Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 17, 2016

Business & Politics

Explosion at pellet plant in Houston

By Colin Dacre
My Prince George Now
May 17, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

There has been an explosion at the Pinnacle Pellet plant in Houston BC. Christi Wood with the Houston Pellet Limited Partnership says a fire was initially detected in a silo on Saturday evening. This morning, as a part of the procedure to removed residual wood fibre from the affected silo an explosion occurred. Houston Fire Chief Jim Daigneault says it “blew the roof right off the silo”. Luckily, nobody was injured. Fire crews remain on scene to clean up the fire. The cause of the initial fire and subsequent explosion unknown at this time. This is the second time in as many weeks that the Houston Fire Department has responded to a fire at a local wood processing plant. The Canfor sawmill was the site of a serious fire last week. END OF STORY

Read More

Lower lumber prices exert pressure on Canfor result

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
May 17, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lower selling prices for softwood than last year caused the first-quarter operating result of the “Lumber” division of the Canadian company Canfor to fall by 30.8% against the same period of last year to CAD33.4m. The lower selling prices were also unable to be compensated for by a 16.1% increase in the sold volume of softwood lumber to 1.355bn bdft.  The output was raised by around 8.5% in the first three months to 1.303bn bdft, contributed to in part by the takeover of An-thony Forest Products Company (AFP) at the end of October 2015. According to information from the company, production activity ran at a very high level at the works in western Canada whereas the SYP works in the south of the USA struggled with weather-related problems at times. Sales revenue generated by the Lumber division in the first quarter rose by 19% to CAD772.6m. END OF STORY

Read More

Lavington pellet plant makes changes to prevent another fire

InfoTel.ca
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

LAVINGTON – Actions have been taken to prevent a fire at Lavington’s new pellet plant from repeating itself. More than a month after fire broke out in the dryer room of Pinnacle Renewable Energies’ pellet plant, company president Leroy Reitsma says their investigation into the cause of the incident is almost complete. “With the help of third party experts and the manufacturer, we were able to identify an issue with the system’s start-up procedure that, in certain situations, could result in the generation of sparks and the type of fire event we experienced,” Reitsma says in a written statement sent to iNFOnews.ca.

Read More

A bitter election year begins

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News in Merritt Herald
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

There is a nasty edge to proceedings as the B.C. legislature session winds down this week, with the 2017 election campaign already effectively underway. Premier Christy Clark and B.C. Liberal ministers have been under attack over their links to big corporate donors, which will be a major theme for the NDP in the next year. You’ll hear more about forest companies West Fraser and Canfor, which escaped without fines after a 2014 audit found they over-cut their northern timber licences by close to one million cubic metres. Much of this was during salvage logging for pine beetle damage, where healthy trees were taken as well, at a time when forest companies were consolidating, trading Crown timber rights and closing sawmills.

Read More

Vaughn Palmer: Premier expresses worry over softwood lumber

Vancouver Sun
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — After an initial flurry of optimism, Premier Christy Clark is now anxious about Canada’s prospects for a renewed agreement with the United States to manage the softwood lumber trade. “I am worried about softwood, period,” Clark told The Vancouver Sun in a recent interview. “I think we are going to have to work incredibly hard now to try and get a deal because we are not a lot closer.” That’s not a slight against the new federal government, nor the minister for international trade, Chrystia Freeland, who has charge of the softwood file. “I’ve got to give her credit, she’s worked day and night to try and resolve this,” Clark said Thursday. “It’s been her central focus for the last several months.”

Read More

More layoffs coming at Tembec

By Chris Dawson
Bay Today
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tembec has confirmed to BayToday that at least 20 employees will be laid off at the Tembec Temiscaming Site effective Jun 20th.  “This re-organization entails the elimination of 24 positions in operations and the creation of five new positions in operations,” Dany Gagnon, VP of Operations at the Tembec Temiscaming Site stated in an internal memo released today.  Gagnon added that any retiring workers in the maintenance mechanical department will not be filled and seven electricians will be hired.  “Management and Union will work together to proceed with the applicable collective agreement dispositions to implement this decision,” Gagnon continued in the Tembec internal memo.  

