Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 11, 2016

Opinion / Editorial

Linking Talent with Employers in Canada’s Forest Sector

Forest Products Association of Canada
July 8, 2016
Category: Opinion / Editorial
Region: Canada

One of the biggest labour challenges in our industry today is ensuring that we have the right people trained to do the jobs that are going to be in demand not only today, but tomorrow. The Forest Products Association of Canada’s launch in June of our new job-matching tool with the Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, Federal Minister of Employment, Workforce and Labour, will be a critical tool to support matching job hunters with job opportunities, thereby supporting economic growth in communities across Canada. This new tool (thegreenestworkforce.ca), which is free for both employment seekers and employers will not only support those looking for work in the forest sector, but it will also provide advanced labour market information that can be used to help forestry companies with their recruitment efforts, allow governments to develop public policies to better address employment needs, and support our high schools, colleges and universities by informing students about the career opportunities that exist in Canada’s forest sector.

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Business & Politics

Softwood silence ?inexcusable?

Letter by Todd Doherty, MP, Cariboo – Prince George
Prince George Citizen
July 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Last week, President Obama arrived in Ottawa to address Parliament. He spoke at length about the partnership, values and shared economic vision between Canada and the United States. Absent from his lengthy speech was an update on the March commitment made between himself and the Liberal government to put in place a framework within one hundred days to deliver a new Softwood Lumber Agreement. Those one hundred days have come and gone, and the Liberals have failed to act. In fact, the forestry industry remains as divided as ever, with small and medium sized forestry producers being pitted against large forestry producers at the bargaining table. This means a return to costly trade disputes for industry, provincial and federal governments, price uncertainty for producers and consumers, and harm to the trading relationship between our two countries.

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Judge dismisses B.C. government’s $5.5M negligence claim against Canfor, contractor over 2010 forest fire

Vancouver Sun
July 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the B.C. government against Canadian Forest Products and one of its contractors over a 6,100-hectare forest fire on Crown lands near Vanderhoof in 2010. The province alleged that Canfor and the subcontractor, Barlow Lake Logging, were negligent in the blaze, which began on a cutblock granted by the government to Canfor that was being logged under contract by Barlow. The government claimed that the fire, which resulted in the province sustaining $5.5 million in damages, was likely caused by one of the feller buncher vehicles operating on the cutblock on June 18, 2010. At trial, it argued that sawdust or other flammable debris could have gathered in or near exhaust components of the vehicle and then dislodged onto the forest floor, which began smouldering before igniting.

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Judge rules that lightning, not a forest contractor’s feller buncher, caused an expensive B.C. wildfire

The Georgia Straight
July 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled that the province failed to prove that two forest companies are liable for a 2010 wildfire southeast of Vanderhoof. Justice Bruce Greyall determined that the fire was started by lightning and not by Barlow Lake Logging Ltd., which was a harvesting contractor of Vancouver-based forestry giant Canfor. …According to the ruling, “a one-hour fire watch was not conducted as required”. “The Province argues a fire watcher, properly conducting his or her duties under the Regulation, would have been able to utilize Barlow’s resources to extinguish or at least control the Fire on the afternoon of June 18 and to report it to the Ministry such that it would been actioned earlier and would not have spread,” Greyall wrote.

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Grand Forks and Castlegar students win Interfor scholarship

Boundary Sentinel
July 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nine British Columbia students have received $2,000 each this year through Interfor Corporation’s Dal Shemko Memorial Scholarship to help them achieve their academic and career goals. Grand Forks’, Connor Hawes, is one of the lucky recipients. Hawes, who attends Grand Forks Secondary School in Grand Forks, plans to go to the University of British Columbia – Okanagan to work towards a degree in forestry. Connor has worked as a wildland firefighter and is training to be a volunteer firefighter for the City of Grand Forks. Another West Kootenay winner, Justine Kniertis (Castlegar) is seeking a degree in medicine at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan so she can become involved in medical research.

