Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 9, 2016

Business & Politics

Questions persist as OSC case against Sino-Forest nears its conclusion

Canadian Press in Canadian Business
May 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

TORONTO – As the Ontario Securities Commission’s case against Sino-Forest nears its end, questions remain about how enforceable any possible outcomes might be. Lawyers have been delivering their closing remarks over the past few weeks in what has been one of the most complex cases in the OSC’s history, encompassing more than 170 days of hearings, 22 witnesses, over 22,000 pages of transcripts and thousands of exhibits. If the securities watchdog wins the case, former CEO Allen Chan and four other former executives of the now-defunct forestry company could be permanently banned from Canada’s capital markets, or fined up to $1 million for each failure to comply with Ontario securities law.

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Christy Clark slams Trump on trade, warns of ‘poisoned’ relations

Donald Trump has called NAFTA a ‘disaster’ that ‘shouldn’t exist,’ worrying the B.C. premier
CBC News
May 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Premier Christy Clark is taking presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to task for his anti-trade stance — equating it with building a wall between the U.S. and Canada. “It’s not helpful when down in the States there are serious presidential candidates who are talking about building a wall between Canada and the United States. Trade barriers are just another kind of wall,” Clark said in an interview with Chris Hall on CBC Radio’s The House… The comments come as Canada and the U.S. are still haggling over a new softwood lumber trade agreement. Clark said Friday that she’s hopeful the two sides can craft a deal by summer’s end before presidential politics heat up further.

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Resolute to close Georgia newsprint machine despite better demand environment

Life in Quebec
May 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — Resolute Forest Products is permanently shutting one of its U.S. newsprint machines even though demand is showing signs of stabilizing after years of dramatic decreases. The Montreal-based pulp, paper and lumber producer said a machine at its mill in Augusta, Ga., isn’t competitive because of the high U.S. dollar. About 100 jobs will be affected by the closure. The move, announced Thursday, will leave Resolute with three newsprint machines in the U.S., along with seven in Canada whose competitiveness is helped by the lower loonie. Demand for newsprint has fallen by double digits annually in recent years as readers increasingly turn to digital media.

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Louisiana-Pacific beats 1Q profit forecasts

Associated Press in The Money Morning
May 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (LPX) on Monday reported first-quarter net income of $10.3 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The Nashville, Tennessee-based company said it had profit of 7 cents per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 2 cents per share. The home construction supplier posted revenue of $504.6 million in the period. Louisiana-Pacific shares have climbed roughly 2 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has increased 9 percent in the last 12 months.

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Small fire breaks out at Weyerhaeuser

Albany Democrat Herald
May 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

LEBANON — Sparks from a welding project caused a small fire late Saturday in Weyerhaeuser’s planer mill but did not cause building damage or injuries. According to information from the Lebanon Fire Department, the building, at 30440 Fairview Road, had been shut down for maintenance work. Crews had been working at the mill earlier in the day on a project involving welding and cutting torches. A spark caught a sawdust pile and smoldered for hours, sending smoke through the building and triggering the department’s response at about 9 p.m.

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Donald Trump says NAFTA ‘destroyed’ U.S. at rally near Canadian border

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee in Lynden, Wash., bypasses Seattle
CBC News
May 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Donald Trump held a rally minutes away from B.C.’s border on Saturday where he touched on lumber and international trade… During his 45 minute speech in Lynden, he meandered from topic to topic — from his love of his evangelical supporters to attacking Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by calling her “crooked.” He called NAFTA “one of the great economic disasters” that’s “destroyed” the U.S., a message he first shared back in September 2015. Trump also spoke about international trade, specifically pertaining to lumber. “You can’t sell your timber … they won’t even take it and when they do take it, they charge you tax,” he told the crowd of thousands without clarifying which country “they” are.

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Group touts forestry industry in South Mississippi

The Sun Herald
May 6, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Valuing and protecting Mississippi’s forests, preserving clean water and supporting a healthy ecosystem and its wildlife were discussed at the Hancock/Harrison County Forestry and Wildlife Association Policy Makers Luncheon on Friday at the Pass Christian Yacht Club. “The state of forestry is very good and positioned well and conditioned to grow and prosper with the right tools,” said Tedrick Ratcliff Jr., executive vice president of the Mississippi Forestry Association, Hancock/Harrison County’s parent association. “There are a ton of opportunities in this part of the world for children and people of all ages to experience so much of our natural resources and to work with landowners to experience all of those natural things.” Ratcliff spoke on the non-economic benefits of a healthy forest industry in the state’s lower six counties.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Laurentian log home a dream come true

Montreal Gazette
May 6, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

This superb log house north of Lachute is a wish come true for Corey McHugh. …The construction was handled by Harkins.ca of St-Faustin-Lac-Carré in the Laurentians, a family business specializing in building Scandinavian log homes. Increasingly popular, these homes are ecological and energy efficient. Because most of the work was done in the company’s yard, the actual building on site took just 45 days. “Harkins crew was amazing,” McHugh said.