Read More

New Straits Times Online Commerce Dept. to Brief Forest Industry on Trans-Pacific Partnership

Hardwood Floors Magazine
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The United States Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will host an in-person session and webinar to brief the forestry industry on the potential outcomes of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. The TPP has the potential to become one of the largest trade agreements in history. It was signed by all 12 participating nations earlier this year, and would go into effect with Congressional approval. The TPP will have an impact on forestry issues relating to new market access, illegal logging and supply chains, according to the American Forest & Paper Association.

Read More

International Paper Co recently inked a definite agreement with Weyerhaeuser Co.

Inside Trade
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

International Paper Co (NYSE:IP) recently inked a definite agreement with Weyerhaeuser Co. WY, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands, to acquire the latter’s pulp business for $2.2 billion in cash. The transaction is subject to mandatory closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by fourth-quarter 2016. The acquired asset portfolio includes five pulp mills and two converting facilities that produce fluff pulp, softwood pulp, and specialty pulp for consumer goods such as, diapers, hygiene products, tissue, and textiles. With a combined capacity of nearly 1.9 million metric tons of pulp, the transaction is likely to strengthen International Paper’s position in the global fluff pulp market and augment its operating cash flow.

Read More

Reasons for optimism in timber, logs

Natural Resource Report
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

While lumber production is slow and prices are low, there are favorable trends in mortgage rates and steady increase in home value nationally. Pockets of demand for homes and apartments in cities has created serious localized shortages and price increases. Recent trends of lumber, home construction, and housing markets, are compared to 2009 and 2005. …Log prices and especially stud prices are ho-hum, compared to the last 2 years. Housing starts also took about a 9% dip this month. This kind of fluctuation is common and it is reasonable to assume construction (housing starts and building permits) will be higher next month.

Read More

Quality ‘nearly there,’ says CEO of White Swan lightweight wood paneling plant

Yakima Herald
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

WHITE SWAN, Wash. — Lights at the once-vacant Jeld-Wen plant came on again at the end of last month when Neucor started what the company calls a “soft startup” of operations. The general manager and more than a dozen employees have been testing the equipment that makes lightweight wood paneling from sawmill waste, CEO John Fujii said in a phone interview. Fujii, who is based in Vancouver, Wash., has been developing the company for more than 15 years. Over that period, he has worked on securing patents, tweaked the design, developed the product at a pilot plant at Washington State University, and introduced the product to potential customers — manufacturers seeking an eco-friendly alternative to traditional particle board. “It’s a different process when you’re putting (wood) on a moving line and into a multi-opening press,” Fujii said. He said that in his tests at WSU the wood was hand-fed into a press one-by-one.

Read More

As softwood prices tank, Maine gets $380K to help forest industry

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the Maine Forest Service a $380,000 grant to develop programs to help a forest product industry hit by a sharp decline in demand for softwood species. The USDA grant announced Monday will allow the Maine Forest Service to establish a Wood Energy Assistance Team focused on biomass heating and another program. Called the “Strengthening and Expanding Maine Wood Markets” project, it will create a new job for someone at the forest service to specialize in forest product markets issues.

Read More

Family of woman killed at mill sues rail car company

Texarkana Gazette
May 14, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States


The family of a woman killed in an accident last year at Domtar’s Ashdown, Ark., plant is suing a company that provides rail cars to the mill. Velma Marie Perkins, 52, died Sept. 18 when a Kiamichi Railroad car crashed into an overhead structure that collapsed, knocking her to the track, according to a complaint filed on behalf of her husband, Ronald Perkins Jr., and the couple’s three children by Little Rock lawyer Thomas McGowan. The complaint was initially filed in Little River County, Ark., Circuit Court in March. Last week, Kiamichi’s lawyers removed the case to federal court in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas. …The suit alleges Kiamichi, which contracts with Domtar to provide railroad cars used to ship the company’s products, delivered cars—including the one Velma Perkins was using—which were taller than any cars previously used at the mill either on that day or in the days before Velma Perkins was killed.

