Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 5, 2016

Business & Politics

Canadian Lumber Producers Support Government’s Efforts to Reach Agreement on Softwood

Canada Newswire press release
May 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA, ON – Canadian lumber producers appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade in Ottawa to voice their support for the Canadian Government’s continued efforts to reach a new softwood lumber agreement that is fair and acceptable to the industry in both Canada and the U.S. The Canadian Lumber Trade Alliance (CLTA) was formed in 2001 to work with the federal and provincial governments to help defend Canadian softwood producers on trade matters with the U.S. Today, the CLTA represents 70 per cent of the softwood lumber capacity in Canada that is exported to the U.S. market. The CLTA membership includes independent lumber producers in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

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Western premiers to meet in Vancouver, Notley absent due to forest fires

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
May 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – A disastrous wildfire raging in northern Alberta has forced government leaders in western Canada to tweak their plans to meet in Vancouver later this week and has pushed emergency management towards the front of the meeting’s agenda. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley will no longer attend the 2016 Western Premiers’ Conference, which is scheduled to run Thursday and Friday. Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman, who also serves as the province’s health minister, will replace Notley as Alberta’s representative. British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, who is hosting the annual gathering, said emergency management will be at the forefront of the discussions as the blaze in Fort McMurray, Alta., forces tens of thousands to flee the encroaching flames.

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Conifex Announces First Quarter 2016 Results

Marketwired
May 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA– – Conifex Timber Inc. (TSX:CFF) today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016. Adjusted EBITDA* in the first quarter of 2016 was $6.8 million, compared to $7.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $5.7 million in the first quarter of 2015. In the first quarter of 2016, adjusted EBITDA was negatively affected by a foreign exchange translation loss of $1.1 million compared to foreign exchange translation gains of $0.4 million in the previous quarter and $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2015.

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Opinion: Pulp and paper remains a key contributor to B.C.’s economic future

by Joe Nemeth, president and CEO of Catalyst Paper
Vancouver Sun
May 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Leading pulp and paper producers from more than 30 countries converged on Vancouver this week to attend International Pulp Week, a three-day conference that is part of PwC’s Global Forest Products Leadership Summit. Vancouver was a fitting venue for the 13th edition of this conference. Not only is Vancouver a world-class city, it’s also the commercial hub of a province whose pulp and paper sector has long been an economic engine for numerous communities, supporting families in the Interior and on the Coast. …Together, B.C.’s 15 pulp mills and six paper mills directly employ about 12,000 workers and support an additional 12,500 indirect jobs — about 20 per cent of all forest sector jobs in B.C. The sector pays among the highest wages and salaries in the province. While many rural families depend on these jobs, the sector also supports many professional services jobs in the Metro Vancouver area.

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Resolute Forest Products posts loss of $8 million in 1st quarter

Associated Press in the Winnipeg Free Press
May 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – MONTREAL _ Resolute Forest Products Inc. (RFP) on Thursday reported a loss of $8 million in its first quarter. The Montreal-based company said it had a loss of 9 cents per share. Losses, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 20 cents per share. The maker of paper and wood products posted revenue of $877 million in the period. Resolute Forest Products shares have decreased 29 per cent since the beginning of the year. The stock has dropped 65 per cent in the last 12 months.

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Rayonier Reports First Quarter 2016 Results

Businesswire Press Release
May 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Rayonier Inc. (NYSE:RYN) today reported first quarter net income attributable to Rayonier of $14.5 million, or $0.12 per share, on revenues of $134.8 million. This compares to net income attributable to Rayonier of $17.7 million, or $0.14 per share, on revenues of $140.3 million in the prior year quarter. The first quarter results include $0.4 million of costs related to shareholder litigation1 and $1.2 million of gain on foreign currency derivatives.2 The prior year first quarter results included $0.1 million of costs related to shareholder litigation.1 Excluding these items, pro forma net income3 was $13.7 million, or $0.11 per share, versus $17.8 million, or $0.14 per share, in the prior year period.

