Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 28, 2015

Business & Politics

KapStone workers on strike

The Longview Daily News
August 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

After 15 months of failed contract negotiations, KapStone millworkers officially went on strike early Thursday morning. The strike began at 3 a.m. Thursday after the union gave the company a three-hour notice at midnight. Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Local 153 officials said the length of the strike is open-ended. The 800-member strike comes after three rejected contracts, including one the company implemented Aug. 10. The union wants the strike to be recognized as an unfair labor practice strike rather than an economic strike. Such a categorization would likely be contested by KapStone, because the company denies committing any unfair labor practices.

Read More

Hardwood molding company creating 90 jobs in Somerset

Idaho Statesman
August 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SOMERSET, KY. — A hardwood molding company is expanding to Somerset, creating 90 jobs with a $2.6 million investment. Gov. Steve Beshear’s office announced Thursday that Menzner Lumber and Supply Co. will lease land and buildings that had previously housed Glen Oak Lumber. The four buildings total 195,000 square feet where Menzner will have rough mill, molding, priming paint line and sawdust processing facilities… The company currently has 350 employees in Wisconsin, Mississippi and South Carolina.

Read More

Canadian Lumber Firms Bet on U.S. Southeast

Wall Street Journal
August 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Some of the biggest lumber producers in the U.S. southeast are Canadian. Drawn to the region’s abundance of fast-growing timber, low log prices, and proximity to major housing markets, Canadian companies’ share of lumber production in eight southeastern states has quietly grown to 25% from just 3% a decade ago, according to Forest Economic Advisors LLC. The influx came amid a retrenchment from the U.S. southeast by some big domestic players.  It was also spurred by a beetle infestation in British Columbia, which
led many producers based in the province to look further afield for new
sources of timber.

Read More

Firefighters battle blaze at wood products firm in Warrensburg

Glens Falls Post-Star
August 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

WARRENSBURG ? Firefighters from several departments battled a massive fire at an eco-friendly animal bedding and litter company Thursday evening that appeared to have destroyed at least two warehouse buildings and a large amount of inventory. A plume of smoke rising above the fire was visible from the Northway. Two warehouses full of wood products inventory were burning as firefighters worked to quell the blaze at Nepco, located on Sweet Road next door to three other lumber-related businesses. Several loud noises, like explosions, were heard at the scene.

Read More

Latvia records stable prices for softwood sawlogs

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
August 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In Latvia prices for softwood sawlogs stablised in the second quarter at the level achieved in the first quarter. In the first quarter prices for most of the sawlogs ranges had declined by comparison with the fourth quarter of 2014. According to the Latvian state forest administration LVM, €84.53/m³ ex forest road was the required price for pine sawlogs class I with the top end of the log larger than 28cm. Prices for pine class II with the top end of the log larger than 28cm also remained stable at €77.65/m³. Prices for pine with the top end of the log measuring 18-27.9cm class II decreased slightly to €71.6/m³.

Read More

Stora Enso: Weaker result for Wood Products

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
August 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The declining trend in turnover and results already seen in the two previous quarters in the Wood Products division of Finnish Stora Enso continued in the second quarter. The division closed out the reporting period with a year-on-year decrease in revenues of 10% and a fall in the EBIT of almost 38%. The company reports that the primary reason for the decline in result of €37m to €23m was the fall in selling prices on markets both in Europe and elsewhere, as well as higher overheads and transport costs. 

Read More

SCA Enhances Its Organization and Invests

Business Wire
August 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

STOCKHOLM–SCA is a global hygiene and forest products company with about 85% of its sales derived from its hygiene operations. To further intensify the focus on the Group’s two operations, SCA has decided initiate a dividing of the Group into two divisions: a Hygiene division and a Forest Products division. In relation to the Forest Products division, all forest industry and forest land currently owned by SCA will be merged into one division. A decision has also been made to invest in increased capacity for pulp production in the forest products operation. “A cohesive forest products operation in a single division further highlights the value created and optimizes synergies between the forest industry and ownership of forest land. Over time, the investment in Östrand will increase sales and competitiveness and create a world-class cost position and higher margins”


