Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 23, 2016

Froggy Foibles

A Brief History of Chainsaws in Horror Movies and Video Games

By Eric Francisco
Inverse
June 22, 2016
Category: Froggy Foibles

Because of their immediate association with Tobe Hopper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, an indisputable horror classic, chainsaws have been a fixture of the genre, spanning from Leatherface to Ash Williams to Dead Rising. But motorized saws are also a uniquely American trope; other nations who specialize in scares, like England and Japan, don’t carry the baggage of westward expansion. Away from the bustle of cities, the ghosts of native genocides haunt the rural American wilds like boogeymen. No tools symbolize the expansion spirit greater than axes and saws, but their modern incarnations have become monstrous. While in cinema, chainsaws have turned into a cliche, the lumber tool has found new life in the digital space of video games. Here’s a brief history of chainsaws in pop culture horror that, surprisingly, actually doesn’t begin with Leatherface. [Warning from Frogs – video is alarmingly corny!!]

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Business & Politics

US, Canada Report “Significant Differences” in Softwood Lumber Talks

International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
June 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Negotiations between the US and Canada for a new framework on softwood lumber trade continue to struggle with “significant differences,” according to the top trade officials from the North American neighbours. Reporting back following a 100-day window of “intensive” discussions mandated by their respective leaders, US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Canadian Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland said that despite these divides, the two trading partners are now clearer about what their shared goals should be in this process, along with some ideas for the way forward. The 17 June statement comes just weeks before US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are set to meet in the framework of the North American Leaders’ Summit, along with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

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Logging rate increases uneven

Wood Business
June 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Fewer than half of contractors have seen rate increases over the past three years, but how well you’ve managed to negotiate a rate increase varies greatly by both region and company size. Based on the results of Canadian Forest Industries’ 2016 Contractor Survey, 41 per cent of all contractors saw some form of rate increase over the past three years. For the rest, rates were either stagnant (28%) or had declined somewhat (23%). Just over eight per cent were either too new to have a trend or preferred not to say. However the real news is how these increases played out in different forestry regions or according to company size. In general, the larger the contractor, the more likely they were to have negotiated or received some form of rate increase over the past three years.

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Weyerhaeuser to close all Columbia Falls lumber and plywood mills; 100 jobs affected

by ROB CHANEY and VINCE DEVLIN 
The Billings Gazette
June 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Weyerhaeuser Company announced it will close its lumber and plywood facilities in Columbia Falls by August or September. The move eliminates about 100 jobs in Flathead County. Weyerhaeuser bought Plum Creek Timber Co.’s Montana holdings in February. “For some time now our operations in Montana have been running below capacity as a result of an ongoing shortage of logs in the region,” said Doyle R. Simons, president and chief executive officer. “These closures will allow us to align the available log supply with our manufacturing capacity, including adding shifts at our Kalispell facilities. These moves will improve the operating performance of our remaining mills and best position these mills for long-term success.”

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Daines says Columbia Falls mill closure shows need for forest reform measure

KPAX-TV
June 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Steve Daines says the Weyerhaeuser mill closure announcement is “devastating news” for Columbia Falls and its economy, and he believes the development underscores the need for forest reform legislation. Weyerhaeuser says it will close both the lumber and plywood mills because its simply having too difficult of a time dealing with the Northwest’s on-going log shortage. 

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Weyerhaeuser blames “log shortage” for Columbia Falls mill closures

By Dennis Bragg
KBZK Bozeman News
June 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

COLOMBIA FALLS – The following statements were release from Steve Daines, Jon Tester, Steve Bullock, and Greg Gianforte.  Daines: “This is devastating news to the Columbia Falls community and the hardworking families who relied upon these good-paying jobs. …Tester: “These layoffs are a major blow to folks in Columbia Falls and across the Flathead Valley. I will continue to push to create more job opportunities and increase timber harvests in the Flathead because I believe it is critical that everyone laid off at Weyerhauser has the opportunity to attain a good-paying job here at home.” …Bullock: “Today’s announcement by Weyerhaeuser is yet another extremely disappointing example of the federal government’s failure to do its job …Gianforte: “This is extremely disappointing news and it’s particularly devastating for the community of Columbia Falls.