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BRIGHTON: Lots of questions about new forestry innovation hub

Chronicle Herald
July 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Emera Inc. is sinking $1 million into a new forestry innovation “hub,” based in an Innovacorp office in Dartmouth. Provincial and federal government partners are jointly contributing another $667,000 to this enterprise. But what is this hub? Who, exactly, is receiving the money? And why is Emera investing so heavily? The provincial funding partners, which are the Department of Natural Resources and Innovacorp, declined to answer specific questions about the ownership model for this hub. So did Emera, the principal investor. … It is not clear if or how Emera stands to gain commercially from its major investment in the hub project. And the company declined to answer a specific question about its role in the project.

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Timber job losses cannot be dismissed

by Paul E. Polzin, director emeritus at the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, University of Montana.
The Missoulian
July 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West


On June 23 Jeff Smith mentioned the loss of about 1,000 wood products jobs here in Missoula. He went on to say, “Yet our population, standard of living and numberless amenities have jumped off the charts.” These statements repeat the oft-spoken belief that the Missoula economy shrugged off the loss of a thousand jobs and smoothly transitioned away from timber dependence. Data show otherwise. The Missoula economy has been struggling for the last decade and a half and is still not out of the woods. …Things haven’t improved much recently. From 2011 to 2014, Missoula County continued grew only 1.2 percent per year, less than half the state average. If it is any comfort, Missoula County grew faster than Lewis and Clark, Cascade and Ravalli counties. The wood products industry was not the sole cause of the rapid growth in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, nor is it the only culprit leading to the current slowdown. But the loss of more than a thousand wood products jobs is certainly a major local economic event.

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Lunenberg wood pellet proposal gets state backing

WCAX News
July 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

LUNENBURG, Vt. – Plans for a wood pellet manufacturing plant in Northern Vermont just received a little financial help. Governor Peter Shumlin announced that $550,000 dollars has been awarded to the town of Lunenberg which will lend the money to Kingdom Pellets. They plan on transforming the paper mill in Gilman into a wood pellet manufacturing plant and creating 21 jobs in the Northeast Kingdom. The money comes from a state community development grant. END OF STORY

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Yen surge dilemma over Japan’s prized wood

By Leo Lewis
Financial Times
July 11, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A post-Brexit surge in the yen has intensified a dilemma hanging over millions of hectares of prized Japanese forest — and the fate of a timber treasure that has taken 70 years to mature. The problem, part of a deepening oversupply crisis in the domestic Japanese lumber industry that has triggered a “promotion of wood” act of parliament in 2010 and construction code deregulation in 2014, derives from a soured bet on the future of construction, currency markets and the tastes of wealthy Japanese. High quality global journalism requires investment. And while the glut affects several key types of domestic Japanese timber, it is particularly acute for hinoki (Japanese cypress), a fragrant, highly cherished wood used to make shrines, hot-spring baths and sake cups.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Seismic changes in new Codes Canada

By Don Wall
Daily Commercial News
July 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

New measures to permit multiple uses in mid-rise wood buildings and to expand structural earthquake resistance are among 600 changes introduced to Canada’s national building codes this year. The revisions, introduced by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes under the authority of the National Research Council (NRC), apply to the National Building Code of Canada, National Fire Code of Canada, National Plumbing Code of Canada and National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings. Formerly the National Model Construction Codes, the regulations are now called Codes Canada. Codes Canada 2015 was approved earlier this year and unveiled June 28.

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Federal legislation aims to spur new lumber technology, aid north Peninsula

KONP
July 8, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Port Angeles – There is some new legislation pending in the nation’s capital aimed at getting local timber mills reopened and operating. Recently, Representative Derek Kilmer was part of a bipartisan introduction of a bill to support innovative wood products in construction projects. Those innovations include a cross-laminate timber product that is generating a buzz in the building industry. Notably, the bill also includes a provision that would ensure a newly established wood innovation grant program geared to help rural communities hit by declining timber harvest levels. The provision in the bill calls for prioritizing projects that could utilize existing mill infrastructure in towns like Forks and Port Angeles that have experienced recent mill closures.