Read More

FCD Says 18 Million in Hardwood Stolen From Chiquibul

7 News Belize
August 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Friends for Conservation and Development or FCD as they are known, the co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park, released their annual report today on illegal logging activities in the protected area. Their estimate is that from 2010 to 2012 4.248 million US dollars’ worth of Cedar has been illegal cut, and 5.199 million US dollars’ worth of Mahogany has been illegally harvested. That’s a total of $18.89 million Belizean dollars that has been lost from the Chiquibul. First off, the good news is that there have not been any visible signs of illegal logging since September of 2014. But the bad news is that’s probably because all the logs close to the border have already been illegally extracted 

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

CPCI joins 12-storey wooden building battle, questions Quebec government’s motives

‘Just because we can – doesn’t mean we should,’ association says
Canadian Manufacturing
August 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA—In an ongoing conflict over building materials for mid-rise offices and housing, the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute says the construction of 12-storey wooden buildings circumvents the Canadian building code process designed to ensure the safety of all Canadians. …“CPCI believes that the Quebec Government is incorrectly over-stepping the national and provincial building codes and standards developed by accredited organizations in order to directly support the wood industry – to the possible detriment of public safety,” the institute said.

Read More

Quebec 12-storey mass timber building guide criticized over fire safety concern

Candian Underwriter
August 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ten days after the Quebec government announced a technical guide on building mass timber buildings up to 12 storeys in height, an institute representing the precast prestressed concrete industry suggested there will be a cost of protecting such buildings from fire, during construction. “We have already heard the insurance industry expressing their concerns of insuring these structures, not only during occupancy but also during construction,” stated the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) in a press release Thursday.

Read More

The concrete industry’s big issue with tall wood buildings

Concrete opposition
BC Business
August 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Canada’s concrete industry has come out swinging against taller wood-frame buildings in general and the Quebec government’s recent decision to allow them in particular. The Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) is arguing that taller wood buildings are not recognized by the National Building Code of Canada and are inferior to concrete buildings in terms of energy efficiency, fire resistance, laminate off-gassing and mould resistance.

Read More

Out of the woodwork: ‘Plyscrapers’ emerge as designers embrace timber for tall buildings

Construction Dive
August 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

A seven-story, 210,000-square-foot office building that broke ground a few weeks ago in Minneapolis has become a curiosity worldwide. It’s not so much because its developer, Houston- and London-based Hines, made a bold and rare move by building it on spec — as no tenant is in line to occupy the Union Square offices and first-floor retail space when construction finishes in fall 2016…. What has grabbed headlines all over the world is its architect’s choice of building materials: The office structure — dubbed T3 for its focus on timber, transit and technology — will become the country’s first modern commercial property to use engineered wood for its structure and interior.

Read More

Bag ban public forum will have Forest Grove asking, ‘Paper or plastic?’

The Oregonian
August 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The city of Forest Grove is holding a public forum to help determine whether the question “paper or plastic?” should become a thing of the past at grocery stores and retailers in town. Hosted by the city’s Sustainability Commission, the group which is proposing a citywide ban on plastic checkout bags, the forum will cover the pros and cons of such a ban. …The draft ordinance that proposes the ban would require stores to eliminate all plastic checkout bags – the type you might line your bathroom trash can with – and charge customers a minimum of 5 cents for recyclable paper bags. The ban excludes smaller plastic bags, such as those for wrapping meat, produce or hardware.

Read More

2016 Youth Olympics student housing is a passive house block clad in sustainable wood

inhabitat
August 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Students attending the upcoming 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Norway will be accommodated in four blocks designed in line with the passivhaus principles. The buildings are beautifully clad in durable wood and able to resist the harsh winter weather of the Gudbrandsdal region. Henning Larsen Architects and SGB designed the student housing named SOPP (short for Studentsamskipnaden i Oppland) and enveloped it in Kebony, which is an environmentally friendly softwood produced in Norway. …Sustainability was the main goal during the design process, resulting in a project that meets the passive house requirements, with minimized energy consumption and sustainable materials. A new heating plant will produce all of the heat needed for internal heating and hot water.

