for the 2Q ended June 30, 2015. For the 2Q 2015, net income was $16.4 million, or $0.25 per basic and diluted share, compared to $0.6 million, or $0.01 per basic and diluted share, in the comparative quarter of 2014, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Total revenues for the 2Q 2015 decreased by approximately 6% to $266.9 million from $285.2 million in the same quarter in 2014, primarily due to lower pulp sales realizations.

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Roseburg Forest Products to buy Medford’s SierraPine plant

Mail Tribune
August 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Roseburg Forest Products is acquiring the SierraPine Medite medium-density fiberboard plant on North Pacific Highway in Medford. The privately held Oregon firm, which earlier this year announced it is moving its headquarters to Springfield from Douglas County, expects to close the deal in mid-September but released few details of the sale. Roseburg Forest Products is the largest particleboard producer in North America and a significant buyer of medium-density fiberboard, commonly used in furniture, kitchen cabinets and decorative moldings.”This is a complementary product to what we do, and we’ve long wanted to be in the MDF business,” said Steve Killgore, vice president of sales and marketing.

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Maley & Wertz acquires major sawmill

Evansville Courier & Press
August 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Maley & Wertz Inc., an Evansville-based firm that acquires and sustains North American hardwoods, has acquired Kirkham Hardwoods Inc. According to a news release, the merger will better position the combined company as an industry leader. Maley & Wertz, one of the oldest members of the National Hardwood Lumber Association, was established in 1884 and is in its fourth generation. Kirkham Hardwoods, based in Terre Haute, is a high volume production sawmill.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Urban Art: From Forest to Furniture

Where.ca
August 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hugo França is no stranger to second chances. For 20 years, the Brazilian artist has transformed cast-off trees into magnificent furnishings and works of art. Knotted, gnarled and cracked, these elegant pieces highlight the beauty of the wood’s natural shape. Local species such as Douglas fir mark França’s transition from tropical to temperate rainforest—his work for the Vancouver Biennale marks the artist’s first attempt at sculpting trees native to the West Coast. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Spanish Banks beach, “Public Furniture | Urban Trees – Vancouver” is perfect for lounging, climbing or just plain admiring. Talk about turning over a new leaf. END OF STORY

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Quebec launches mass timber building guide

REMI Network
August 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Government of Québec announced the publication of a technical guide entitled Bâtiments de construction massive en bois d’au plus 12 étages (“Construction of Mass Timber Buildings Up to 12 Storeys”). The guide outlines the technical principles required to design and construct wooden buildings up to 12 storeys using mass timber. The announcement was made by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard in the presence of Hon. Sam Hamad, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, and Mr. Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations. “We are very proud to have contributed the scientific expertise necessary to enable the Government of Québec to develop this manual,” said Lapointe. 

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Researcher probes whether wood waste can help remediate mine tailings

Laurentian University’s Living with Lakes Centre brings two industries together in new study
CBC News
August 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

New research out of Laurentain University could lead to a win-win situation for the mining and the forest industries. PhD student Jessica Arteaga is looking into using wood sludge to remediate mine tailings. The sludge consists of woody fibres produced as a byproduct of creating pulp. Arteaga said she hopes mixing the sludge into mine tailings will create a soil that plants can grow in. “It has lots of benefits, especially when you’re in an area that has mine tailings that are acid-generating,” she said. “It increases the PH. It helps bind those nasty metals that we’re afraid … will leave our water.”

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Quebec allows lumber to be used in construction of buildings up to 12 storeys

Canadian Press in CTV News
August 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — The Quebec government is hoping to give a shot in the arm to the province’s forestry sector by allowing lumber to be used in the construction of buildings up to 12 storeys tall. Premier Philippe Couillard says regulation changes were developed in consultation with the provincial agency responsible for the building code and with FPInnovations, a research institute. Quebec said it is the first province in Canada to allow wood construction in taller buildings while still ensuring public safety. At a news conference in Lac St-Jean, Couillard said Monday that the changes will stimulate the use of wood in construction and provide an “enormous” potential for a sector that has seen the loss of thousands of jobs. “The new impetus we give today will help revitalize an industry Quebec allows lumber to be used in construction of buildings up to 12 storieswhose potential is huge,” he told reporters.