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Construction in wood may hold solution to urban sprawl

The National
July 9, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

CITIES all over the world are in dire need of new ways to house a rapidly growing urban population. The City Above the City international wood design competition invites architects and students from all over the world to solve the challenges of urbanisation in both sustainable and humane ways. …The judging panel includes Michael Green of Michael Green Architects, a firm that focuses on progressive architecture, research, education and innovation. “We need to start building up, and stop tearing down,” says the Vancouver-based architect. “We have an alternative. A building extension constructed with a timber frame can be a fast, sustainable and inexpensive solution.”

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Forestry

Community Forest gives Archives Grant

Tumbler Ridge News
July 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Tumbler Ridge Archives are $3500 richer due to a grant from the Tumbler Ridge Community Forest. Head archivist Crys White says the grant was much needed. “This will keep me in supplies for the next two years,” she says. The money will be used to pick up a new computer, as well as shelving, cabinets, and general supplies like paper and encapsulation material. “It all needs to be archival so it doesn’t deteriorate,” says White. “There’s all kinds of stuff that you need. I’ve already placed an order for close to $2000. Even simple things like paper clips. You can’t use metal in an archive, they need to be plastic. You can’t have anything made out of wood. All the photos have to be stored in specific archival folders and envelopes and any printing has to be on archival paper.”

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UNBC researchers get grants

Prince George Citizen
July 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West


There’s $453,000 in funding going to five UNBC researchers from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). …Che Elkin’s work is on evaluating the role of local and landscape factors on the resilience of mixed-species forest ecosystems under climate uncertainty. He gets $120,000, which will support research examining how trees and forests respond to shifting environmental conditions, and what this means for forest ecosystem services. His research team will include graduate and undergraduate students.  Art Fredeen gets $120,000 to investigate the limitations to sub-boreal forest growth and carbon sequestration from tree to forest scale before and after natural and anthropogenic (human influence) disturbances.

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From N.S. to Washington: lumberjacks compete at province’s first professional championships

CBC News
July 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Southern Manitoba may not be known for its lumberjacks, but after this weekend, that could change. Manitoba’s very first professional lumberjack championships are happening at the Carman Country Fair in Carman, Man. both Saturday and Sunday. “When we first came over to meet these folks and check it out… we are looking and we are like, ‘Man, there is not a lot of trees around here compared to what we are used to.’ But we made it happen,” said Cecil Starr, a competitor from south central Ontario. About 20 professional lumberjacks from all over North America have made their way to the small community in the Pembina Valley region of southern Manitoba to compete for the top spot.

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OPINION: Push reset button on N.S. forestry policy

by Dale Smith, land use planner
Chronicle Herald
July 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There is an old saying about not being able to see the forest for the trees, in essence that details can obscure the big picture. In light of the debate that has swirled around forestry-related policies and practices for far too long in Nova Scotia, it might be useful to adapt this saying to emphasize the importance of first seeing, knowing and appreciating the tree as a basis for understanding the forest and for gaining insight into responsible and sustainable forest management. …The province’s denigrated forest asset continues to be reduced to pulp for production of paper and related products and now is being burned on an industrial scale to produce energy.

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Ash borer guts Memorial Forest

Simcoe Reformer
July 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

PORT ROWAN – Trees planted in memory of the dearly departed aren’t supposed to die themselves.  But that’s what has happened at the Long Point Region Memorial Forest north of Port Rowan. More than 100 trees – some of them among the oldest on the seven-acre property – have been cut down in recent weeks. Left behind is a large, ugly void in the centre of a place known for its quiet beauty and tranquility. If you haven’t guessed by now, the culprit is the emerald ash borer. Over the past four years, the pest has swept through southern Ontario like a scythe, killing most every ash tree in its path. The Memorial Forest is located at the south entrance of the Backus Heritage Conservation Area.