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East Coast investors may bring more jobs to Prineville mill

No word yet on how many; officials, residents hopefull
KTVZ
May 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

An East Coast investment company is looking to acquire an interest in Consolidated Companies, a family-owned lumber company in New Jersey with a small mill in Prineville. Crook County Commissioner Seth Crawford said Tuesday he flew to New Jersey to met with the representatives of Tzar Investment Group LLC of Rhode Island and Consolidated Companies of New Jersey, which has a subsidiary, Consolidated Pine, in Crook County. The company announced it plans to invest in the Consolidated Pine lumber mill, though details have not been made public. The facility currently employs about 30 workers.

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Resolute Forest cuts U.S. newsprint capacity, permanently shuts Georgia machine

Canadian Press in 680 News
May 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MONTREAL – Resolute Forest Products says it’s permanently shutting down one of its U.S. newsprint machines in response to ongoing challenges in the market. The Montreal-based pulp, paper and lumber producer says its U.S. mills are “especially vulnerable” in the present currency environment, when a strong American dollar weakens their competitive position. Resolute (TSX:RFP) recently announced price increases to its newsprint sales in the United States but doesn’t expect long-term demand to improve, unlike an anticipated recovery in demand for lumber for the U.S. housing market. The company says it anticipates a $20 million expense item will be recorded for the machine shutdown at its newsprint mill in Augusta, Ga., which will be recorded in the second and third quarters of 2016.

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Forestry sector considers pros and cons of EU membership

The Scottish Farmer
May 5, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

FORESTRY and timber trade body Confor has published a discussion paper on the key issues raised by the imminent EU ‘in/out’ referendum. The paper, written by Guy Watt of John Clegg Consulting, examines the six main areas where decisions made at European level have direct or indirect impacts on the forestry and timber industry: direct financial support from the EU; regulations and bureaucracy; trade; plant health; the labour market; and the economy. On red tape , Mr Watt cautioned against a ‘simplistic’ approach: “For those who owned woods or practised forestry 30 or more years ago, the challenge now of trying to get things done, or claiming grants, can seem a nightmare. The prospect of leaving the EU and getting rid of it all sounds something like paradise.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Working With Wood

By Amy Lazar
Moses Structural Engineers
May 4, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Innately, innovators are risk takers and while sometimes there is glory in being the first, there is always a story behind what it took to get there. “I talked the talk for years and now I am very happy to be able to walk the walk,” said Leith Moore, a Past Chair of BILD and Vice President of Fieldgate Urban, of his newly-launched project, Heartwood the Beach. The project is one of the contenders to be the first six-storey wood residential building constructed in the GTA. Six-storey wood was a priority for Moore when he was Chair of BILD and later when he was OHBA President. He bought the site at Queen Street East and Woodbine Avenue in January 2015 with the intention of constructing a six-storey wood building. 

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Steel Building Construction Is a Sustainable Alternative to Lumber Construction that Meets New Code Requirements

PR Rocket
May 4, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

As consumers and businesses look for ways to meet the new increasingly restrictive building codes, steel building construction is an exceptional alternative to traditional wood construction that is completely code compliant. As building requirements become more strict, steel construction is an sustainable and durable alertnative to wood construction that is also code compliant. For example, in 2009 the Homespace + Workspace retail store in Santa Cruz, California burned to the ground. An entire business was lost as a result of a fire at a neighboring lumberyard that spread to their building. EcoSteel was then contacted to rebuild using a completely prefabricated steel structure and building envelope. Because medical facilities are a high risk of fast spreading fire damage with high pressure oxygen lines running through the walls, steel is an excellent alternative. In addition, because steel does not harbor mold, bacteria or termites there is no reason for dangerous chemical treatments that could be harmful to patients and employees.