Read More

Other business – 10-year tax exemption for 2015 acquisitions by Weyerhaeuser.

The Dispatch
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The county also approved a recommendation on a 10-year tax exemption for 2015 acquisitions by Weyerhaeuser. “Most of that involved improvements to emissions, which we think is being a good neighbor,” said Weyerhaeuser vice president David Phillips. Weyerhauser is currently working on the sale of its local facilities to International Paper that is expected to be completed later this year. The tax-exemption would be transferred to IP once the sale is complete. The exemption applies only to the county with the county school’s receiving full tax revenue from the acquisitions, County Tax Assessor Greg Andrews said.

Read More

Fire at plywood supply company caused by mechanical issues

WBTV
May 16, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – A fire at Louisiana-Pacific Corporation Monday morning has been ruled accidental due to mechanical issues. Deputy Chief Frank Meyer said New Hanover County Fire Rescue was called to respond to the plywood supplier on US-421 just before 8:15 a.m. Meyer said the call was upgraded when the first unit arrived to the scene and saw smoke. Additional units from New Hanover County Fire Rescue and the Wilmington Fire Department were called to respond.According to Meyer, a fire was initially seen at a piece of equipment inside the building. He said the remaining fire was identified in the saw dust removal system.

Read More

Employer to pay $180K following workplace fatality

HRM New Zealand
May 17, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A Gisborne-based logging operator has been ordered to pay $180,000 in fines and reparations after a contractor was killed on his first day on the job. Contracted to Hawke Equipment Limited, Dallas Wayne Hickey was transporting logs from Puketoro Station to Eastland Port when he left the cab while the truck was still moving – tragically, he became trapped under a rear wheel and suffered fatal injuries. Transport boss James Walter Beau Thompson ran the company’s Gisborne log operations at the time – he was held accountable last week after a WorkSafe investigation found he had failed to conduct appropriate checks and tests, or to ensure that Hickey was inducted.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Reinventing Green Building

By Lance Hosey
Huffington Post
May 16, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A new book is less reinvention than it is revisionism. “The green building revolution has stalled,” declares Jerry Yudelson in Reinventing Green Building, to be released June 1 by New Society Publishers. His premise is that certification programs such as the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system are too costly and cumbersome: “By 2015, LEED had certified less than 1 percent of commercial buildings and homes in the US during its first 15 years.

Read More

Plans for parking

Register Guard
May 17, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The Springfield City Council’s decision to drop almost three-quarters of a million dollars on planning for a parking garage is disturbing on several counts. The four-story, all-wood garage would be part of the planned redevelopment of Glenwood. And it would be made out of cross-laminated timber, a newly developed timber product city officials are hoping will be a growth industry, creating well-paid jobs. There are some question marks attached to both of those statements. The redevelopment of Glenwood has faced multiple delays, including protracted negotiations with landowners, which resulted in the council voting recently to use eminent domain if necessary. This would allow the city to take property owners to court to force them to sell, at a fair price, for public improvements. …It’s understandable that the council would be interested in showcasing CLT in a major city project, given its potential to boost economic development locally. But the cons outweigh the pros on the garage proposal; the council should have tapped the brakes on this one.

Read More

The Race for the Wood Skyscraper Starts Here

Bloomberg
May 16, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

At a newly renovated plant in Riddle, Ore., workers glue together boards harvested from nearby forests, where Douglas fir has grown for thousands of years, and feed the resulting 10-by-30-foot panels into a pneumatic press. What comes out three hours later, their boss is convinced, is the building material of the future. Proponents of the material, called cross-laminated timber, or CLT, say it can be used to erect buildings that are just as strong and fire-resistant as those made from steel and concrete. Those qualities have helped excite the passions of architects and environmentalists, who think it could unlock a greener method for housing the world’s growing population, and timber producers, who hope to open a U.S. market for the value-added good.