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Investigators Find No Evidence Of Chemical Drift In Forest Spray Complaint

Oregon Public Broadcasting
July 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Department of Agriculture says it found no evidence of chemical drift after responding to an exposure complaint from a former member of the state’s Board of Forestry. The agency opened an investigation after Peter Hayes of Washington County forest company Hyla Woods complained he and workers were exposed to weed killer sprayed on a nearby tree farm operated by Stimson Lumber. Vegetation samples on Hyla Woods property taken by state investigators showed no evidence that chemicals had drifted from Stimson’s tree farm, which is more than a half-mile away. Scott Gray, Western Resource Manager Stimson Lumber, said the findings show the current system works.

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Tester touts wildfire response bills in Missoula visit

by Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
July 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Congress could improve wildfire response before, during and after burns if it would get some legislation passed, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said Friday. Montana’s senior senator, a Democrat, visited the Neptune Aviation hangar with an update on three bills he’s pushing that are designed to change the way the U.S. Forest Service pays for firefighting, how seasonal firefighters can get better job opportunities and how fire-hit communities can get money for rehabilitation and future fire prevention work. The first bill awaits committee action, the second has passed the Senate but is awaiting a House vote and the third should be introduced to the Senate next week.

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Protected trees can be cut down in Portland — for $1,000

The Oregonian
July 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Heritage Tree No. 255 was an Abies grandis – better known as a grand fir – and it stood 100 feet tall on an undeveloped lot nestled between million-dollar homes in an exclusive Northwest Portland neighborhood. It had been among more than 300 trees citywide given a special designation by the City Council supposedly safeguarding it from being axed. …The felling of the grand fir is now exposing deep flaws in Portland’s controversial tree code. Prompted by protests in neighborhoods such as Eastmoreland, city leaders in April beefed up rules hoping to better protect big trees standing in the path of new housing. Cutting down a single tree 36 inches in diameter – even a tree lacking city protections – now costs a housing developer $300 an inch, or at least $10,800 per tree. But the penalty imposed by Portland for cutting down a designated Heritage Tree on private property? Just $1,000.

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Oregon Judge Orders $50,000 In Fines, License Suspension For Pesticide Sprayer

Oregon Public Broadcasting
July 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An Oregon judge has ordered more than $50,000 in fines and a one-year license suspension for a pesticide spraying company that violated worker protection laws and later disregarded an order to stop spraying. Administrative Law Judge Jennifer Rackstraw ordered the Department of Agriculture to issue fines of $43,500 to Applebee Aviation and $10,000 to its owner, Mike Applebee, for 16 violations of state law Applebee should have “exercised reasonable care under the circumstances and ordered that all ongoing and further spay operations cease,” Rackstraw wrote in the proposed order.

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Forest health a priority for forest industry

by Travis Joseph, CEO of the American Forest Resource Council in Portland.
The Register-Guard
July 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It is impossible to know where Andy Kerr was last weekend when he wrote his July 3 guest viewpoint complaining about The Register-Guard’s recent editorial on public forests. Maybe he wrote it from his wood house in Ashland, or his wood cabin in Eastern Oregon, or his wood townhouse in Washington, D.C., where he lobbies the White House to designate national monuments in Oregon without public input or congressional review. I don’t know. But I do know where members of the forest products industry were last weekend. They were in Springfield, working with leaders of our community, such as Mayor Christine Lundberg, to break ground on a Habitat for Humanity home for a single mother and her daughter. The forest products industry is donating its renewable lumber products and volunteering time to build a home for a deserving family. This is what the forest products industry is all about. We work in the woods, help care for our public forests to keep them healthy and sustainable, and strive to support our communities and help them grow.

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Forest Service approves management plan for Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Daily Tribune
July 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A recently approved plan for U.S. Forest Service land in the Lake Tahoe Basin updates how the forest is managed, but shouldn’t have much impact on people’s day-to-day experience with campgrounds, rivers and trails at the lake, according to Forest Service staff. A Record of Decision regarding the revised Land Management Plan for the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit was signed by Pacific Southwest Regional Forester Randy Moore on June 20, according to a press release from the Forest Service. The revised plan replaces the 1988 Land Management Plan and will guide projects and activities in the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit for the next 15 years.