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$3000 Guitar Made of ‘Solid Linen’ Looks and Plays Like Wood

WIRED
May 4, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

El Capitan, the new six-string from Blackbird Guitars, provides the look, sound, and beauty of a hardwood instrument without the fuss or ecological concerns. It’s made of Ekoa, a proprietary composite of flax linen and bio-resin made from industrial waste. The company claims the material is lighter than carbon fiber and stiffer than Sitka spruce, the preferred material for the best soundboards. “We like to say it’s old-growth wood without the worry,” says founder Joe Luttwak. …Luttwak describes Ekoa as “solid linen,” and says the goal was to emulate old wood. As years pass, wood becomes thinner, yet more rigid and resilient, a combination that yields a warm, open and powerful sound. 

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London Design Festival 2016 reveals installations

Design Week
May 4, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

…Installations announced for London Design Festival 2016 include a giant curved walkway made of sustainable wood, a takeover of a disused stairwell and sit-in boxes that aim to address the housing crisis. The Smile, designed by Alison Brooks Architects, is an outdoor installation supported by the American Hardwood Export Council and ARUP, and is a 36m-long curved rectangular tube made from sustainable timber. At 3.5m high, visitors will be able to walk through the wood tunnel, which will be scattered with light due to perforations along the walls. …Baboushka Boxes has been designed by architect dRMM and supported by financial company Legal & General and homelessness charity Shelter. It will include a series of large, stacked box structures, also made from cross-laminated timber, which visitors will be able to sit and stand in. Alex de Rijke, co-founder at dRMM, says the project is a “conceptual piece – a mini manifesto for change”, looking at housing as “sustainable, adaptable, transportable and strong”.

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Forestry

Water wise: Logging one of 29 identifed risks to our water

By Tanis Gower, Registered Professional Biologist
Comox Valley Record
May 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Drinking water quality is a hot topic in the Comox Valley, especially since we taxpayers will be required to pay for upgrades to our water system. …The Watershed Protection Plan, then, aims to bring all the parties together for the sake of the watershed. The plan has identified 29 risks, with five being categorized as “very high,” nine as “high,” eight as “moderate” and seven as “low.” The risk relating to logging extent and locations is “high,” while off-road vehicle use, camping in undesignated areas, wildfire, flooding and augmentation/concentration of stream flows are the risk factors that are “very high.” …Ultimately, most of the 54 recommendations in the plan deal with factors other than logging. This may be a surprise to some, since logging is the dominant and most controversial land use. Logging practices on private land have very limited public oversight, and the recommendations are a reflection of that reality – though TimberWest does state that it follows up-to-date, science-based best practices.

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B.C. has seen worse droughts than previously thought, tree rings reveal

Data on 350 years of B.C. droughts reveals extremes that were not recorded before, says researcher
CBC News
May 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents on B.C.’s South Coast will likely have to endure worse droughts in the coming decades than previously thought according to a new study from the University of Victoria. Researchers used tree ring data to reveal centuries of B.C.’s water history — much further back than the 50 or so years that humans have been keeping stream-flow records. Looking at more than 350 years of tree ring data from B.C.’s South Coast, the study found 16 historical droughts that were worse than the benchmarks used today by water managers in the region, said Bethany Coulthard, paleoclimatologist and lead author of the study, published in the Journal of Hydrology.

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Letter: Forest industry not declining

By Eric Andersen, Squamish
Squamish Chief
May 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In a good letter last week (“Higher paying jobs will come,” April 28), responding to a fine editorial the week before (“The real costs of commuting,” April 21), there was some phrasing that deserves comment: “In the wake of the declining forestry industry and the closure of the Woodfibre pulp mill, Squamish, like B.C., is diversifying itself…” The forest industry in this region is not “declining.” This is perhaps an easy misperception, with many years of news stories on, for example, interior pine beetle and coastal newsprint sector woes. The timber harvesting industry has seen growing activity levels during recent years in this area since the major recession of a few years ago. And it is still working under capacity. District harvest levels are below the allowable cut.

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Protesters block access to Westside Fire salvage logging operation

The Siskiyou Daily News
May 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A large group of protesters blocked an access road leading to a salvage logging operation in the Westside Fire Recovery Project area on Monday following a judge’s order denying a temporary restraining order against the logging. Holding signs reading “Karuk land Karuk plan,”?the protesters called attention to the Karuk Tribe’s proposed alternative to the course of action chosen to recover Siskiyou County areas hit by severe wildfire in 2014. The tribe, along with various environmental groups, sued the National Marine Fisheries Service in early 2016 for its decision to issue a biological opinion giving the OK?to the WFRP.