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Healdsburg artist creates furniture from wine soaked wood

Press Democrat
August 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Rather than sending them to the landfill, Healdsburg furniture artist Whit McLeod has found a way to salvage and repurpose the oak strips put in tanks and barrels to impart flavor into aging wine. After the sticks are no longer useful, he gathers them from vintners, glues them together and uses the resulting VinoPlanks to make one-of-a-kind tables, chairs, wine racks and even tasting room decor. McLeod, 58, saw the potential and beauty in the hardwood pieces and in 2010 began experimenting with ways to upscale the pieces into a useful and durable product. From conception to production, the process of mastering and trademarking the VinoPlank technology took about 18 months.

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Sustainablility Award For UK Builders Merchant

Green Building Press
August 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The WWF-UK report, highlights companies’ understanding and engagement of the forest trade, and aims to promote and improve sustainability performance contributing to the overall wider importance of tackling this agenda. Travis Perkins plc scored the ‘three trees’ performance rating, which recognises that over 70% of the company’s timber and timber products has been sourced responsibly. Travis Perkins plc in fact source 97% of all their timber and timber fibre which is sourced from certified well-managed forests. The score is calculated by rating organisations’ policies and their performance on their purchases of timber. 

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FWPA wrapped-up outcome of the recent mid-rise market Symposium

Wood Business Forum
August 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA) reported results of he mid-rise market Symposium hold on August 11, 2015 at Library at the Dock in Melbourne. At the event, attended by 70 people, five speeches were presented and further discussed:

Tim Woods – Market trends in multi-residential construction
Ric Sinclair – Current FWPA activities to support mid-rise market
Kelly McCloskey – Wood Initiatives in Canada and the US
Alastair Woodard – Previous Australian Timber Industry
The summary of discussions and copies of the presentations can be viewed at FWPA’s web-page. END OF STORY

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Port of Portland now biggest exporter of blue gum hardwood chips in the world

ABC News Australia
August 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

“We’re the single biggest port for hardwood chips being exported, in the world,” says Port of Portland chief executive Jim Cooper. It is a claim that can only be fully appreciated when standing atop one of the 40-metre mountains of blue gum woodchips that are waiting to be shipped from the port on Victoria’s south west coast. For many Australians, the blue gum is a species of disappointment, from the individual farmer caught up in one of the infamous failed investment schemes of the late 1990s, to the hundreds who lost jobs at doomed paper mills. But those trees that were not ripped out in bitter frustration have continued to grow for the past 15-odd years and, for the companies that bought plantations up, the blue gum is finally living up to the hype.

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Forestry

Mayor “disappointed” by Caribou response

The Northern Times
August 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

At last Monday’s Committees of the Whole meeting, councilors were presented with a letter from Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Bill Mauro. …“The letter is not only vague, but it’s just a repeat of information from a year-and-a-half ago,” said Kapuskasing mayor, Alan Spacek. “Originally the line was going to start at Hwy. 11 go north and they’ve only moved it a few kilometres north.” Spacek said he is very disappointed by the Minister’s response, saying the repetition and vagueness of the information contained revealed no progress from the discussions northern municipalities have been having with the government regarding the caribou policy.

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Growth returning in Northumberland Forest after controlled burn

Northumberland Today
August 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

NORTHUMBERLAND – A controlled burn site in the Northumberland Forest at the corner of Beagle Club Road and the forest parking lot north of County Road 45 is starting to turn green again. Pines that were not doing very well in the burn area are being removed, says forest manager Ben Walters, but many savanna vegetative species and young oaks are breaking through the pine needles which were previously deep on the forest floor. Burns are used to clear underbrush and let native species, like oak, respond with a spurt of growth to the heat of the fire.