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Ravaged woodlands

July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…The scale of the tree loss is staggering. Last year over 10m of America’s 766m acres of forest were consumed by wildfires, sparked by lawn mowers, campers or lightning (see chart). This was the biggest area burned since 1960, when records began, despite a firefighting effort that involved over 30,000 people and cost the federal government over $2 billion. This year’s fire season was expected to be less severe, winter rain and snow having taken the edge off a four-year drought in California and Oregon that had turned their woods to tinder. Yet it is running at par with the average of the past ten years, which include the five worst years on record. In the year to July 1st, 2.1m acres of America were razed by nearly 26,000 fires; 19 large ones are currently blazing, mainly in the West (see map).

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Butte Fire tree removal is just the beginning

July 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

County officials say they are not sure what they will do with the overwhelming volume of logs and chips that will result when more than 8,000 dead trees are removed in or near public rights of way in the Butte Fire burn area beginning in August. “This is just a preamble to the tree mortality that is coming in the county,” said Calaveras County Public Works Director Jeff Crovitz. …An aerial survey of Calaveras County made in April by the U.S. Forest Service estimates the county will have nearly 700,000 standing dead trees by this summer. Called a “slow-motion catastrophe” by county officials, the tree die-off is caused by four years of drought, bark beetle infestation and increased temperatures. “What are we going to do with all of this material?” asked Crovitz. He suggested that the time may be at hand when a resurrection of the once-mighty forest products industry in the western United States is necessary.

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Gypsy moths are reappearing in New England, and that’s bad for trees

Associated Press in The Washington Post
July 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Last year’s dry spring, coupled with a stretch of dry weather this year, has helped to fuel the resurgence of the gypsy moth caterpillar, a furry nuisance blamed for defoliating an estimated 9 million acres from Maine to Maryland in 1981. Scientists say this year’s crop of caterpillars is one of the largest they’ve seen in southern parts of New England since the 1980s. The critters are being blamed for stripping foliage from thousands of acres of trees in pockets across the region, often leaving behind barren branches. Some warn that next year could be even worse, considering that there has been no significant wet weather in recent weeks to spark a fungus that feeds on the gypsy moth.

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Ash-tree disease is threatening hurley production

Irish Examiner
July 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Former GAA president Sean Kelly says efforts must be increased to limit ash-tree disease and save the hurley. The Ireland South MEP stressed the importance of effective management and co-operation between national governments, authorities, and the EU to address the threat posed by ash dieback. The fungal disease, which has been traced to an outbreak in Poland in 1992, has spread rapidly across much of Europe. It is characterised by leaf loss and crown dieback. Mr Kelly hosted a seminar in Limerick yesterday. The threat posed by the disease to hurleys, which are made from ash, was discussed at the event. Mr Kelly referred to Department of Agriculture figures which show that around 115 cases of ash dieback were recorded across 19 counties in Ireland by January of this year.

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Gulf mangroves: Remote ecosystem suffers 7000 hectare dieback

The Sydney Morning Herald
July 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A 700 kilometre stretch of mangrove shoreline in the southern reaches of the Gulf of Carpentaria has died, sparking fears of deeper implications for the ecosystem. The dieback encompasses about 7000 hectares of land and was the result of the El Nino conditions that affected the region during the warmer months. James Cook University Professor Norm Duke said that was about the extent of their ‘hard data’ around the problem ranging from Kurumba in Queensland to the Roper River in the Northern Territory. “We know from the remote sensing we have in the area that the dieback occurred late November, December last year,” Professor Duke said. “That was the end of an unusually long dry period, that is probably the major contributing factor, the change of climate such that there was virtually no wet season last year.

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Forestry industry looks forward to exciting times

By Siphephile Kunene
South African Broadcasting Corporation
July 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forestry company Sappi says despite the gloomy economic times worldwide, it can still sustain jobs. The company owns almost 300 000 hectares of land countrywide and manages 100 000 hectares from contractors. Over 400 000 people are employed by Sappi in South Africa. Despite the on-going economic hardships and drought, the company keeps growing and about 900 000 people benefit from the company indirectly.