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Timber project moves one step closer

The Western News
May 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The East Reservoir timber project moved one step closer to completion April 19, when United States District Judge Dana Christensen heard oral arguments on motions for summary judgment from both parties and supporting intervenors. The timber project is being challenged by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, and names the United States Forest Service, the United States Deparment of Agriculture, Kootenai National Forest Supervisor Christopher Savage and Faye Krueger, Region One Forester of the U.S. Forest Service. Lincoln County and the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition have filed as defendant-intervenors in support of the project.

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Finding Common Ground in the Forest

Forestry expo showcases stewardship as hundreds of students learn about sustainable management
Flathead Beacon
May 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Nearly 30 years ago, a coalition of longtime adversaries turned unlikely bedfellows invited the public to a weeklong workshop in the woods to have a chat about one of the most polarizing issues of the time – land management. Surrounded by stakeholders whose interests ran deep and diverse – almost as diverse as the bristling stands of grand and alpine fir, spruce, larch and cedar – the folks in attendance were finally able to see the forest for the trees, and the Flathead Family Forestry Expo was born. Tree huggers stood alongside tree cutters in a united front as hundreds of area fifth-graders and their families learned about logging, as well as about fisheries, forest fire, back-country camping and safety, ecology, wildlife habitat, and more. Most importantly, they learned about how one affects the other.

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Senate cuts down timber bill

Barre Montpelier Times Argus
May 5, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MONTPELIER — Senate lawmakers gutted a bill intended to offer protections for landowners who want to harvest timber on their property. On Tuesday, the Senate gave its approval to a bill that had called for the creation of a system to assist landowners with issues related to contracts and land management, and instead replaced the proposed system with a report. “I am perplexed, and I’m worried that there seems to be a willingness to avoid helping consumers avoid getting their forests cut by people who are not ethical and have many opportunities to not play by the rules that our parents and our grandparents played by,” said Sen. Mark MacDonald, D-Orange. House Bill 857 had called for the creation of system in which landowners would voluntarily notify the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation when they planned to have timber harvested from their property.

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Georgia: EU project helps combat forest pests and diseases

The FINANCIAL
May 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Two forestry reports supported by the EU-funded Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Program (FLEG II) in Georgia are now being used by the country’s authorities to develop a plan on addressing and eradicating pests and diseases in the country’s forests. The studies were conducted upon request from the National Forestry Agency of Georgia and, according to the country representative, they revealed ‘a great amount of information which is indispensable to proceed with the next steps’ needed to protect forestry resources in the country, FLEG II reports.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Don’t conflate science and scientists

Letter by Brent Erickson,executive vice president of the Industrial and Environmental Section of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
The Washington Post
May 2, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Regarding the April 29 editorial “Burning wood is not the answer to climate change”: Biomass is a renewable energy resource. Congress is appropriately exercising its oversight authority in directing federal agencies to correctly and consistently count carbon emissions from biomass. Forests and trees will not sequester our carbon emissions if we forgo bioenergy and use fossil fuels such as natural gas instead. Fossil fuels provide no incentive to protect forests; it is inappropriate to grant the fossil-fuel industry a free carbon-storage service from existing forests. The United States has relied primarily on fossil fuels; our forests can’t keep pace with carbon emissions.

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University of California mulls sawmill, CHP facility purchase

Biomass Magazine
May 4, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The University of California is on the verge of purchasing the Sierra Pacific Industries Loyalton, California, mill and associated property, including a 20-MW, combined-heat-and-power (CHP) biomass unit. The mill has a history of shuttering and restarting—in 2009, Sierra Pacific Industries closed the facility amidst contractual disputes with its power purchaser. …Now, the University of California has entered into an escrow to purchase the site and use it as a regional educational facility serving to study wood and forest product technology, biofuels, forest health, biomass energy production and CHP. Sierra County Supervisor Paul Roen confirmed the potential purchase, but added that the transaction was still under negotiation.