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Hi-tech strategies for future forests

The Mercury.com
May 8, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SUSTAINABLE, hi-tech and worth tens of millions of extra dollars each year to the Tasmanian economy. That’s the vision for forestry from the man leading UTAS’s new Centre for Forest Value, Jim Reid. Professor Reid’s industry and conservationist backed centre is tasked with re-imag­ining the nation’s forestry fut­ure. “(It’s) to try to get away from the old industry, to go to a new industry,” he says. “It’s trying to make sure that we get maximum value out of the resource that we actually have, and that means going to a much higher-tech way of doing forestry. “Instead of just producing a commodity, it’s looking at it from the other end.” That would mean engineered wood products replacing energy-intensive concrete and steel in buildings.

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Forestry

Forestry compensation fund receives boost, silviculture sector now included

Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
May 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Province is providing a $1-million lift to the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund to protect eligible forestry contractors and service providers in the event of licensee insolvency. The one-time grant was announced today by Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson at the Interior Logging Association’s 58th annual conference and trade show in Vernon. The grant will enhance the $5-million provincial seed money that established the fund in summer 2012, along with the additional $1-million provincial grant that was already made in 2015… The Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund was established to give relief to eligible forestry contractors that were not paid for forestry service that they provided because the licensee that received the services became insolvent.

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Growing a greener future at Forests Ontario’s annual Community Planting Weekend

Newswire
May 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – Today, volunteers and planting partners in four communities across Ontario participated in Forests Ontario’s annual Community Planting Weekend. In the spirit of helping to re-green our province, more than 460 attendees planted a total of 2,800 new, native trees in Niagara, Windsor, Kitchener/Waterloo and York Region. Now in its eighth year, the annual Community Planting Weekend was hosted by Forests Ontario and supported by CAA South Central Ontario, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Thompson Emergency Freight Services, Ecobee, and Ontario Wood. “The tree planting events were not only a fun way to spend the day with family and friends, but were also a great way to create a local legacy and a greener tomorrow which will benefit current and future generations. 

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Old-growth forests can help preserve biodiversity in a warming world

Mongabay
May 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The towering canopies and dense understories of old-growth forests might be able to help protect biodiversity as global temperatures continue to rise, according to new research. Climate change is expected to have a dire impact on global biodiversity, but these predictions are derived from models applied at global scales that can miss some important nuances, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances last month. “Such models lack the capacity to incorporate microclimate variability, which is critical to biodiversity microrefugia,” the authors write. “In forested montane regions, microclimate is thought to be influenced by combined effects of elevation, microtopography, and vegetation, but their relative effects at fine spatial scales are poorly known.”

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How Maine can move beyond a damaging debate over its public forests

Bangor Daily News
May 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

But LePage got his way on one issue over which he’s been at odds with most lawmakers in recent years: management of the state’s 600,000 acres of public reserved lands. The Maine House upheld his veto of legislation that spelled out timber harvesting rules for the state Bureau of Parks and Lands and added new restrictions on the use of an account set aside for the lands’ management. On two separate occasions over the past few years, LePage has proposed — and the Legislature has rejected — increasing the amount of wood harvested from 400,000 acres of the state’s public land holdings and diverting the sales revenue to a low-income heating upgrade program. LePage’s insistence on the scientifically and legally unsound proposal led a special legislative commission last fall to examine the state’s public lands and the account set aside for their management.

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Waterloo’s ash forest disappearing

Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
May 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WATERLOO — Chainsaws are beating beetles in the race to destroy the city’s ash forest. Forestry crews have toppled more than 30 percent of the nearly 4,500 ash trees in street rights-of-way and public parks since the emerald ash borer was discovered in Waterloo on Jan. 25, 2014. While some Iowa cities have opted for costly treatments to spare many of their ash trees from the insects, others, including Waterloo and Cedar Falls, are working proactively to remove them even before they’re fatally infested. “I think that what we’re doing is going to be the best for the taxpayer,” said Waterloo City Forester Todd Derifield. Treating remaining ash trees on city property would cost $620,000, Derifield said. Those chemical injections would last two years before the trees would need another treatment.