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200 jobs disappearing as C. Falls mills to close

By Lynnette Hintze
Daily Inter Lake
June 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Weyerhaeuser Co. will permanently close its lumber and plywood mills in Columbia Falls by late August or early September, eliminating 100 jobs, the company announced late Wednesday afternoon. In addition to the mill closures, Weyerhaeuser said it will close its administration office complex in Columbia Falls by the end of the year, eliminating roughly another 100 jobs in addition to the 100 lost mill jobs. “It’s a tough day,” said Tom Ray, Weyerhaeuser’s Montana resources team leader. “It’s tough news, but it’s a decision that will make us stronger in the long-term and will position the remaining wood facilities for long-term success.” Weyerhaeuser took over Plum Creek Timber Co. earlier this year. Plum Creek operations in Columbia Falls date back to 1946.

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Company to reopen Arkansas lumber mill, create 136 jobs

Northwest Arkansas News
June 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

State and federal agencies announced plans Wednesday to invest more than $2 million to refurbish a defunct mill in Glenwood into a lumber facility that will provide 136 new jobs. Through a $339,000 development grant along with payroll and sales tax rebates, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission estimated its support for the project will total around $1.5 million. The U.S. Economic Development Administration also pitched in $817,726 in infrastructure grants to the city to improve water and road access to the plant, regional director Jorge Ayala said.

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Recycled-paper mill to close, lay off 45 in Auburn

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
June 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — Cascades Inc. plans to close its de-inked pulp mill in Auburn on July 15, laying off 45 employees at the facility that uses recycled paper to make packaging and tissue products. The Quebec-based Cascades had searched unsuccessfully for a buyer, but faced a dwindling market for its products and found competitors already had excess capacity. “For the same reason that we were forced to cease our operations, the other players [selling de-inked pulp] have more capacity than they actually sell,” Cascades spokesman Hugo D’Amours said.

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Fortress Paper Agrees to Sell Lebel-sur-Quevillon Pulp Mill and Sawmill Assets for $15.36 Million

Marketwired
June 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA— Fortress Paper Ltd. (“Fortress Paper” or the “Company”) (TSX:FTP) is pleased to announce that it has, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Fortress Global Cellulose Ltd. (“Fortress Global”) and Fortress Lumber Corp. (together with Fortress Global, the “Vendor”), entered into an asset purchase agreement (the “APA”) with LSQ Energy, L.P. (“Energy LP”) and LSQ Development, L.P. (together with Energy LP, the “Purchaser”), each a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nexolia Bioenergy Inc., providing for the sale of the buildings, equipment and other ancillary property relating to the non-operating pulp mill and sawmill, as well as the energy generation, connection and transmission plant and related equipment, located in Lebel-sur-Quévillon, Québec (the “LSQ Mill”) for an aggregate purchase price of $15.36 million.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Branching out: Why cross-laminated timber is making advances in the US

Research and demonstration projects are fueling interest in prefabricated engineered wood systems.
Construction Dive
June 22, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Everything old is new again for today’s architects, engineers and developers. Since the earliest civilizations, forward-thinking architects and engineers have always faced two fundamental challenges: How to use existing materials in new, innovative and sustainable ways and how to use new materials in the same innovative and conscientious manner. With origins 20 years ago in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, a mass timber construction (MTC) system known as cross-laminated timber (CLT) has grown into a thriving and growing $2 billion industry, producing 500,000 cubic meters of CLT annually throughout Europe. …The U.S., after years of watching from the sidelines, is finally catching on with successful CLT projects imported from Europe throughout the U.S. and Caribbean, and new manufacturing is ramping up in Montana and Oregon.

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Safer than steel in a fire? Today

Egypt Local News
June 23, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The newest addition to the timber trend is a proposed 19-storey structure that will be built in the Swedish city of Skelleftea. The “Sida vid Sida” — its name translated to side by side” — submission was praised for paying tribute to the city’s rich local timber industry, and the multiple design benefits attributed to wood as a building material. Once complete, the 19-storey structure is expected to become the tallest wooden building in the Nordic countries. An explosion of timber towers, either built or proposed, has gripped the architecture world over the past five years, every one seemingly a recorder holder in some respect.

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Forestry

Caribou fence plan panned

Red Deer Advocate
June 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Critics say the Alberta government’s plan to fence in threatened woodland caribou to protect them is an experiment and doesn’t address the real issue — loss of habitat, not wolves. The province recently released a draft plan to protect the Little Smoky and A La Peche herds in their ranges northwest of Hinton. Under the federal Species At Risk Act, Alberta is required to preserve 65 per cent of critical caribou habitat by October 2017. …Dwight Rodtke, retired problem wildlife specialist for Alberta Agriculture, said Tuesday that the real problem threatening caribou is their loss of habitat, not wolves. There are all kinds of problems inherent with the fencing project, said Rodtke, who lives in the Rocky Mountain House area.