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Forest Fires

Forest fires by the numbers

Castanet
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

A by-the-numbers look at forest fires in Canada over the last four-plus decades: 373,597: Forest fires in Canada between 1970 and 2015 51,320: Forest fires in B.C. between 1990 and 2015, the most of any province during that time 32,894: Fires in Alberta during the same time, the second-highest total of any province 64,639,645: Hectares of land burned by forest fires between 1990 and 2015 17,388,508: Hectares burnt in the Northwest Territories, the largest amount of any province and territory between 1990 and 2015

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Why the boreal burns: The trees surrounding Fort McMurray are hard-wired for fire

National Post
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

Natural Resources Canada says that in the boreal forest fire “is as crucial to forest renewal as the sun and rain.” During a Tuesday press conference in Fort McMurray, Bernie Schmitte from Alberta Forestry elaborated on why the region is going up in smoke. “Spruce trees, pine trees, they like to burn. They have to burn to regenerate themselves. Those species have adapted to fire. Their cones have adapted to open up after the fire. The trees have adapted so that once they’re old enough, and decadent and need to be replaced, they are available to fire so they burn.” He called the black spruce, white spruce and aspen trees “volatile fuels” in the fire-dependent ecosystem.

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Evacuation ordered south of High Level, Alta.

Area between Bushe Reserve and Highway 35 under evacuation order
CBC News
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

An area south of High Level, Alta., is under an evacuation order as a fire at a forest product mill rages out of control. Rural residents in an area five kilometres south of High Level between the Bushe Reserve and Highway 35 are being asked to evacuate immediately and go to the reception centre located at the Town of High Level office to register and receive further instruction. …The fire is at the Norbord yard. Norbord is an international company with a plant in High Level that manufactures Oriented Strand Board.

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Catastrophic Slave Lake wildfire served as ‘wake-up call’ for Alberta

By Jana Pruden and Allan Maki
Globe and Mail
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

When a fire ripped through the town of Slave Lake five years ago, wildfire officials recognized that the catastrophic blaze may be “the forerunner of future fire seasons” in Alberta, a template for the kind of disaster now playing out in Fort McMurray. “I think Slave Lake was a wake-up call,” said Alberta wildland fire expert Mike Flannigan. “People were aware that this can happen, and hopefully people were aware that it was not a one-off and it could happen again.” A report released after the Slave Lake fire of May, 2011, made 21 recommendations geared at preventing, mitigating and responding to similar wildfires in the future. Dr. Flannigan said he believes the Alberta government has been sincere in its efforts to institute the recommendations in the Flat Top Complex wildfire report, but he declined to comment on whether enough has been done to address the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the five years since the Slave Lake blaze.

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State of emergency declared as Fort McMurray continues to burn

The Boundary Sentinel
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Alberta Government has declared a state of emergency Wednesday as the wildfire in Fort McMurray continues to burn. The wildfire, which experts believe may have been human caused due to its proximity to the city of Fort McMurray, has caused the mandatory evacuation order remains of approximately 80,000 people. More than 250 firefighters as well as helicopters and air tankers are currently fighting this wildfire. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation have both declared a State of Local Emergency. Alberta Transportation is escorting a fuel tanker along Highway 63 to assist stranded motorists evacuating the city.

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Lack of lightning suggests a human caused Fort McMurray fire: professor

By Liam Casey
Canadian Press in CTV News
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Humans are the leading cause of wildfires in Canada, says a forest fire researcher who believes the latest blaze that has ripped through parts of Fort McMurray, Alta., is no exception. Mike Flanagan, a professor of wildland fires at the University of Alberta, says the fire’s proximity to the city, as well as data that shows there were no lightning strikes in the area, lead him to believe the cause of the fire was likely human. “And in spring it’s heavily loaded on the side of people-caused fires,” Flanagan said. An average of 1,200 wildfires are reported in Alberta each year, and half of those fires are caused by humans, according to the National Fire Database. Lightning is the second-leading cause with 47 per cent.