Read More

Välinge signs a new 2G/5G wood license in China

IHB The Timber Network
August 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Chinese company Jiangsu Mingle Flooring Co., Ltd has signed a non-exclusive license agreement with Välinge for the use of the 2G/5G locking system for their engineered wood flooring. By signing a license agreement for the use of Välinge’s 2G/5G locking system, Mingle will now be able to meet the growing market demand for a faster and stronger installation method. Mingle Flooring, located in the Jiangsu province, China, was founded in 2011. Up until today, the company has produced engineered flooring with T&G.

Read More

Forestry

Paving a new way for road base material

Daily Commercial News
August 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Building roads over swamps and muskegs has always been a challenge. Having them stand up to the weight of modern mining and forestry equipment has been even tougher. PRS-Neoweb, a geosynthetic polymer road base, aims to fill that gap by employing the strength of a honeycomb cell structure, coupled with a tough nano-engineered material. Using the product as an underlayment, almost any material from sand to a variety of aggregates can be used to fill the cells, creating resilient permanent or temporary roads. Paradox Access Solutions, an Edmonton-based company specializing in access road products and services, is the master supplier of PRS-Neoweb for the Canadian market. The company also builds roads using its own products.

Read More

Shaping Our Future Through Global Supply Chains

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
August 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Join us for SFI Inc.’s Annual Conference and 20th anniversary celebration on October 6-8, 2015. As we celebrate 20 years of leadership and growth, we know the actions we take today shape the future of our forests. Growing this future will require a broad range of partnerships and expertise. SFI’s annual conference brings together stakeholders from across the supply chain – from landowners to brand owners and everyone in between – to advance understanding and ensure a better future for all of us.

Read More

No consensus on GMO safety

The Star Phoenix
August 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The scientific consensus on the safety of genetically modified organisms is as “overwhelming” as the scientific consensus on man-made climate change. In fact, 89 per cent of scientists who study GMOs, reports Murray Mandryk in his column, Science should drive GMO debate, are convinced they are safe. However, the notion of overwhelming consensus on GMO safety is inaccurate. Claims of consensus are not supported by an objective analysis of the refereed literature, according to 300 independent scientific researchers who signed a joint statement to that effect published in the journal, Environmental Sciences Europe.

Read More

2015 National Forest Week: Wildland Fire, you can make a difference!

BC Forest Safety Council Newsletter
August 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

National Forest Week (NFW) runs September 20-26, 2015. This year’s theme takes us back to the founding history of the initiative. NFW was established in 1922 as Forest Fire Prevention Week. The intent then was to encourage public awareness of Canada’s forests. At the time, the greatest threat to Canada’s forests came from forest fires, due mainly to human causes. Sound familiar? Since then National Forest Week, as it was renamed in 1967, evolved to encompass the many and varied human and environmental aspects of Canada’s forest resources – past, present and future. NFW’s objectives remain to challenge Canadians to learn more about their forest heritage and support greater recognition of this valuable resource. 

Read More

They’re baaaack: Elm spanworm resurfaces on northeast Avalon

CBC News
August 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

They’re unsightly and pesky, and have been known to induce a case of the heebie-jeebies. The elm spanworm has returned to the St. John’s area. Widespread outbreaks first started in the city in 2002, and since then, there have been several instances where the insect has infested large areas of the northeast Avalon. Councillor Jonathan Galgay told CBC Radio’s CrossTalk on Thursday that this summer’s outbreak is not overly serious — but the worms are still annoying. “In fact, I was in Bannerman Park a few weeks ago. You could almost hear them in the trees, you can’t really visibly see them rolled up into the leaves,” he said.