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The California Drought Is So Bad, It Might Be Killing The Giant Sequoia

Some of the trees are nearly 3,000 years old.
Huffington Post
August 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A full-grown giant sequoia is a thirsty tree. In the height of summer, the millenia-old behemoths, some of which grow upwards of 30 stories tall, can guzzle 500 to 800 gallons of water per day. They can also survive a variety of scourges that would fell an inferior conifer — beetles, wildfires, storms. But scientists are worried the species may have met its match in the ongoing California drought. Nate Stephenson, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, was walking through the woods last year when he noticed some of the trees he’d been studying for decades had dropped most of their leaves.

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Mild winter means bad year for fir trees

Teton Valley News
August 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

If you have seen any bright red fir trees while riding your bike or horse around the valley, a big increase in a certain tree pest was likely to blame. The US Forest Service has released numbers showing the number of acres affected by the western spruce budworm in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest has tripled to around 325,000 acres. Forester Jim Robertson said the Big Holes were hit especially hard. Unlike some outbreaks of fungus and rusts that infect aspen trees and serviceberry, the wet spring is not to blame for spruce budworm. Roberston said the insect, which mainly feeds on Douglas and subalpine fir, is so prevalent this year because of the high numbers last year, and because of the relatively mild winter, which allowed a large number of larvae to survive.

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Southeast Alaska Navy Timber Sale Announced

Sit News
August 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ketchikan, Alaska – The Tongass National Forest’s Navy Timber Sale Record of Decision makes about 13.1 million board feet of sawlog and utility timber available for harvest from about 1,252 acres of commercial forest land on Etolin Island approximately 22 miles south of Wrangell, Alaska. “The Navy Timber Sale will produce a supply of timber for the timber industry with minimal effects to the environment. It addresses the key issues by providing a supply of timber, maintaining old-growth forest habitat, and not entering any 2001 inventoried roadless areas,” said Tongass Forest Supervisor M. Earl Stewart. 

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Forestry ‘size of Cardiff needed’ to provide timber

BBC News
August 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Woodland bigger than the size of Cardiff needs to be re-planted in Wales to make up for commercial forestry lost over the past 15 years, industry experts have warned. They believe ministers are placing too much emphasis on the environment at the expense of trees grown for timber. Britain is currently the world’s third largest importer of wood. Ministers said they were encouraging commercial forestry organisations to invest in woodland creation. Conifer forests have been a familiar sight for half a century in Wales and have helped the timber industry grow. But Confor, which promotes the forestry industry, warns that at least 16,000 hectares – or 40,000 acres – of commercial forest have been lost since 2001 and need to be re-planted to meet needs.

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Forest Fires

Progress made on Oliver fires, 29 structures lost in Rock Creek

Penticton Western News
August 16, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A concerted effort between BC Wildfire Service and local fire department crews has resulted in significant progress on the wildfires north and south of Oliver. The Wilson Mountain Road fire is burning one kilometre north of Oliver and is now estimated at 317 hectares in size. The fire is a smouldering ground fire with minimal open flame. Twenty-nine firefighters established guard around portions of the perimeter. They were supported by four helicopters. The Evacuation Order was rescinded on Saturday afternoon for the properties affected by the Wilson’s Mountain fire to the north and west of Oliver.

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B.C. premier promises hunt for Rock Creek fire starter

Rock Creek fire listed as human-caused, Oliver-area fires are under investigation
Vancouver Sun
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Christy Clark vowed Sunday that if a person set the immense and fast-spreading wildfire in Rock Creek, that person would be found and prosecuted. The fire has wiped out 30 homes and forced hundreds to flee with litt more than the clothes on their backs. The B.C. premier visited Oliver, where two fires were burning, and a community centre being used by Rock Creek evacuees in Midway. She told reporters that she heard reports “there were witnesses and that (what they saw) might have been caught on a government, road Transport Ministry camera.” “I don’t know that that is true,” said Clark.