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Forest Fires

Forest fire burning 10 km from Snare Hydro System grows to 1,500 hectares

By Alyssa Mosher
CBC News
July 10, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A massive forest fire continues to burn about 65 kilometres north of Behchoko and just 10 kilometres from the facility that powers Yellowknife — and it’s grown now to 1,500-hectares. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) says three fire crews as well as heavy equipment are in the area protecting the Snare Hydro System.  The fire has grown about 600 hectares in 48 hours. It’s one of 29 forest fires in the territory that are considered “out of control.” Another that was reported four days ago has grown to about 300 hectares. 

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Fort McMurray’s wildfire risk not over, danger lies within its city says fire chief

City will spend $1.5M to keep Birchwood Trail from becoming its next wildfire
CBC News
July 9, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fort McMurray isn’t out of the woods when it comes to wildfire dangers, according to the city’s fire chief Darby Allen. Allen said the danger outside the city is minimal, but he’s worried about the risk from within the heart of Fort McMurray. “It only needs one strike of lightning and we are in trouble again,” Allen said at a town council meeting Tuesday. That risk comes from a large forested area called the Birchwood Trail, a network of over 130 kilometres of paths surrounded by the suburban communities of Thickwood and Timberlea. One councillor at Tuesday’s meeting described the area as a “tinder box.”

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‘Lives are going to be shortened:’ Fort McMurray firefighters fear for health

By Chris Purdy
Canadia Press in Victoria Times Colonist
July 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Many Fort McMurray firefighters, unable to wear their usual air masks while battling a giant wildfire that attacked the northern Alberta city, are being screened for health problems because they spent several days breathing in hazardous smoke. Some of the 180 crew have developed a persistent cough, says firefighter Nick Waddington, president of the Fort McMurray branch of the International Association of Fire Fighters. Results of lung and blood tests will be private. But Waddington predicts the firefighters will need ongoing support and possible treatment for serious illnesses over the next 10 to 20 years.

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Observation fire in Bitterroot south of Hamilton is winding down

The Missoulian
July 8, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON – With a line completely around the perimeter of the Observation fire and at least 1.5 inches of rain predicted to fall this weekend, many of the 600-plus firefighters assigned to the Bitterroot blaze will be heading home soon. On Tuesday, management of the fire will be turned over the Bitterroot National Forest, said U.S. Forest Service Public Information Officer Ann Rys-Sikork. Recent cooler temperatures, less wind and high humidity levels at night have helped firefighters get the upper hand on the 1,429-acre blaze burning southwest of Hamilton. The southern and eastern edges of the fire are considered secure after firefighters mopped up hot spots 400 to 500 feet inside the perimeter line. The focus Friday was on the bowl at the head of Hayes Creek where there still is some active fire.

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Campers from Alabama arrested in connection with wildfire

Associated Press in Washington Post
July 3, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

BOULDER, Colo. — Two campers from Alabama have been arrested in connection with a wildfire that has destroyed three homes and three buildings north of Nederland in Boulder County. Boulder sheriff’s deputies said Sunday afternoon that Jimmy Andrew Suggs, 28, and Zackary Ryan Kuykendall, 26, both of whom are from Vinemont, Alabama, face felony arson charges because of the dangers the fire poses, the Denver Post reported . The men were booked into the Boulder County Jail, the newspaper reported. Authorities say the men left a poorly extinguished campfire, smoldering as hot, dry winds whipped down from mountain peaks, that sparked the fire Saturday, forcing evacuations of nearly 2,000 people southwest of Boulder, the Post reported.

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Threat of wildfires is increasing, and nearly half of Nevada’s population lives in areas of high risk

By Daniel Rothberg
Las Vegas Sun
July 10, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A changing climate could increase the risk of large wildfires in states across the West, including Nevada, which has seen relatively mild wildfire activity in the past. That’s according to a report from nonprofit organization Climate Central, which expects Nevada will add 20 days of annual high wildfire potential by 2050, the fifth-largest increase among the 11 Western states included in the study. Rising temperatures, increasingly parched landscapes and changes to the snowpack are contributing to the regional trend, argues the wildfire report released last month. The study, which pulled from U.S. Forest Service records and climate-change models, said fires in the West had increased in frequency and size since the 1970s. The overall season is now 105 days longer than it was then.