Read More

Alliance for Wild Rockies should work on projects, not lawsuits

by David Allen, president and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The Missoulian
August 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Michael Garrity recently (Aug. 15) attacked U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke about forest reform, claiming Zinke thinks we have spotted owls in Montana. Zinke actually wrote: “Frivolous lawsuits are at the heart of forest reform. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies launched more than 150 predatory lawsuits targeting legal and healthy forest projects in just the last 10 years alone. During one such project they litigated on the grounds of preserving spotted owl habitat, the forest actually caught fire and burned down for a second time during the time it took to try the case, destroying the entire area, along with the owl’s habitat.” Why would Garrity misrepresent Zinke?

Read More

U.S. Forest Service: Clearcut called for to prevent fires

Letter from Howard Horton
The Missoulian
August 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Evidently, it takes a small boy to speak up and say that the emperor has no clothes on. Today, we need another boy to explain to us dummies that the U.S. Forest Service methods are not working. We need to clearcut half of the forest to prevent fires from spreading. Don’t worry, the woods workers and their companies will get filthy rich harvesting the timber. And the cost of fires in our wilderness areas will be about 10 percent of what it is this year.Now, members of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and
environmental groups will vehemently oppose such a measure.

Read More

Celebrating Pisgah National Forest

Greensboro News & Record
August 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States, US West

We are approaching the 100th anniversary of the Pisgah National Forest, located in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. The total area of the Pisgah National Forest is 512,758 acres. Some 46,600 acres of old-growth forests have been identified in the Pisgah National Forest, with a fourth of that in Linville Gorge. Since the old-growth forests cannot talk, we are indeed fortunate to have documents of activity in the forests from early-day enthusiasts in North Carolina. These were women who were members of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and focused on conservation.

Read More

UF/IFAS Forestry Professor Earns Top Global Award

Newswise (press release)
August 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States, US West

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After three decades of outstanding forestry research, A UF/IFAS professor will receive one of the top global awards in his field. Eric J. Jokela, a professor of silviculture – managing and producing better forests — and forest nutrition will receive the Barrington Moore Memorial Award in Biological Science by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). Since 1955, this annual award recognizes “distinguished individual research in any branch of the biological sciences that has resulted in substantial advances in forestry.”

Read More

Nelson City Council submits to national forestry standards

Nelson Mail
August 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The price of new national standards for forestry could be the protection of Nelson’s waterways, says city councillor Brian McGurk. Nelson city councillor and chairman of the Nelson Biodiversity Forum McGurk said the proposed National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NESPF), which have been out for consultation, showed “vested interests having a bit much influence”. “The concerns I’ve got are the standards they have are very minimal standards,” he said. McGurk said although he was supportive of having a national standard, the draft regulations could ensure cost reduction and other benefits for large-scale companies “at the expense of the wider community and to the detriment of the environment”.

Read More

Forest Service hosts Peruvian officials to learn natural resource management

Summit Daily
August 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Peruvian natural resource managers have questions about how to protect their country’s forests, and they came to Summit County for answers. A U.S. Forest Service division called International Programs, which promotes sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation in foreign countries, brought top-level Peruvian officials for an educational tour that started Monday in Washington D.C. and ends Friday in Denver. In between, the group spent Thursday, Aug. 27, in Summit learning from local and regional foresters. “They’re under a lot of pressure to develop parts of the Amazon,” said Bill Jackson, Dillon Ranger District district ranger.

Read More

Forest Fires

Thursday Wildfire Update from Emergency Operations Centre

The Castlegar Source
August 27, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfire Update for August 27, 2015. Details on the following fires
Lynch Creek
Stickpin Fire

Rock Creek Fire
Paulson Fire
Big Sheep Creek Fire
a

Read More

Controlled burn destroyed $100K of cut wood, N.W.T. man says

Kerry Smith says fire officials didn’t warn him about a back burn until it jumped the road
CBC News
August 27, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A woodcutter who works near Boundary Creek just off N.W.T.’s Highway 3 says he lost a year’s worth of work when a controlled burn went out of control. Kerry Smith says fire officials with Environment and Natural Resources were doing a back burn near his woodlot earlier this month to prevent a wildfire from spreading, but nobody warned him — or his employee, who lives on site — until the next day, after the fire jumped the road. “I guess he went and had a nap in the afternoon,” Smith says. “The fire come in and two dogs came and woke him up. When he looked outside he saw the fire coming up right overtop the camper here. He jumped on the quad and… he went out the back way to the highway and went down to the neighbours.