BC forests minister looking for video to help solve wildfire’s cause from Canadian Press in Times Colonist

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Bravery behind the fire lines in Rock Creek

Vancouver Sun
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

ROCK CREEK — A dozen local residents are waging a desperate battle to establish a fire line just on a ridge beside the Kettle River East Road try to stop a massive forest fire from blowing back on the town of Rock Creek. They have toiled unaided by professional firefighters, who were busy elsewhere trying to slow the spread of the fire as it roared into the Christian and Nicholson Creek valleys. For three days since the fire broke out Thursday afternoon they hosed down houses, dug out hot spots and punched a machine-made fire break up the ridge, until on Saturday six redshirted provincial firefighters showed up to collect names and assess the available equipment.

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Province keeping close eye on northern Saskatchewan wildfires

Resources kept close to home as B.C., US fires burn
CBC News
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

News of northern Saskatchewan forest fires has quieted down since July ended, as evacuees returned home and smoke abated. But just because there isn’t as much smoke, doesn’t mean there isn’t fire. The province is keeping a close watch on the wildfire situation up north.  Most of the region has received rain, and there are no communities currently under threat. But Scott Wasylenchuk, the manager of the provincial fire centre, said some fires are still active. “The smoke is down so it isn’t as prominent as it was.”

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Fight fire with fire

Prince George Citizen
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two villains have emerged in the fires in the Southern Interior that have destroyed 30 homes and laid waste to thousands of hectares of arid mountainous forests….  Premier Christy Clark and editorial cartoonists can wag their fingers all they want. This behaviour is not going to change. Too many smokers think it is their God-given right to cast their butts on the ground and leave the mess for someone else, even if it doesn’t cause a forest that leads to people losing their homes and the government spending millions to put the blaze out. Too many people think that because they have the money and time to fly a drone around that they own the air space.

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EDITORIAL: Shame, don’t fine, B.C. firebugs

Kelowna Daily Courier
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s shocking to think someone tossed a cigarette out a car window to trigger the Rock Creek fire, as reports say. Flames have destroyed 30 homes and 11 other buildings while forcing hundreds from their homes. Campers left all their personal belongings to flee the blaze and have relied on emergency services since about Friday. While we applaud Premier Christy Clark’s suggestion the provincial government could impound someone’s car should they be convicted of intentionally setting a forest fire, we’re not sure that is going to stop such ridiculous events from happening again. … Public shaming is what will stop people from starting wildfires with discarded campfires, ATVs or cigarettes. We all have smartphones, use them. If you see someone toss a butt, take a photo or a video. Share it online and send it to the newspaper.

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Drone operators blast ‘irresponsible and selfish’ flight that grounded firefighters

Experts say more training, enforcement needed as small aircraft run afoul of emergency crews
CBC News
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Drone experts are fuming about the stray drone that grounded eight helicopters and five skimmers — that were fighting a wildfire in British Columbia’s southern Interior — for up to five hours on Sunday. Whoever flew the unmanned aircraft over the Testalinden Creek fire is “irresponsible and selfish in my mind,” said drone operator and instructor Sterling Cripps. “You have to be trained … Someone flying in a forest fire is far from that.” The Testalinden Creek fire, near Oliver, B.C., has quickly grown to over 1,500 hectares, or more than 10 times the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. RCMP officers are still looking for the drone operator.

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Cost of Stouts Fire now $25.5 million, up $3 million since Thursday

KPIC
August 14, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

CANYONVILLE, Ore. — The cost of fighting the Stouts Fire has gone up to $25.5 million, an increase of $3 million since Thursday, August 13. Around 1,600 firefighters are out fighting the fire and officials say around 35-40 percent of the costs go to the hand crews. “In comparison to the $8.3 million that we spend with the crews, our air operation costs (as of Aug. 14) are only $3.3 million,” said Keith Dehut with the Oregon Dept. of Forestry’s finance department. Dehut says when you’re in forested land with timber values and private land at stake, “on a two to three week assignment, you’re looking at at least a million dollars an acre; and then when you start adding complexities, it can drive cost up a lot further.”