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Ancient Forest gets special delivery

Prince George Citizen
June 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There was a special delivery made Monday to the Ancient Forest when a helicopter dropped 17 tons of lumber at the site so volunteers can build the 250-metre plank pathway to the waterfall. The lumber was delivered by truck to the quarry that is close to the Ancient Forest site and from the quarry a company that owns a helicopter, whose owner wishes to remain anonymous, brought the lumber to two higher locations. It took five hours. “Pretty well eliminating about 2,000 hours of labour that was in front of us (volunteers) this summer,” said Nowell Senior, president of the Caledonia Ramblers hiking club and the man who was inspired to create the Ancient Forest Universal Boardwalk so people with disabilities can enjoy the wonders of the rare inland temperate forest. The 1,600 foot universal boardwalk was completed in 2013.

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Island logging

By Andrew Snook
Wood Business
June 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Don Bahen has been logging for more than 20 years, and enjoys the challenges of coastal logging on Vancouver Island. He originally got into the business logging in the northern B.C. Interior in 1996 as a partner with Tahtsa Timber. …Steeper slopes aren’t the only accessibility issue for harvesting blocks in the Mesachie Lake Region. The building of resource roads to transport equipment and logs throughout the region often requires blasting out large sections of rock, which adds additional costs to the operation. …The latest machines for his operations include a variety of Tigercat equipment …Bahen says that knowing when to buy and sell equipment for your fleet is an important part of running a profitable operation.

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Input sought on visual-quality objectives in Sea to Sky area

BC Government
June 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbians are invited to comment on a proposed amendment to a scenic-area boundary on Crown land in the Sea to Sky Natural Resource District until July 20, 2016. The proposed amendment is to establish new visual-quality objectives and manage the views affected by forestry operations from the Sea to Sky Gondola, a newly developed, significant public viewpoint in the Shannon Creek area. Members of the public are invited to submit comments about the proposed boundary amendment during a 30-day review and comment period that ends on July 20, 2016. Written comments may be submitted by email to: flnro.seatoskydistrict@gov.bc.ca

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Read Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition’s Report of the Urban Forest in the Greater Toronto Area

Greenroofs
June 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

We recently returned from our first Grey to Green Conference in Toronto at Ryerson University, presented by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), where Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition‘s Report of the Urban Forest in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was released. The Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition (GIO) is a collaborative alliance of not-for-profits organizations, community groups, businesses and local governments, including GIO steering committee member Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, working to sustain green infrastructure across Ontario. Their mission is to bring organizations together to share information and collaborate for improved green infrastructure policies and programs across the province.

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Wynne vows to ‘get to the bottom’ of mercury dumping report

The Toronto Star
June 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


A concerned Premier Kathleen Wynne is sending government scientists to Grassy Narrows to investigate a report of a potentially dangerous mercury dumping site on land near the First Nation community. Her comments Tuesday came after a Star investigation found the province had ignored startling information from retired labourer Kas Glowacki, who reported that 40 years ago he was part of a small crew that “haphazardly” dumped drums of mercury and salt into a pit near a pulp and paper plant about 100 kilometres upstream in Dryden, Ont. The mercury poisoning of the residents of Grassy Narrows and the fish they eat has been well documented after the old Dryden mill — now closed — dumped 10 tonnes of mercury, a potent neurotoxin, into the Wabigoon-English River system between 1962 and 1970.

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Fredericton working to avoid invasion of ash tree pest

By Gail Harding
CBC News
June 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Arboricultural staff in Fredericton are monitoring for an invasive insect that kills ash trees. They have installed lime green prism traps in 20 locations throughout the city to see if they will catch any emerald ash borers. Don Murray, the manager of parks and trees, and the city’s forester, says while they’ve been watching for the pest for 10 to 12 years, they haven’t found any indication of it being in the city yet. “We do that by surveillance in the field and we also check ash trees that we suspect have this pest in it,” said Murray. “We haven’t found any yet.” The pest can be in the area damaging trees for five to seven years before being noticed without the surveillance, he said.