Read More

Washington Stickpin wildfire effort gets help from Shelburne native

CBC News
August 27, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A firefighter originally from Nova Scotia now fighting the wildfires burning in British Columbia, says it’s a struggle to stay ahead of the rampant flames. The fire is destroying homes, parks and thousands of acres of trees. Dana Hicks is a firefighter originally from Shelburne, N.S., who now lives in Prince George, B.C. He’s a fire management specialist with the B.C. Wildfire Service and says the battle against the flames is non-stop. “Fire does what it wants to do on the landscape and in the extreme drought conditions that we’re in this summer, it just seems to be running rampant across the landscape. We’re kind of chasing our tails trying to catch up to it,” said Hicks.

Read More

Fire erupts in Green Timbers Urban Forest

Surrey North Delta Leader
August 27, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters have descended on a blaze in Green Timbers Urban Forest this morning. On Thursday morning, fire crews trucked water deep into the forest to douse a smoldering fire, which was about 60 by 120 metres in size. Water needed to be trucked into the area of the fire, which is about 250 metres south of the park entrance. Deputy Chief Dan Barnscher told CTV news it is a smoldering fire without any active flames. “Typically what this fire could be caused by, it’s not confirmed, is homeless or perhaps street people living in the bush,” he said.

Read More

Fire disasters should be met with federal disaster funds

Herald and News
August 26, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Front page after front page of newspapers re-confirm daily what residents of the Northwest have already been told by the layers of smoke blanketing their states and the tragic stories of firefighters killed and homes destroyed. It’s been a bad year for wildfires in the Northwest and and the nation as a whole. As of Tuesday, 7.6 million acres have burned this year in the 48 contiguous states, the most for at least 10 years. The average for the 10 years prior to that was 5.1 million acres. It’s a good reason to move forward on steps that lessen the danger of fires and that includes the way federal government pays for fire-fighting costs. A change is being pursued in Congress and appears to be making progress, which we hope will resume when Congress returns from its summer recess.

Read More

Wildfire burning in Elkhorns near Townsend

Helena Independent Record
August 27, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Helena National Forest is reporting a five to 10-acre fire burning near Townsend in the Elkhorn Mountains Thursday. The lightning-caused fire is burning on Bureau of Land Management land in Whipcracker Gulch approximately 4.5 miles west of Townsend. The land is under Forest Service fire protection, according to Kathy Bushnell, public affairs officer for the Helena National Forest. The fire is burning in timber and no structures are threatened. Smoke is visible.

Read More

Aviation experts to review state’s firefighting helicopters

Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
August 27, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

ELENA, Mont. — U.S. aviation experts are planning to head to Montana to review the state’s firefighting protocols and see for themselves whether its helicopters should be used to attack blazes on federal lands, officials said Thursday. Gov. Steve Bullock and U.S. Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a joint statement they have had several productive conversations aimed at resolving the impasse that has kept the five modified Bell UH-1H helicopters from initial fire attacks in the state’s national forests. “Our aviation experts will be meeting in Montana in the coming days to develop a plan for operating the state’s helicopters as part of coordinated state and federal firefighting operations,” the statement said.

Read More

Montana Wildfire Roundup for August 26, 2015

Montana Public Radio
August 26, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…The Sheep fire that’s been threatening the town of Essex just south of Glacier National Park for a week now hasn’t grown significantly. Essex remains on pre-evacuation alert, but Fire Information Officer Jonathan Moor says conditions for the last few days have been favorable enough that fire crews have been able to clean up ground fuels that could drive the fire into Essex. “They have brought in logging equipment and skid-steers. They are also using a dedicated set of BNSF railroad trains and cars to move logs away from the area between the fire and Essex,” Moor says.