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UPDATE — Another small blaze joins ranks of burns in Peninsula’s wildfire season

Peninsula Daily News
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — Another lightning-sparked wildfire has been located in the Olympic Mountains, raising the total number of Peninsula fires to six this summer. The latest, the LaCrosse Fire, is located about 12 miles west of the Duckabush trailhead in East Jefferson County and was identified by aircraft Sunday near the LaCrosse Pass trail, said Celeste Prescott, spokeswoman for the Paradise Fire management team. “It is pretty small. It was two logs burning,” Prescott said. Fire managers intended to send in a crew to assess the fire, which is burning in a “difficult area,” but higher-priority missions required the personnel to be used elsewhere, she said.

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Shifting blame for wildfires

The Washington Times
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. Persistent drought in the West has triggered wildfires that have burned over nearly 6 million acres so far this year. Blaming global warming, or capricious “climate change” — sometimes it’s hot and sometimes it’s cold, and sometimes it rains and sometimes it doesn’t — is tempting for the environmental extremists. As many as 9 of 10 wildfires are caused by human carelessness, in leaving campfires unattended, careless burning of debris and discarded cigarette butts, according to the Department of the Interior.

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Northern Idaho wildfires destroy 42 homes, 79 outbuildings

Idaho Statesman
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, IDAHO — Strong winds continued to fuel wildfires ravaging across Idaho on Monday, where multiple blazes have resulted in the destruction of 42 homes and at least 79 buildings up north near the town of Kamiah. Currently, 15 large wildfires are burning in Idaho, blackening nearly 545 square miles as of Monday, according to the Boise-based National Interagency Fire Center. However, so many other smaller blazes are burning in Idaho that officials even officially named one the “Not Creative Fire” after trying to keep track of multiple wildfires starts over the weekend.

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Active duty military sought to combat Western wildfires now spread to 7 states

The Washington Post
August 18, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

With seven Western states battling devastating wildfires, the National Interagency Fire Center is mobilizing active duty soldiers to aid thousands of firefighters in their suppression efforts. Troops have not been used to fight wildfires since 2006, according to a news release from authorities, signifying the severity of this problem. There are approximately 95 large wildfires burning over 1.1 million acres in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, and Colorado, according to the NIFC’s statement. The NIFC’s Aitor Bidaburu said in the statement that they are “committed” to suppressing “the most challenging wildfires we’ve experienced in several years.”

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Oregon’s dire year of wildfires

Statesman Journal
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Human carelessness, not lightning, causes the majority of wildfires. And the wildfire situation in Oregon is so dire that State Forester Doug Decker on Saturday pleaded for people to be more careful. “Wildfire activity in Oregon has escalated significantly since Friday, particularly in Eastern Oregon,” he said. “If you couple these major fires with increasing shortages of firefighting resources and add in the extreme fire danger and conditions statewide, you can see just how critical it is to prevent the next fire.” Across the nation, the number of wildfires is below the average of 49,400 for this time of year, but the burned acreage is greater — 4.8 million acres.

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Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 17, 2015

Montana Public Radio
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

So many wildfires are burning across Montana that Governor Bullock has declared a fire emergency, and the Montana National Guard has been tapped to join the firefighting efforts. Here’s a roundup of some of the largest fires burning in western Montana today. More than 30 fires are burning between the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park. …Three fires are burning in what is now called the Thompson-Divide Complex. By far the largest is the original Thompson Fire, reported August 9, in a remote south-central area of Glacier Park. It’s estimated at around 13,600 acres. That fire is not contained. The new fires in the Thompson-Divide Complex are located in the Great Bear Wilderness south of Highway 2.

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Burst of fire activity strains resources across northwest Montana

The Missoulian
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A weekend’s worth of lightning and wind pushed the Northern Rockies region to the highest fire-preparedness level possible, but that hasn’t freed up many resources from other fire-struck parts of the country. “There just aren’t that many resources, whether people, fire engines or whatever, available,” U.S. Forest Service Region 1 spokeswoman Elizabeth Slown said Monday. “They’re all committed. As they’re ready to start moving people out of California, the Washington and Oregon areas have first priority. But we’re second.” Montana and Idaho had 86 active fires burning Monday, including seven in Montana that had no firefighters on scene yet. Slown said all seven were small blazes burning in remote parts of northwest Montana.