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Top palm oil producer sues green group over deforestation allegations

Malaysian palm giant, IOI, lost business after it was suspended
The Guardian
May 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

One of the world’s largest palm oil producers is suing the green body that suspended its sustainability certification last month because of allegations it had deforested Indonesian rainforests. The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body set up by industry and NGOs to address environmental concerns about the commodity’s production, confirmed it had been served with a lawsuit by the Malaysian palm giant, IOI. IOI was suspended by the RSPO in early April after the allegations of wrongdoing, leading major buyers including Unilever, Mars, Kelloggs and Nestle to cut back on the palm oil they buy from the company.

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Forest Fires

Carlier: Province will not waver in commitment to fight wildfire

by Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
Calgary Herald
May 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West


I want to assure all Albertans that this is absolutely not true. Every necessary resource was available when this fire started, and we will continue to ensure every necessary resource is available going forward. Our government and our emergency management system are better prepared than ever before to fight extreme wildfires, thanks to lessons learned from the Slave Lake tragedy and the Flat Top Complex report and recommendations that followed. Implementation of each of the report’s 21 recommendations is well underway and has resulted in significant improvements. For example, we now have an additional 200 firefighters available to protect homes, families, businesses and critical infrastructure from the threat of wildfires.

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Forest fire location, not necessarily size, priority for battling blazes

By Jennifer Graham
Canadian Press in Prince George Citizen
May 6, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Whipped up by wind and fuelled by tinder dry conditions, the wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., grew to about 1,000 square kilometres on Friday. An expert said it’s a dangerous fire because of its location, not necessarily because of its size. “Let’s put this into perspective. That is a high-priority area,” said Marc Mousseau of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre in Winnipeg. “If you get a fire on the Saskatchewan-Manitoba-Nunavut border, that thing could be 300,000 hectares (3,000 square kilometres) and nobody would even know because there’s nobody up there and it’s zero priority.”

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Insurance companies mobilize staff to begin claims process in Fort McMurray

Canadian Press in Thunder Bay News Watch
May 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the wildfire situation in Fort McMurray, Alta appeared to stabilize Sunday, insurance companies across Canada have already begun deploying mobile response units and flying in personnel to the province from across the country to prepare to assess the damage. Most companies have natural disaster and crisis units that were deployed to emergency centres soon after all of Fort McMurray was placed under a mandatory evacuation order last Tuesday. More than 80,000 have left the community. …A spokeswoman for Intact Insurance said the company has a catastrophe team that works year-round. It set up temporary claims centres “within hours” of the evacuation order.

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Wildfire above Oyama

Castanet
May 7, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A helicopter has now joined in the battle against the wildfire above Oyama. The BC Wildfire Service is getting a handle on the blaze, says fire information officer Ryan Turcot. “Crews are making good progress on this fire – it is now 60 per cent contained,” Turcot tells Castanet. A seven-person firefighting crew is also on scene. …The fire, which is believed to be caused by lightning, was reported Saturday morning to the BC Wildfire Service.

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Wildfires continue to grow in B.C.’s northeast

Vancouver Sun
May 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire in northeastern B.C. that jumped the border into Alberta last week continues to grow and now spans 586 square kilometres in both provinces. The Siphon Creek fire, which was sparked last month about four kilometres south of the Doig River First Nations community, was last estimated Sunday night at 415 square kilometres on the B.C. side. However, an earlier evacuation order for some homes near the fire was downgraded to an alert on Sunday. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but hot and dry weather this spring have allowed for an early and intense start to the wildfire season in British Columbia. Over the last 10 years, an average of just 14 square kilometres has burned by this time of year.

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For Victoria’s watersheds, major wildfires would be catastrophic

By Amy Smart
Victoria Times Colonist
May 7, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Greater Victoria’s water supply would be seriously compromised if major wildfires broke out in the Sooke and Goldstream watersheds, the Capital Regional District warns. Ash and debris from wildfires pose a significant contamination threat, said Ted Robbins, general manager of integrated water services for the CRD. “[Wildfires] could be potentially catastrophic in terms of being able to provide drinking water to residents of Greater Victoria,” Robbins said. Southern Vancouver Island, including the Sooke and Goldstream watersheds, was under a high-danger rating Friday from the B.C. Wildfire Service. That means forest fuels are very dry and fire risk is serious. Sooke Lake is less than 40 kilometres from the site of a 400-hectare wildfire that blazed near Lizard Lake last August.