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Three wildfires that forced thousands from their homes

Canadia Press in Winnipeg Free Press
May 3, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – A fire whipped by unpredictable winds and fuelled by a tinder-dry forest forced the evacuation of the entire city of Fort McMurray on Tuesday. Here are three other fires that forced tens of thousands to flee their homes. July 2015: Forest fires push about 7,000 people out of their homes in the northern Saskatchewan …May 2011: More than 10,000 people are forced to flee a wildfire that destroys one-third of Slave Lake, Alta. …August 2003: A blaze that begins in Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park in British Columbia morphs into a firestorm in windy, dry conditions.

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Military aid at the ready as offers of help pour in for Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees

Hinton Parklander
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Anzac Recreation Centre, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation are now under a mandatory evacuation order. Hundreds of evacuees from Fort McMurray were sent to Anzac on Tuesday after fleeing the city from the wildfire. RCMP officers are going door-to-door and the evacuation is scheduled for 11 p.m. Evacuees are being moved to Lac La Biche, about 280 kilometres south, or even further to Edmonton. Fire crews in Fort McMurray are scrambling to douse three separate fires, one of which is inching closer to the Fort McMurray International Airport. …Premier Rachel Notley is expected to land in Fort McMurray shortly. …There are approximately 250 firefighters battling the wildfire burning in Fort McMurray. Fire has razed more than half of the houses in multiple neighbourhoods, according to an update from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

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‘Of course’ Fort McMurray fire linked to climate change, Elizabeth May says

Trudeau, Mulcair focus on support for Alberta, but experts say higher temperatures, drier forests play role
CBC News
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The leader of Canada’s Green Party said Wednesday climate change was partly to blame for the wildfire devastating Fort McMurray, Alta., touching off a debate about whether it was the right time to discuss the causes of the conflagration. “Of course,” Elizabeth May said Wednesday when asked if there was anything about the fire that is linked to global warming. “The temperature records were being smashed through last month for northern Alberta,” she said, while noting that no single event is caused by climate change alone. “It’s due to global emissions. “Scientists will say we know with a destabilized climate, with a higher average global temperature, we will see more frequent, more extreme weather events … due to an erratic climate, due to our addiction to fossil fuels.”

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Building a better community: Hot fire safety tips from the Chief

By Gord Schreiner Comox Fire Chief and 2010 Canadian Career Fire Chief of the year.
Comox Valley Record
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

We are expecting another long dry summer and it is very important that we all work together to ensure a fire-safe summer. A small fire can very quickly grow into a very large uncontrollable fire. Here are some very important summer fire safety tips. [List of tips]…I get very nervous this time of year as I know that a small fire can quickly grow out of control. We do not want a major forest fire in our area. We need the public’s help to keep our area safe from fires.

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Fort McMurray wildfire burning so hot, only weather can stop it

‘Perfect storm’ of factors makes Alberta wildfire a powerful force, but such fires could be ‘the new normal’
CBC News
May 5, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The raging wildfire that has forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alta., and engulfed parts of the community is the kind of blaze that firefighters dread, but could become more common, according to experts. Alternatively described by officials as “catastrophic,” a “multi-headed monster” and a “dirty, nasty” fire, the blaze is at least 10,000 hectares in area and has destroyed more than 1,600 structures. It could threaten the entire community, they said. The wildfire became so intense Tuesday that the heat limited air operations over the affected areas. More than 150 firefighters are battling it on multiple fronts, with hundreds more from other provinces expected to arrive in the coming days.