Read More

Senators: More must be done to prevent future wildfires

By Martha Bellisle
Associated Press in The Longview Daily News
August 27, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE (AP) — As Washington and other Western states battle huge blazes this summer, two U.S. senators said at a field hearing in Seattle that more needs to be done to prepare for and help prevent future wildfires. The federal legislation they are backing, the Wildland Fire Management Act, would establish community plans to reduce the risks of fires, support forest thinning and increase the ability to fight major fires so they don’t grow into infernos that destroy homes and businesses. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., told The Associated Press before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing at Seattle University she began working on fire legislation after last year’s Carlton Complex fires – at the time the largest in the state’s history.

Read More

All lands north of U.S. 2 on Wenatchee River Ranger District closed due to fire

The Oregonian
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Severe fire hazard has prompted the U.S. Forest Service to close all national forest lands north of U.S. 2 on the Wenatchee River Ranger District to public entry. U.S. 2 crosses Washington’s north-central Cascades between Everett on the west and Wenatchee on the east. “This is not a decision that has been taken lightly,” said district ranger Jeff Rivera in a statement released by the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. “Our primary concern is for public and fire fighter safety.”  The closure will be lifted as soon as the unusual wildfire threat is abated, but rainfall predicted for this weekend probably will not be enough to end that threat, he said.

Read More

Forest Service Wrap Cabins in Foil To Protect Against Fire

Fox News Radio 1310 KLIX
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

NEZ PERCE, Idaho – Officials with the National Forest Service are protecting lookouts and cabins across the Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest from wildfire activity in a rather strange way. Officials said they have wrapped the structures in foil to protect them. Forest Service officials estimated that a roll of the multiple-ply foil costs $398. They also used duct tape to seal the foil often line rocks at the bottom to hold foil down. Forest Service crews began using the foil in the late 1980s to protect historic cabins and lookout towers that cannot be replaced. They called the success rate of Shelterwrap “tremendous” in Idaho. One of the buildings being wrapped in foil is the Scurvy Mountain Lookout on the North Fork District. END OF STORY

Read More

BLM Director Kornze tours Soda Fire to assess sagebrush restoration

Idaho Statesman
August 27, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Soda Fire has become the first test of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s sage grouse fire initiative. The jury won’t be in until BLM managers show they can restore the thousands of acre of sagebrush steppe habitat burned. That’s why Neil Kornze, the Bureau of Land Management’s director, on Wednesday toured the land burned in the 279,000-acre fire with some of the team planning rehabilitation efforts. Their challenge is not only to stabilize the areas that could erode and cause flooding, but also to ward off encroaching cheatgrass and medusa-head invasive plants that threaten the sagebrush so important to sage grouse.

Read More

Highway closed, evacuations ordered near Montana wildfires

Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
August 27, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HELENA, Mont. — An advancing wildfire led to the evacuation about 100 residents Thursday from their homes on the southern boundary of Montana’s Glacier National Park and forced the closure of a main highway. The 1.7-square-mile fire burning near Essex reached a point that triggered a mandatory evacuation of around 100 residents and the Izaak Walton Inn, fire information officer Sonja Hartmann said. Flathead County sheriff’s deputies started going door to door Thursday afternoon notifying residents to leave, county spokeswoman Jennifer Rankosky said. The residents had been on a pre-evacuation warning since Aug. 19, when they were asked to be packed and ready to leave. “We want to make sure we’re taking people out of there before it’s an emergency,” Hartmann said.

Read More

Benchmark fire sees little growth; crews respond to wildfire near Townsend

Helena Independent Record
August 27, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters on the Benchmark fire west of Augusta were able to begin building a fire line with the aid of air support Wednesday and Thursday. “They were able to go on direct attack yesterday and build line and that continued into the night,” Dave Cunningham, public affairs officer for the Lewis and Clark National Forest, said Thursday. “They were able to continue to build line today.” The fire remained at about 50 acres burning in dense timber Thursday, he said. The lightning-caused fire ignited Tuesday about 22.5 miles west of Augusta, triggering evacuations in the Benchmark area. 

Read More