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‘Lucky to get out:’ Fort McMurray fire evacuees get first view of burned city

Canadian Press in the Chronicle Journal
May 6, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

…In Edmonton, Premier Rachel Notley announced the government will provide financial help to evacuees for immediate needs. Adults are to receive $1,250 each and dependents $500. The cost is estimated at $100 million.The first convoy of 50 vehicles drove through the oilsands city from the north at about 6 a.m. It was escorted by the RCMP and a police helicopter in the air to warn of any renewed fire danger. …Notley said the plan was to get 500 vehicles out by ground and 5,500 people by air on Friday. Another 4,000 were to go Saturday. About 7,000 left by air Thursday. “The city of Fort McMurray is not safe to return to, and this will be true for a significant period of time,” she told a briefing in Edmonton. The road took convoys past blocks largely reduced to grey wastelands of charred concrete and ash, a gutted Super 8 motel and a levelled gas station.

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Scenes from inside Fort McMurray: Eye-stinging smoke, scorched earth and the non-uniformed arrested on sight

National Post
May 8, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT MCMURRAY, AB – There’s a reason that sleep-deprived woodland firefighters begin to see forest fires as a sentient, intelligent foe. The Fort McMurray fire is moving underground. It is smoldering in peaty forest floors for days, only to explode to the surface like a hand grenade. It will sweep along a wide front, or fan out into unpredictable guerilla assaults. It has demolished people’s home, but left their car unscathed just to prove that it can. The fire has burned through the rear fences of homes, only to fizzle out a few metres from the back door like some kind of sick “I’ll be back” threat. But all things considered, Fort McMurray emerged from a biblical firestorm in relatively good shape. …About 80 per cent of the city is unscathed, and the luckiest outcome was that the fire did not penetrate forested recreational areas in the city’s core. Piled high with decades of forest debris, it would have burned like a Presto log.

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Premier Notley to survey damage to Fort McMurray on Monday, fire growth slows

Premier to survey damage to Fort McMurray on Monday
Chronicle Journal
May 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – Wildfires that levelled neighbourhoods in Fort McMurray slowed their rampage through tinder dry forest in northern Alberta on Sunday, allowing firefighters in the oilpatch city to focus on hotspots as plans were made for Premier Rachel Notley to survey the damage first-hand. Notley said the fight against the fire has stabilized to the point where she can visit and begin the next phase of the government’s operation to determine what must be done to eventually allow people to return to the city. Speaking at a media briefing, Notley had to pause to compose herself when she spoke about Mother’s Day and two evacuees who were killed in a traffic accident last week.

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Connecting the dots on the Fort McMurray catastrophe

By Tim Louis
The Vancouver Observer
May 7, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Do you see where I am going with this…? Climate Change. Climate change is upon us. Not in a theoretical way but in real life, just as the world’s scientific community has been telling us would happen for decades now: Climate change causes, amongst other crises, more and more extreme weather events. Not to make light of this disaster, but I also can’t help but note the terrible irony at play here, namely that it is carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels that are a huge factor in climate change — the very kind of carbon emissions intrinsically linked to the tar sands Fort McMurray is famous for. In my opinion, the only fact that makes this tragedy even worse than it is is that — other than Green Party leader, Elizabeth May — our spokespeople and news media are failing us by not linking cause and effect.

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Notes from a disaster

By Neil Godbout
Prince George Citizen
May 6, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some takeaways from the Fort McMurray tragedy: – Canadians care. The outpouring of support from across the country shows once again that this country is more than an oath to the Queen, more than the flag or the anthem and more than the strengths and weaknesses of our political leaders. When interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, an Albertan, rose in the House of Commons to speak about Fort McMurray, her voice broke and she fought off tears. Her caucus gave her a standing ovation and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rushed across the aisle to embrace her in solidarity.

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Air assets play critical role fighting wildfire

Canadian Press in FIRE Fighting in Canada
May 6, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fort McMurray, Alta. – The image of a helicopter ferrying a small bucket of water through towering plumes of smoke made clear the daunting, seemingly futile, task of fighting the Fort McMurray wildfire from the sky. To observers, it was like flicking water on a raging grass fire. But experts in fire suppression and management say the aircraft play a critical role in a multipronged strategy in containing expansive fires. ”It has a target and a usefulness, for sure,” said Roger Collet, a wildfire prevention officer with Natural Resources in New Brunswick.