Read More

American Wood Protection Association Reaffirms Efficacy of Above Ground Treatment Standards For Outdoor Uses

Press Release Rocket
May 16, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Sunbelt Forest Products is pleased to announce that the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) has reaffirmed Ecolife and Copper Azole Type C (CAC) as effective treatments for use with above ground outdoor wood applications including joists and beams. “The recent modifications to the AWPA standards for treated wood components considered ‘difficult to replace’ had caused some confusion in the industry,” said Ken DelleDonne, president of Sunbelt Forest Products. “Some retailers and wood treatment producers appear to be under the mistaken impression that all treated wood used in outdoor applications must meet ground contact standards. 

Read More

Forestry

Grizzly kills don’t reduce human-bear conflicts, B.C. study finds

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
May 17, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Killing grizzly bears to reduce human-bear conflict is ineffective and may even have the opposite effect, according to a new study by B.C. scientists. The study — published in the Nature group journal Scientific Reports — found that killing grizzlies led to a slight increase in human-bear conflicts in subsequent years. The increase in conflicts, though not statistically significant, might be explained by the continued presence of attractants or the social impact of the kills on other bears. Hunting had no impact on the frequency of conflicts. “What we found challenges a common assumption in wildlife management, that killing bears is necessary to reduce conflict,” said lead author Kyle Artelle, a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University and scholar at the Hakai Institute.

Read More

With oak disease killing trees by the millions, scientists urge against despair

By Chris Mooney
Washington Post
May 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Earlier this month, we learned [that] “sudden oak death,” … could perhaps have been halted a little more than a decade ago (it was first detected in the state in 1995), that basically can’t happen now. The disease is too entrenched. That’s very bad news — but some of those same researchers, and other scientists focused on the disease, are now urging citizens and governments not to take the wrong message from this research. There may be no way to eradicate the devastating disease any longer, they say, but that doesn’t mean people should despair — or that they should stop trying to fight it, because a lot of forest can still be protected and saved. Furthermore, slowing the spread of the disease could at least buy time and preserve some vital trees until new solutions present themselves, these experts say.

Read More

Groups protest BLM plan for 2.5 million acres of Oregon forest

Fishing advocates say reduction in streamside logging buffers endangers salmon habitat
Associated Press in The Mail Tribune
May 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — Conservation and fishing groups and an Indian tribe announced Monday they have filed protests against a draft federal proposal to manage 2.5 million acres of land in western Oregon — a plan that would allow logging to increase by more than a third and for trees to be felled closer to streams. Earthjustice and the Western Environmental Law Center, which filed a formal protest on Monday on behalf of 22 conservation and fishing groups, charged that the plan would increase clear-cutting and harm streamside forests. In its four-volume, 2,010-page proposal, the Bureau of Land Management said a revised plan is needed because of changes in timber management.

Read More

Diverse Groups Challenge Western Oregon Forest Plan

Oregon Public Broadcasting
May 16, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Timber-dependent counties, environmental groups and a Native American tribe are formally protesting a plan to manage 2.5 million acres of public land in Western Oregon. …Conservation and timber groups are voicing concerns about harvest levels and environmental protections, but the Coquille Tribe has also formally protested. The Coquille are in a unique position because federal law requires them to operate their forests under these same rules being proposed by the Bureau of Land Management. Coquille Tribal Chair Brenda Meade says tribal logging could be curtailed if the plan is approved. “This new plan is really looking at losses of revenue and losses of much-needed jobs in our community,” she says. The tribe is working to decouple its forestland from this federal management; doing so will take congressional action.