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Environmentalists protest poisoning trees in Mendocino County

The Press Democrat
June 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Environmentalists protested the use of herbicides to kill tan oaks at Mendocino Redwood Company forest land in Comptche on Tuesday. At least two locked themselves to a logging gate, said Comptche resident Marggie Chandler. She said about 20 people participated in the protest throughout the day. They object to the so-called “hack-and-squirt” practice of cutting into a tree, then applying herbicides to the wound to kill them. The practice is aimed at restoring redwood tree dominance in coastal forests. The long-held practice was the subject of a June ballot measure, which declared it a nuisance to leave standing for more than 90 days purposely killed trees over 16 feet tall. It appeared headed to victory June 7, when 60 percent of voters supported Measure V, but the election has yet to be certified.

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Feds: Drought kills 66 million trees in California’s Sierra

By Scott Smith
Associated Press in US News and World Report
June 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FRESNO, Calif.  — The number of trees in California’s Sierra Nevada forests killed by drought, a bark beetle epidemic and warmer temperatures has dramatically increased since last year, raising fears they will fuel catastrophic wildfires and endanger people’s lives, officials said Wednesday. Since 2010, an estimated 66 million trees have died in a six-county region of the central and southern Sierra hardest hit by the epidemic, the U.S. Forest Service said. Officials flying over the region captured images of dead patches that have turned a rust-colored red. The mortality from Tuolumne to Kern counties has increased by 65 percent since the last count announced in October, which found 40 million dead trees.

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Clallam trust lands panel votes no on reconveyance of timberlands

Peninsula Daily News
June 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County should not seek reconveyance of its state-managed forest lands, an ad hoc committee has recommended. The Clallam County Trust Lands Advisory Committee voted 14-1 Friday against a recommendation that the county request the state Legislature to allow it to take back the management of its revenue-producing timberlands. Instead, the committee will explore ways to help the state Department of Natural Resources maximize returns on 92,525 acres of DNR-managed forests in the county. “They made an important decision,” Clallam County Commissioner Bill Peach said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “I look forward to supporting them through the rest of the year as they have their conversation about ‘What are the other options?’?”

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Neutralizing acidic forest soils boosts tree growth, causes spike in nitrogen export

By Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
EurekAlert
June 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A legacy of acid rain has acidified forest soils throughout the northeastern US, lowering the growth rate of trees. In an attempt to mitigate this trend, in 1999 scientists added calcium to an experimental forest in New Hampshire. Tree growth recovered, but a decade later there was a major increase in the nitrogen content of stream water draining the site. So reports a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a team of scientists from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Duke University, and Syracuse University.

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St. Louis will start removing most of its 15,000 ash trees to stop bug invasion

St. Louis Dispatch
June 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ST. LOUIS • City officials say it’s time to start getting rid of the most common kind of tree on St. Louis streets: the ash. On Thursday, the city will start chopping down thousands of ash trees at risk of infection by the tiny green and much-feared ash borer, a bug that showed up in St. Louis last year. This large-scale removal of the trees will happen over the course of five years. The city will also start injecting 1,000 more with a kind of organic botanical treatment to try to stop the bugs, which only feed on ash trees, from spreading. The loss of those trees will deal a significant financial blow. Ash trees provide the city $817,000 in benefits every year, according to the city’s website.

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Adaptation plan for forestry sector nears completion

Jamaica Gleaner
June 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

THE national adaptation strategy and action plan for the forestry sector is nearing completion, as Jamaica continues the drive to boost resilience to climate change. “Work is well advanced for the forestry adaptation plan as well as the forestry sector. The forestry sector development plan is a plan that has to be revised periodically and it is now being revised with climate change considerations integrated into it,” said Albert Daley, head of the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. The forestry plan, which also takes account of mitigation, is one of 12 being pursued as a priority for Jamaica, given the climate realities facing the island – from sea level rise to coastal inundation and extreme weather events, including stronger and/or more frequent hurricanes as well as droughts.

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World’s most dangerous tree: touch it and you will die

Deccan Chronicle
June 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Manchineel tree is native to the Caribbean, Florida, Bahamas, Mexico and Central and South America. The tree can be found on coastal beaches and in brackish swamps where it grows among mangroves. It provides excellent natural windbreaks and its roots stabilize the sand, thus helping to prevent beach erosion.  The Manchineel tree looks harmless, but it is the most dangerous tree in the world. Its fruit is nick named as ‘little apple of death’. Also known as the beach apple, Manchineel is a tree that has a superficial resemblance of its fruit and leaves to those of an apple tree. All parts of the tree contain strong toxins, some unidentified.