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Stuart Olson Responds to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Wildfire Crisis

CNW in Montreal Gazette
May 6, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stuart Olson Inc. is announcing its response to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) wildfire crisis. As everyone is aware, the RMWB wildfire has affected over 90,000 individuals, including members of our Stuart Olson family. The safety and well-being of our employees is our top priority and we are actively working to support the recovery efforts. Our history in RMWB spans over 50 years, and as a community partner, we are devastated by the current situation. Our initial response is focused on providing support to both our employees and the community in any way we can. We have made an initial donation of $50,000 to the Red Cross, and have committed to match all employee donations. 

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Environmental groups join appeals for people to assist Fort Mac fire victims

Canadian Press in Sudbury News
May 6, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA — At least two Canadian environmental groups who aggressively lobby against oilsands development are imploring their supporters to send aid to the people of Fort McMurray, Alta. Greenpeace Canada and the Sierra Club of Canada have each issued appeals for donations to the Red Cross and other aid agencies in the face of the mass evacuation and destruction of homes and property in the northern Alberta oilsands hub. After imploring its followers to help Fort McMurray, the Sierra Club cautiously broached the subject of global warming. …Mark Meisner, the Canadian executive director of the International Environmental Communications Association, said in an interview from Syracuse, N.Y., that there is nothing incongruous about environmental groups championing a move away from carbon intensive energy while supporting people who work in the industry.

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Forest fire east of Caddy Lake forces evacuation of 50 cottages

1,000-hectare fire still spreading; 40,000 hectare fire north in Nopiming Provincial Park rages on
CBC News
May 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dozens of cottages in and around Caddy Lake have been evacuated as a days-long forest fire continues to threaten areas north of Whiteshell Provincial Park near the Manitoba-Ontario border. Provincial spokesperson Earl Simmons confirmed Monday morning that at least 50 cabins will be evacuated along the east shore of Caddy Lake, including Green Bay Resort.Members of the South East Whiteshell Fire Department and officers with Manitoba Sustainable Development will be going door-to-door starting at 8 a.m. asking people to leave the area, Simmons added.

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Wildfires to challenge BC

Castanet.net
May 6, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As wildfires plague northeastern B.C. and ravage northern Alberta, B.C.’s forests minister is blunt about what the logging industry can expect this year. “We know we face significant challenges over the summer,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, during a speech to industry representatives attending the Interior Logging Assocation’s annual conference in Vernon. “Depending on May and June, in terms of precipitation, we could be facing a long and difficult fire season.” Thomson said his thoughts were with the people of Fort McMurray and Alberta as they deal with “that devastating fire.” He pointed to the “significant challenges” in B.C.’s Peace River area where a number of wildfires are burning, including a large blaze that has crossed into Alberta.

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Health official warns Manitoba wildfire smoke could cause breathing problems

Forest fires burning in eastern Manitoba could prompt health concerns for asthmatics, elderly, youth
CBC News
May 8, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest fires popping up along the eastern part of the province are making for smokier air in the region, which has Manitoba health officials reminding people with breathing problems to be on their toes. A major forest fire burned east of Caddy Lake near the Manitoba-Ontario border late this week. It forced cottagers in the Beresford subdivision at Nopiming Provincial Park to leave the area Friday night. Forest fire prompts evacuation of Beresford cottage subdivision at Nopiming park. Elyse Weiss, deputy chief public health officer with the province, advised people with asthma and other breathing issues to check Environment Canada’s website before planning outdoor activities.

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B.C.’s fire investigators get on the case while the trail is still warm

Vancouver Sun
May 8, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Before firefighting crews are done extinguishing a burning forest, investigators from the B.C. Wildfire Service are already examining the smoking remains behind them, sifting through the ash for clues as to how the fire started. “We prefer to be deployed as soon as possible,” said Ian Douglas, who leads some 50 investigators across B.C. as the wildfire enforcement and prevention officer… Since the 2016 fiscal year started at the beginning of April, the B.C. Wildfire Service has logged 213 fires. Of those, 174 were believed to be human-caused, four by lightning and 35 are still under investigation. “It continues to be a frustration,” B.C. Forest Minister Steve Thomson told reporters in a briefing. “To see the numbers and to see the fact that the majority of these have been human-caused remains a sense of frustration and that is why we significantly increased fines.”