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Hayden Pass Fire in Fremont County now more than 5,100 acres

KOAA
July 10, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Mandatory evacuations will go into place Monday morning for the Hayden Pass Fire. Fremont County Officials say anyone on County Road 6 south of County Road 45 will need to evacuate at 7:00 a.m. Monday. …A wildfire burning near Hayden Creek in Coaldale caused by a lightning strike grew to nearly eight square miles in five hours Sunday. The fire was caused by a lightning strike Friday, according to the Forest Service, and grew exponentially to about 5,104 acres Sunday afternoon. …The fire is zero percent contained. Visibility for drivers on Highway 50 between Coaldale and Canon City is limited because of heavy smoke. Use caution if traveling through the area.

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Forest fires: No excuse for ‘let it burn’ policy

Letter by Joe Gervais
Ravalli Republic
July 10, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Why is it, with all our technology, that we can’t locate and put out a fire before it threatens lives and property, and yes, destruction of our valuable resource, our wilderness? There are apps on cell phones that know exactly when and where we have a lightning strike. Surely the Forest Service has that available to them. Unfortunately, the Forest Service is still on an archaic policy of “let it burn.” We have many of their “controlled” burns out of control. We have had fires every year in the Bitterroot Valley since 2000. With all the moisture we have had in this area, there is no excuse for an out-of-control fire. Is it job security or carelessness?

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General

Ravaged woodlands

July 11, 2016
Category: Uncategorized

…The scale of the tree loss is staggering. Last year over 10m of America’s 766m acres of forest were consumed by wildfires, sparked by lawn mowers, campers or lightning (see chart). This was the biggest area burned since 1960, when records began, despite a firefighting effort that involved over 30,000 people and cost the federal government over $2 billion. This year’s fire season was expected to be less severe, winter rain and snow having taken the edge off a four-year drought in California and Oregon that had turned their woods to tinder. Yet it is running at par with the average of the past ten years, which include the five worst years on record. In the year to July 1st, 2.1m acres of America were razed by nearly 26,000 fires; 19 large ones are currently blazing, mainly in the West (see map).

Read More

Butte Fire tree removal is just the beginning

July 11, 2016
Category: Uncategorized

County officials say they are not sure what they will do with the overwhelming volume of logs and chips that will result when more than 8,000 dead trees are removed in or near public rights of way in the Butte Fire burn area beginning in August. “This is just a preamble to the tree mortality that is coming in the county,” said Calaveras County Public Works Director Jeff Crovitz. …An aerial survey of Calaveras County made in April by the U.S. Forest Service estimates the county will have nearly 700,000 standing dead trees by this summer. Called a “slow-motion catastrophe” by county officials, the tree die-off is caused by four years of drought, bark beetle infestation and increased temperatures. “What are we going to do with all of this material?” asked Crovitz. He suggested that the time may be at hand when a resurrection of the once-mighty forest products industry in the western United States is necessary.

Read More

Axe marks divide between two islands Times Colonist

By Jack Knox
Victoria Times Colonist
July 10, 2016
Category: Uncategorized

People in Canada’s big cities are throwing axes for sport. Really — they have competitive leagues and everything. The recreational axe-throwing fad began a couple of years ago as a Toronto hipster thing but has since drifted into the mainstream, floating all the way to the Lower Mainland where it showed up on the TV news last week. Never thought we would see the day when Vancouver had the axe-throwing contests and Vancouver Island had the drive-by shootings, but then I didn’t think the Republicans would run a man-sized demented marmot for president, either. There is, in fact, plenty of axe-throwing on the Island. It’s just that it’s found in places like Port McNeill, or Port Alberni, or Ucluelet, where they still stage logger sports shows.

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