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New policy encourages private players in forestry sector

Deccan Herald
June 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Private companies may be encouraged to grow artificial forests for timber business in future, if the NDA government follows the recommendation of the new draft national forest policy. In the absence of adequate private sector participation in the forestry, the industry largely relies on import and substituting wood with high carbon footprint material. “There is a need to stimulate growth in the forest-based industry sector. This sector being labour intensive can create green jobs while mitigating climate change. These forest-based industries face constraints in ensuring an assured supply of raw material along with licensing issues and as a consequence, imports are on the rise,” stated the draft policy that has been released in the public for wider consultation.

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Forest Fires

‘You don’t get into a cage with a lion’: Fort McMurray fire evacuation fears surface

By Wallis Snowdon
CBC News
June 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Allegations the mandatory evacuation of Fort McMurray was issued dangerously late continue to surface as the province launches an inquiry into the city-wide exodus. “We need to understand why there was such a delay,” said Diane Slater, a retired councillor and former acting mayor in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “I hear mixed messages and I’m sure the public does too. We need the facts and the truth. “There is a lot hearsay about people’s stories and I think we need to drain all of that information together so we can have the good, bad and the ugly about what went on.”

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P.E.I. forest fire index falls as winds ease

Index remains high in western P.E.I.
CBC News
June 23, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

The forest fire index on most of P.E.I. has fallen to moderate after rising into the extreme range earlier this week. The index is moderate in northeastern and central-southeastern P.E.I. It remains high in western P.E.I. Because of the index, burning permits are invalid in western P.E.I. Strong winds and warm temperatures pushed the forest fire index to extreme outside of western P.E.I. on Monday. Those winds, which officials feared could quickly have whipped up any spark, have since eased, and there have been a few showers in parts of the province.

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Fire crews keeping busy with forest fires due to dry conditions

CBC News
June 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dry weather and high winds have made it a busy season for fire crews in northeastern Ontario. The forest fire hazard is currently high to extreme in Greater Sudbury and surrounding area. That includes Elliot Lake, Sault Ste Marie, French River and Killarney. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has the fire hazard for the rest of the northeast between low and high. Forest Fire officer Isabelle Chenard says there are currently 25 active forest fires in the region. Thirteen are under control, while nine are not under control and three being held.

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California fires: how drones can provide essential information

Firefighters have used information compiled with remote sensing technology to help contain several wildfires blazing through southern California this summer.
Christian Science Monitor
June 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States

The fire crews fighting the San Gabriel Complex fire near Los Angeles found a much-needed respite in Tuesday’s weather. It wasn’t rain that helped them slow the 4,900-acre burn. Clear skies enabled them to use aerial mapping and shift the two-fire system into 10 percent containment, as the Associated Press reported. …”Fire operations are heavily based on intelligence,” says Robert Sohlberg, a principal faculty specialist at the University of Maryland and a lead investigator on the project to connect NASA’s data with fire management. “They want to look at fire conditions and history

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Forest recovering from 2012 Waldo Canyon fire

9News.com
June 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

PIKE NATIONAL FOREST – It’s been four years since one of the most destructive wildfires in Colorado history. Back on June 23, 2012, the Waldo Canyon fire began burning near Colorado Springs. It would eventually kill two people and damage more than 300 homes. The fire also burned more than 18,000 acres, including large swaths of the Pike National Forest. It’s not hard to find evidence of the Waldo Canyon fire in the remnants of a forest burned black. “Every year, it gets a little better,” said Leah Lessard, a Pike National Forest hydrologist with the U.S. Forest Service. The sides of a number of mountains within the forest remain bare. To speed up the recovery process, the Forest Service tried to replicate what might take Mother Nature decades to do. They pulled down dead, burned trees and broke them down into smaller pieces.

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San Gabriel Complex Fire chars 5,400 acres in Angeles National Forest above Azusa, Duarte

abc7.com
June 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

AZUSA, Calif. — Two fast-moving brush fires continue to burn through dry brush in the Angeles National Forest above Azusa and Duarte Tuesday. The fires, dubbed the Reservoir Fire and Fish Fire, have burned a total of 5,400 acres, and have been 10 percent contained. While the two fires have not merged, fire officials are now referring to them as the San Gabriel Complex Fire. The Fish Fire has prompted mandatory evacuations in Duarte and fire officials are considering issuing some for Monrovia and the Bradbury area. Los Angeles County Fire Deputy Chief John Tripp said progress on the Fish Fire’s east bank was controlled, but they are worried about the west flank because it has a massive amount of fuel that has never burned.