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Ottawa yet to respond to Russian offer to send water bombers to fight Fort McMurray fire

By Murray Brewster
Canadian Press in National Post
May 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government has yet to respond to an offer by Russia to dispatch massive water bombers and fire-fighting specialists to battle the growing inferno around Fort McMurray. The proposal was made late last week by Vladimir Puchkov, the Russian minister of emergency measures. A spokesman for Russia’s embassy in Ottawa, Kirill Kalinin, said Sunday that they continue to stand “ready to help our Canadian partners to fight the ongoing wildfires in Alberta.” The offer involves sending converted Ilyushin Il-76 transport planes — the kind occasionally leased by the Canadian military — that can dump as much as “42 tons of fire retardant into fire spots,” according to a statement on the web site of Russia’s Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters.

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People flee Northwest village

The Chronicle Journal
May 7, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

About 100 seasonal residents in a Kenora-area village remained evacuated Friday, as provincial crews attacked a growing forest fire and monitored a second, much larger blaze burning further north. As the evacuation of Ingolf village continued for a second day, nearby Kenora filled with hazy smoke. The smoke is believed to be blowing in from a separate 13,000-hectare fire in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, about 80 kilometres southwest of Red Lake. “It’s a (smoky) odour, and it’s a strong one,” said Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield. “We’ve shut all the windows at city hall. Anyone with breathing problems is going to feel it.” Canfield said the municipality was in the process of implementing a city-wide fire ban, following the lead of other communities west of Thunder Bay.

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Restricted Fire Zone declared throughout Northwestern Ontario

The News Watch
May 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone in much of Northwestern Ontario to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires. The MNRF declared the restriction early Saturday morning, citing unusually dry spring conditions with no end in sight, which have resulted in increasing forest fire activity.The restriction will remain in effect until wet weather conditions balance the dry ground and brush on the land. Under the Restricted Fire Zone, all burning permits are suspended and all open fires are prohibited.  

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Kenora Area Forest Fire Not Under Control

CKDR
May 6, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ministry of Natural Resources says a forest fire near the Ontario-Manitoba boundary is still not under control. Information Officer Jonathan Scott says the fire grew to about 300 hectares Thursday night despite the work of six water bombers. Scott says crews are now on scene to protect buildings and homes. 100 people from the small community have been evacuated. Provincial Police are asking camp owners in the Longpine, Makara and Rice Lake areas to stay away this weekend due to the fire situation.

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Wildfire risk ‘high to extreme’ in northwest Ontario, fire bans issued

Thunder Bay, Fort Frances, Rainy River, issue municipal fire bans
CBC News
May 8, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

All fire permits are suspended beginning Sunday morning in Thunder Bay as the city joins other municipalities in northwestern Ontario and the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in issuing a fire ban. The Ministry declared the region a restricted fire zone as of Saturday because of a “high to extreme” risk of forest fires in the area… An area near Kenora was evacuated on Friday and the Emergency Area Order remains in place, prohibiting all travel in the Ingolf area near the Ontario-Manitoba boundary.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Island droughts are going to worsen, researchers say

Victoria Times Colonist
May 7, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver Island droughts will be worse in coming decades than they have been in the past 350 years, University of Victoria researchers say. A study found that natural droughts from past centuries were more severe than initially believed. Climate change and deforestation will only aggravate conditions that have already seen streams dry up and wildfires rage, research associate Bethany Coulthard said. Looking at tree-ring data for coastal areas in southern B.C., the report found that 16 historical droughts dating back to the 17th century were more serious than what was recorded. Previous data depended on stream flow, collected at measurement stations in low-flow rivers. “Those 16 droughts are what we’re calling natural droughts. They’re driven by normal climate variations,” Coulthard said.

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Clean, renewable biomass good for environment

Mike Leonard, Consulting Forester
Telegram.com
May 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

As a consulting forester helping landowners manage thousands of acres across the state, I support more utilization of forest biomass. Biomass is in essence stored solar energy and is a byproduct of forestry operations, which allows us to grow high quality sawtimber by weeding out the junk timber… The use of wood for energy is carbon neutral as long as the forests are growing faster than they are being cut. According to a study by state Department of Conservation and Recreation & UMass, the current ratio of growth to harvest on timberlands is 12.7 to 1!

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