Read More

Imported forest pests cause $2 billion in damage annually

By Mary Esch
Associated Press in Washington Post
May 17, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ALBANY, N.Y. — When Gary Lovett was studying the effect of acid rain in New York’s Catskill Mountains 20 years ago, he ended the experiment early because so many trees in the test plots were dying — not from acid rain, but from insect attacks. “I consider air pollution and climate change to be serious, long-term threats to the forests,” said Lovett, senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in the Hudson Valley. “But neither of those is changing the forest the way the pests are.” In a study published this month in the journal Ecological Applications, Lovett and 15 colleagues estimated that 63 percent of U.S. forest land, or about 825 million acres, is at risk of increased damage from established pests, and new pests continue to arrive with cargo shipments from overseas.

Read More

High death rate in forestry industry

SunLive.co.nz
May 17, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The coroner looking into the death of eight forestry workers, including one Bay of Plenty man, has safety concerns at the high rate of deaths still happening within the industry. A report by Coroner Wallace Bain says the circumstances of the deaths “raised important public issues and concern” to the high rate of deaths in the industry. Wallace says it’s concerning there have already been four forestry industry deaths this year, despite safety improvements. “It’s of concern that there is this rash of deaths this year, especially after all the publicity and education in the sector. “Clearly there is still a lot to do if New Zealand is to reduce its workplace forestry deaths permanently.”

Read More

Bob Brown: Charges dropped over Lapoinya Forest anti-logging protest

ABC News, Australia
May 17, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Environmentalist and former Greens leader Bob Brown will not face proscution over his arrest at a an anti-logging protest in Tasmania’s north-west. Mr Brown was arrested along with three protesters when they walked into the Lapoinya Forest exclusion zone in January. The were among the first arrested under the controversial Workplaces (Protection from Protestors) Act 2014. Tasmania Police commissioner Darren Hine issued a statement saying the charges had been dropped. “The decision not to proceed was made by Tasmania Police after receiving legal advice from the DPP,” he said. “In this case the DPP observed that it was difficult for police officers to determine whether a person was in a business access area or on business premises.”

Read More

Forest Fires

Bad start to fire season doesn’t necessarily mean bad finish: expert

Canadian Press in The Chronicle Journal
May 17, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – The dramatic start to this year’s fire season across Western Canada and Ontario doesn’t necessarily mean the ferocious trend will continue into the summer, experts say. John Innes, dean of forestry at the University of British Columbia, said weather is the single largest influence on wildfires, which makes forecasting extremely challenging. “It’s always very difficult with weather and with climate,” Innes said in an interview on Monday. “We hear about what’s going to happen next week and it can be totally wrong. The same goes for fire weather. While visiting an evacuation centre in Edmonton more than a week ago, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the intense and early start to wildfires this year could spell a long and difficult season for all of Canada. He specified his remarks were not directed exclusively at Alberta, where the province is still reeling from the firestorm in Fort McMurray.

Read More

Scope of wildfire season rides on weather says forestry expert

CKNW News
May 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A forestry expert is saying that an early start to wildfire season doesn’t mean the fires will continue for the rest of the summer. UBC’s dean of forestry John Innes says dry weather is the biggest predictor of forest fires. He says the long term forecast says our summer will be dry but the further ahead a prediction, the less certain it is. “We may have a dry summer, the long term forecasts are beginning to suggest, but we could have a very wet period at any time and that would completely change the moisture content of the fuel in the forest” Innes adds a good dose of rain would make the trees and bushes much less likely to catch fire.

Read More

Fort McMurray fire: More evacuations ordered as blaze heads northward

Read the latest on the size of fire, the progress firefighters are making
Globe and Mail/Canadian Press
May 17, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Displaced Fort McMurray residents are getting more resources to help ease their predicament. The Canadian government says it will work to speed up employment insurance claims; Canada Post has announced a mail forwarding program free of charge for Fort McMurray and area residents; Western Union is waiving money-transfer fees so Canadians can send money to Alberta more easily. Here’s Marina Strauss’s report on how retailers, pharmacists and others are offering services for those in need, and Carrie Tait and Kelly Cryderman’s report on what oil-sands producers are doing to help their employees. …As of Monday, the fire spanned about 285,000 hectares, the Premier said