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Sierra Nevada parcel will test ways to reduce mega fires and increase snowpack

Los Angeles Times
August 14, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Forest ecologists finally got their wish: an entire private landscape on which to test methods of tree thinning and controlled burns to reduce risk of mega fires and minimize the effects of drought on California’s frozen reservoirs — mountain snowpacks. A coalition of environmental groups recently bought a 10,115-acre parcel in the Sierra Nevada range at the headwaters of the American River to serve as a living laboratory for a 5-year collaborative research and restoration project led by scientists at the Nature Conservancy and UC Merced.

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Western Wildfires Trigger Evacuations in California, Oregon

NBC News
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

More than 100 wildfires are burning across the West — destroying dozens of homes, forcing hundreds of people to flee and stretching firefighting budgets to the breaking point. In Washington state, a fire was moving so quickly that authorities weren’t sure how many homes were lost, but they feared it was roughly 75. Firefighters face a triple threat of extreme heat, severe drought conditions and gusty winds. And they’re doing it with dwindling resources: The U.S. Forest Service is spending $100 million a week on the fires, and next week it will burn through its annual budget. On Sunday, fires forced evacuations in Oregon and California, left thousands without power in Washington and enveloped the San Francisco Bay Area in a thick gray haze.

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Big wildfire threatens resort town in Washington

Associated Press in The Missoulian
August 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: US East, United States

SPOKANE, Wash. — Big wildfires threatened the Lake Chelan resort region of central Washington on Monday after driving away tourists, destroying a warehouse filled with nearly 2 million pounds of apples and forcing thousands of residents to flee. The several large fires burning near the town of Chelan have scorched more than 155 square miles and destroyed an estimated 75 homes and businesses Friday and Saturday, officials said. Scores of homes remain threatened, and mandatory evacuation orders remained in effect for more than 2,900 people in the Chelan area. The Chelan fires were just some of the many destructive blazes burning throughout the Northwest. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Opinion: Rent B.C. forests; don’t clear-cut them

Vancouver Sun
August 17, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

California, the Netherlands and other countries are now searching to buy carbon dioxide offset. Is British Columbia selling? About 900 activists represented by The Urgenda Foundation successfully argued recently that the Dutch government has a legal obligation to protect its people against looming dangers of rising sea levels because much of the low-lying country is below sea level and therefore highly vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by the climate crisis. …British Columbia’s ancient forests are the most perfect carbon dioxide warehouses to have evolved on Earth. For every one tonne of ancient wood, one-and-a-half tonnes of carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and one tonne of oxygen is released into the atmosphere.

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Biomass group under new banner

The Bay Today
August 15, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Biomass North Development Centre plans to roll out its region-wide strategy in the coming months to add value to the North’s forestry industry. A North Bay-based biomass advocacy group has resurfaced with a new name and renewed vigour to continue to take Northern Ontario’s forestry sector in a new strategic direction. The former staff of the Biomass Innovation Centre (BIC), once based at Nipissing University, has reconstituted and rebranded themselves as the Biomass North Development Centre, an industry group focussed on building the bioeconomy in this region.

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Poplar trees grown for biofuels tackle obstacles (& video)

King 5 News
August 17, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Harvesting trees for biofuel may change the energy market in the Pacific Northwest. The Advanced Hardwood BioFuels (AHB) Northwest Project is hoping to build what would be the world’s first biorefinery for trees. The growth rate of poplars also grew a new idea for Port Angeles tree farmer Joe Novak. “When it comes to Douglas Fir or Red Cedar, you have to wait 50 years,” he said. Not so with poplars, typically ready for harvest in just 3 years. It’s why Novak joined others on a tour of AHB’s Stanwood tree farm. The farm’s 120,000 hybrid poplar trees are part of a $40 million federal grant for biofuel research. It’s one of 4 farms producing the trees in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho to see how they fare in 4 different states.

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