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Wildfire in heart of oilsands country serves as latest climate change flashpoint

By Bruce Cheadle
Canadian Press in the Chronicle Journal
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA – The raging forest fire that’s forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alta., has brought out the worst on social media, with sanctimonious eco-trolls posting incendiary, insensitive and unhelpful barbs describing the conflagration as climate change “karma” for a city that is synonymous with oilsands development. “Karmic #climatechange fire burns CDN oilsands city,” former Alberta NDP candidate Tom Moffatt of Lethbridge posted on Twitter, prompting such a firestorm of criticism that he appears to have deleted the post. “Burn, tarsands, burn!” offered up Quebecker Edouard Dugas. “I hope everyone gets the irony of a massive fire in the heart of big oil country,” posted Jim Ray of Guelph, Ont. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau… was having none of it Wednesday. “It’s well known that one of the consequences of climate change will be a greater prevalence of extreme weather events around the planet,” Trudeau said at a news conference in Ottawa.

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Fire crews fight to prevent spread of embers as winds expected to move in

By Giuseppe Valiante
Canadian Press in The Chronicle Journal
May 5, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jamie Coutts’ harrowing experiences in Alberta five years ago are serving him well as he helps battle wildfires that have devastated entire neighbourhoods in Fort McMurray. The fire chief from Slave Lake, about 250 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, fought so-called “wildland-urban interface” blazes as they ravaged his community in 2011. They start in the bush before spreading into populated areas, requiring a particular approach if they are to be extinguished. Coutts’ 10-person fire crew spent much of Wednesday protecting homes, buildings and other critical infrastructure in Fort McMurray by clearing grass and trees away from houses adjacent to the devastation zone. He said it’s critical to douse charred homes and structures, known as “hot spots,” in order to ensure embers don’t get pushed by the wind into houses initially saved from the flames.

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We’re stretched to the limit: wildfires burn in B.C., ravage Fort McMurray

By Amy Smart, Lindsay Kines and Jeff Bell
Victoria Times Colonist
May 5, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia won’t send significant support to Alberta as it battles massive forest fires in the Fort McMurray area because fires raging within its own borders are tying up resources. On Wednesday afternoon, there were 85 fires burning across B.C., with the majority concentrated in the Peace River region near Fort St. John. Eight new fires started Tuesday, the B.C. Wildfire Service said. Here is a map of fires now in progress. Premier Christy Clark said her government will do everything it can to help Alberta, while focusing attention locally. “Unfortunately, we are so busy with 48 fires now in the Peace in British Columbia that we just really don’t have any more resources that we can assist in Alberta,” she said.

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Les Leyne: B.C. limited in help it can offer Alberta

By Les Leyne
Victoria Times Colonist
May 5, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A year ago this month, Alberta needed some firefighting help and B.C. responded by supplying personnel to the maximum extent possible. It’s a different story this time around. With horrific scenes from the Fort McMurray wildfire coursing through all media, there’s a natural neighbourly inclination to help out. But B.C. faces some constraints that limit the usual lending of crews and equipment. Last year in late May, Alberta fires flared up and B.C. announced it was sending 88 personnel and two fixed-wing aircraft to Alberta to help in fire suppression. Two days later, it followed up with another deployment of 41 fire personnel.

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Local firefighters to help battle Fort McMurray fires

Thunder Bay News Watch
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Local efforts are being made to help those affected by a devastating wildfire that is ravaging Fort McMurray. A four-member group from Thunder Bay will be among the 119 personnel sent by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on Friday to combat the northern Alberta blaze, which as of Wednesday afternoon is estimated to have consumed more than 1,600 homes and buildings and has grown to more than 10,000 hectares. Estimates indicate at least 53,000 people were evacuated Tuesday out of Fort McMurray, where in one neighbourhood 70 per cent of homes were destroyed.

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Devastating forest fires in Uttarkhand

Daily Pioneer
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

The builder and the timber mafia, which work closely with politicians, bureaucrats and villagers, are to be blamed for the increase in the number of forest fires. Finally, the Uttarakhand forest fires are reportedly close to being extinguished. At the time of writing, the Indian Air Force has deployed two MI-17, and one Dhruv ALH, helicopters, spraying water on the fires. Six thousand people are fighting the blazes. Army personnel and three teams of National Disaster Relief Force have been deployed. …The devastation has been severe. Thousands of animals — snakes, rodents and birds have been killed. Eight humans have died and over 20 have been injured till the time of writing.

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