Read More

Wildfire danger on the rise again in Saskatchewan

‘Extreme risk’ area has been growing since Friday
CBC News
May 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

What a difference a few days can make when it comes to the risk of forest fires and grass fires. After cooler conditions and rain shrank the “extreme risk” zones on Friday, by Monday morning the wildfire danger map looked a lot different. The Saskatchewan government said wildfire hazards remain high or extreme in the western portion of the forest south of the Churchill River. But hazards in the remainder of the province — which had been reduced after last week’s rain — are rising again. The province said Monday there have been 142 fires in 2016, compared to 123 wildfires reported at this time last year. Nine fires are currently burning.

Read More

Warming trend challenging firefighters in northern Alberta

‘We’re going to see the wildfire intensity increase as the forest dries’
CBC News
May 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A warming trend this week is putting firefighters on edge in northern Alberta. “What we’re seeing is temperatures rising to 23 C and the air moisture dropping to 15 per cent, and this in wild land firefighting is called a crossover,” said Barry Shellian, wildfire information officer with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “When this happens, we see an increase in fire behaviour. The next few days with this weather we’re going to see the wildfire intensity increase as the forest dries.” The Fort McMurray wildfire, still out of control and growing, showed “extreme activity” in the southern parts of the wildfire on the weekend.

Read More

Work camps north of Fort McMurray evacuated due to growing wildfire

By John Cotter and Dean Bennett 
Canadian Press in The Daily Kelowna Courier
May 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.— A harsh reminder of the perils still at play in the Alberta wildfires emerged Monday afternoon as employees at work camps north of Fort McMurray were moved out as part of a precautionary evacuation. High winds spurred the quickly spreading wildfire as tinder-dry conditions persist in the region. “Heavy smoke … does make it unsafe to fly in some spots, but we are able to still work the flanks and hope to pinch it off,” said Alberta wildfire manager Chad Morrison. “When you have this kind of extreme fire behaviour it doesn’t matter what tankers you put in front of it, it doesn’t matter how many helicopters, Mother Nature is going to want to continue to move that fire forward.”

Read More

Nearly $1B of oilsands production lost due to Fort McMurray fire: report

Canadian Press in Edmonton Journal
May 17, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new assessment of the economic impact of the Fort McMurray wildfires says close to $1 billion of oilsands production has been lost. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that the fire in northeastern Alberta resulted in a loss of 1.2 million barrels of oil per day for two weeks, translating into $985 million in lost gross domestic product. That represents about 0.33 per cent of Alberta’s projected GDP this year and 0.06 per cent of Canada’s projected GDP. Twelve oilsands operations were shut down and several more curtailed output this month because of the wildfire that closed pipelines and forced the evacuation of more than 80,000 people from the area.

Read More

B.C. fire crews continue controlled burns despite warm weather

Kelowna Now
May 14, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s expected to be a warm weekend in British Columbia, and dry conditions might make fire behavior more active in the province, according to the BC Wildfire Service. Two evacuation alerts are still in effect for the Peace River Regional District including Beatton Airport Road and the Siphon Creek Area. The Beatton Airport Road fire, which is now 45 kilometres from Fort St. John, is still 15,000 hectares in size and 45 per cent contained. Controlled burning has been initiated in the area, on the west side of the Alaska Highway. If conditions stay the same, more burn-offs will occur north of the Mile 260 Road on the south part of the fire, making smoke highly visible to residents in the area.

Read More

Northwestern Ontario Wildfire Update – May 16 2016

Net Newsledger
May 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY – WILDFIRE UPDATE – Cooler weather over the weekend helped in the fire situation across Northwestern Ontario. There were no new fires by the evening of May 16 in the Northwest Region but one new fire was confirmed in the Thunder Bay District by day’s end on May 15. The forest fire hazard is currently moderate but it is expected to rise across the region through the week. A Restricted Fire Zone remains in place in the Northwest Region except the far north. Fire crews continue to make good progress containing Kenora Fire 018 and by day’s end on May 17 all road restrictions connected to this fire are expected to end. Red Lake Fire 003 is listed as not under control and is straddling the border between Ontario and Manitoba.