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The Latest: Arizona wildfire still threatens communities

Associated Press in The Washington Post
June 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES — The Latest on wildfires burning in the West (all times local): 5:40 p.m. Firefighters are working to secure the eastern flank of a wildfire that still threatens some communities in eastern Arizona. Officials said Wednesday the fire that began in June 15 has burned almost 67 square miles and remains 22 percent contained. The blaze is about 2 ½ miles north of Cedar Creek where 300 people live. More than 15,000 people in Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low, along with others in the surrounding communities, remain under pre-evacuation notice. Fire officials say the containment line is along the northern cap of the blaze and crews are trying to stop any expansion from reaching outside the burn scar of a wildfire in the area last year.

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Firefighters Wrangle With Dead Trees

By John Upton
KQED Science
June 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

With drought and climate change conspiring to push California’s summer wildfire season into premature overdrive, the state’s lead wildfire agency has acquired a multimillion dollar arsenal to help it cope with unprecedented numbers of dying trees. California recently bought $6 million worth of chippers, mobile sawmills, portable incinerators and other equipment to help its firefighters remove some of the nearly 30 million trees that now stand dead across the state, killed by drought and insects. …The “scale of this tree die-off is unprecedented in modern history,” Brown’s emergency declaration stated, worsening wildfire risks and erosion threats and creating “life safety risks from falling trees.”

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Florida Forest Service reports fewer, yet larger wildfires

WearTV
June 22, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: US East, United States

The Florida Forest Service has seen a decrease in the number of wildfires compared to this time last year, but an increase in the number of acres burned. They tell us as the temperature continues to rise, so do the chances of a forest fire. Just to put that into perspective, last year, the Florida Forest Service accounted for 83 wildfires, which burned 581 total acres. This year, they’re reporting 46 wildfires, in which 754 acres burned. Meaning the wildfire count has decreased, but the fires we have seen, are bigger. When it comes to fighting those wildfires, there’s a specific process wildland firefighters use. “We offload a bulldozer, we put the plow into the ground and we churn dirt,” said Florida Forest Service Wildfire Mitigation Specialist, Joe Zwierzchowski.

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Official: Massive Cyprus forest fire under control

Associated Press in The Washington Post
June 23, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus’ justice minister says the massive fire that has burned huge tracts of pine forest in the east Mediterranean island’s mountains over the last four days is now under control. Ionas Nicolaou told the AP Thursday hundreds of firefighters and some 80 vehicles remain on alert to extinguish smoldering embers on the fire’s perimeter that could result in possible flare-ups. One firefighting aircraft remains in the air to direct ground crews of any problem areas in difficult, mountainous terrain. Cyprus Forestry Department Chief Takis Tsintides told state radio that winds have died down, despite temperatures hovering at around 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit).

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Watermelon Snow: Not Edible but Important for Climate Change

By Joanna Klein
New York Times
June 23, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

…In snowy places across the globe, “watermelon snow” forms as the summer sun heats up and melts winter’s leftovers. The colorful snow is made up of communities of algae that thrive in freezing temperatures and liquid water, resulting in algal blooms. When these typically green organisms get a lot of sun, they produce a natural type of sunscreen that paints the slopes pink and red. The addition of color to the surface darkens the snow, allowing it to heat up faster, and melt more quickly. …Just how much melting this will account for, or how much that may affect sea level rise, however, is still to be determined. But algal effects on albedo are going to be important for melting glaciers, which play a huge role in the climate system, said Dr. Lutz.

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Wood Pulp Waste Converted to Stable, Blendable Biocrude

Michelin Challenge Bibendum
June 22, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

SYDNEY, Australia – Scientists with the Australian start-up Licella have devised a way to use biomass waste from the papermaking process to make a new petroleum substitute – biocrude oil – that has attracted the interest of Canadian pulp and paper producer CanFor. The process can convert biomass, including wood residues from Canfor Pulp’s kraft pulping processes, into biocrude oil that is ready to go into existing petrochemical refinery streams to generate renewable fuels. The ITQ laboratory in Valencia, Spain has demonstrated that it is possible to upgrade Licella’s biocrude to kerosene and diesel utilizing standard refinery infrastructure. Other biofuels are typically low-energy density, are not stable, and are difficult to transport and blend. Licella’s biofuel has proven to be stable, transportable and blendable.

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