Read More

Caddy Lake fire shrinking, evacuation orders lifted in Whiteshell, northwest Ontario

Fire detected May 5 in Whiteshell Provincial Park forced dozens to leave area
CBC News
May 17, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Cottagers and year-round residents are heading back to their properties in Caddy Lake, West Hawk Lake and Ingolf, Ont., after officials from the Manitoba and Ontario governments lifted forest fire evacuation orders Tuesday morning. Two forest fires straddling the Manitoba-Ontario border, first detected May 5, forced dozens of evacuations. One burned in the Nopiming Provincial Park area east of Beresford Lake and into Ontario, while the other fire was in Whiteshell Provincial Park, northeast of Caddy Lake, and northwestern Ontario. “It’s nerve-racking to sit there and watch flames across the lake. You’re kind of sitting there wondering what will happen,” said Shaun Harbottle, owner of Crescent Beach Cottages and motel in West Hawk.

Read More

US wildfire-fighters making plans for 2016 season

Associated Press in the St. Louis Dispatch
May 17, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The nation’s primary wildfire-fighters are getting ready for the 2016 season, which is expected to be worse than average in Hawaii, Alaska and the Southwest. U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will meet with regional forest officials Tuesday to discuss plans and preparations. The Forest Service is part of the Agriculture Department. Last year, wildfires burned a record 15,800 square miles nationwide. Seven Forest Service firefighters died. Forecasters said earlier this month the potential for significant fires this season will be average or below-average in most of the nation, but dry conditions could make thing worse in some regions.

Read More

Firefighters converge in Ashland to light controlled burns in order to prevent wildfire

By Julie Akins
Mail Tribune
May 16, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Even as Ashland Mayor John Stromberg prepares to attend a White House Roundtable next week on using fire to fight fire through the nationally recognized Ashland Forest Resiliency Partnership, controlled burns are underway throughout the Southern Oregon region. The smoke in the hillsides is evident, but underneath and less evident are firefighters from around the country and world learning more about best practices in setting fires to enhance the long-term health of forests and prevent wildfires that can gobble up thousands of acres and homes in their wake. “In 2009, a fire in the Siskiyou (range) was a wake-up call,” says Darren Borgias, ecologist and program manager with The Nature Conservancy. “It raised awareness, which grows depending on how close fires are to towns and communities.”

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate team upset at Clark for dragging heels on leadership plan

By Brian Morton
Vancouver Sun
May 17, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Environmentalists who were part of Premier Christy Clark’s climate leadership team are angry at the B.C. government for being too slow to act. “A year ago this week, the government asked us to come up with a climate plan to help get B.C. back on track to reducing carbon pollution and ensure a strong economy,” said environmentalist Tzeporah Berman, a member of the team. “It was a hard job, but we delivered a breakthrough plan. Now, it’s six months later and the government promised to review our recommendations and make a final plan by March. “We met our deadline but they haven’t met theirs. I’m worried that we haven’t seen any action on climate change because this government is entering into election mode,” added Berman, an Adjunct Professor in York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies.

Read More

Conservationists attack UK burning of wood from US forests

Energy Voice
May 17, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Wood from forests “teeming with wildlife” in the US is being burned for electricity in the UK, conservationists have claimed. Wood pellets are being sourced from hardwood forests in North Carolina, part of the North American Coastal Plain which was recently declared the world’s 36th “biodiversity hotspot”. The forests provide habitat for wildlife including bald eagles, black bears, flying squirrels and Venus flytraps, as well as clean water and flood protection services for local communities, the RSPB and American conservationists Dogwood Alliance said. The groups said demand for biomass pellets is helping drive clear-felling of woodlands, and raised concerns over UK bill-payers paying green subsidies for a power source which they say may be more polluting than coal.

Read More