Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 13, 2016

Business & Politics

BC Hydro to remove dangerous power lines in Revelstoke

Revelstoke Mountaineer
July 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After a few incidents in the past with sawmill machinery connecting with local power lines, B.C. Hydro will be undertaking work to remove two this summer. B.C. Hydro is removing one power line and under-grounding another to reduce the danger of Downie Timber machinery colliding with them. The project, costing $1.5 million, will remove the overhead distribution lines that cross the operating Downie Timber sawmill yard from the Illecillewaet substation and underground a section of power line running along Vernon Avenue. There have been a number of incidents in recent years where sawmill machinery has contacted with these lines. Although there have been no injuries, these incidents could be fatal.

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Dispute over $25-million reinsurance claim, arising from defective product lawsuit, could reach Supreme Court of Canada

Canadian Underwriter
July 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A dispute between a forest product firm’s captive reinsurer and Swiss Reinsurance Company, arising from a US$70-million settlement, could reach the Supreme Court of Canada. Vancouver-based MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. purchased commercial general liability policies from American International Group Inc. during the 1990s, before MacMillan Bloedel was acquired by Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd. In 1993, MacMillan Bloedel had acquired roofing tile manufacturer American Cemwood Inc.  MacMillan Bloedel was served with several lawsuits alleging that defects in Cemwood tiles were causing damage in felt layers underneath those tiles on roofs. In July 2003, AIG agreed to pay $70 million to settle some of those lawsuits.

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Lewis Mouldings to expand for 2nd straight year — thanks to its waste

Weymouth wood-products company turns its trash into a home-heating product
CBC News
July 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


A company in Weymouth, N.S., is planning to expand for the second year in a row to keep up with demand for its home-heating product made from waste wood. Lewis Mouldings creates trim, made from Eastern white pine, for the housing market. It used to sell the leftover sawdust and wood chips to paper-making mills. As those mills shut down, Lewis Moulding decided it had to come up with another plan. “The mouldings are profitable, but if we didn’t sell our waste there wouldn’t be a long-term future.” said Mark Wheatley, the sales manager for Lewis Mouldings. “We wanted to take our future into our own hands as far as dealing with our waste.”

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Opportunity knocks for forestry sector

Timber prices are back to boom-time levels and long term demand will outstrip supply
Irish Independent
July 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Over the years, timber prices have kept pace with inflation and many analysts believe that timber prices especially within Europe will increase relative to inflation in the long term due to a combination of emerging energy markets, compliance with EU renewable energy targets and the forecast supply demand deficit for traditional wood products. Between 2000-2013, the volume of sawn softwood which has been exported by the sawmill sector in Ireland has increased from 274,000M3 to 601,000M3, an increase of 219pc. The two key markets are Northern Ireland and the UK. The market turmoil created by Brexit is obviously going to lead to some disruption in this market in the short-term, but the lack of supply of home grown timber in the UK ensures their continued reliance on imported sawn wood in the long-term.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

From farm to freeway: Alberta company creates car parts out of hemp, flax, wood

The lightweight panels are already being tested in a few high-end cars, including BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz
CBC News
July 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

With a little elbow grease and a lot of ingenuity, a new Alberta business is churning out biodegradable auto parts made from wood, hemp and flax. The BioComposites Group plant, located on Drayton Valley’s Bio-Mile, uses a one-of-a-kind manufacturing process to make door panels, kick pads, cup holders and dashboard panels. “We take waste wood fibre and waste agricultural fibers, and then needle them together with a process that creates a mat that is used for interior panels,” said Dan Madlung, CEO and co-owner of BioComposites Group. The lightweight panels are then shipped to the United States, where they are pressed then passed along the manufacturers.

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Springfield plan for parking garage made of wood wins Oregon Best award

By Hannah Kintner
KVAL 13 Oregon
July 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – The City of Springfield has plans to construct an innovative parking garage – made of wood. The design has earned accolades from the clean technology industry. The idea is to build a parking garage in the Glenwood area, using a new engineered wood product called cross laminated timber, or CLT. The City recently entered their design in a contest put on by a company called Oregon Best, and Springfield came out on top. Winning came with a $155,000 prize, which will subsidize design work and go toward necessary testing. “It’s a very exciting project for us,” said Courtney Griesel, Springfield’s Economic Development Manager. “Because not only does it meet a very important infrastructure need for the redevelopment, but it also allows us to showcase a really innovative material in the U.S.”

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New Springfield, Portland buildings get $200K to test cross-laminated timber

By Andy Giegerich
Portland Business Journal
July 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Projects in Springfield and Portland have landed a collected $200,000 as leaders test the viability of cross-laminated timber. The funding, awarded by the Business Oregon-backed cleantech champions Oregon BEST and the National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design, will back research that fast-tracks CLT as a green construction material usable throughout the U.S. Of that money, $155,000 will go to the planned four-story Glenwood Parking Structure in Springfield. The project’s developers will use the money for research, performance testing and code documentation. The team will measure such factors as vibration, moisture, post-tension loss in rocking shear walls and seismic instrumentation. The SRG firm designed the 360-space structure.

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$3.5 million research centre for high-rise timber construction opens in QLD

Architecture and Design
July 13, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A new research centre has opened at the University of Queensland to develop the use of timber in high-rise construction. The primary objective of the Centre for Future Timber Structures is to engineer new timber building products, deliver tall timber buildings and transform Queensland’s timber industry in the process. The Centre is a collaborative project with UQ, the Australian Research Centre and key industry stakeholders and will focus on engineering solutions that address the current barriers to the use of structural timber in tall buildings. For instance, a poor understanding of how fire risk can be minimised in timber constructions is one of the issues restricting the use of the material.

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Forestry

New National Field Guide Helps Wetlands and Forest Roads Coexist Using a Modern Spin on Old Methods

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Corduroy is back in fashion with foresters and conservationists who want new ways to conserve wetlands crossed by resource roads. The earliest days of Canada’s timber trade featured wetland crossings made of logs lined up in rows, which resembled corduroy fabric. Road building gradually became more permanent, sometimes affecting water flow in wetlands. Putting a modern spin on corduroy roads is one of the recommendations in a new field guide just released by FPInnovations and Ducks Unlimited Canada. The guide, “Resource Roads and Wetlands: A Guide for Planning, Construction and Maintenance,” developed in part with funding from the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program, offers best management practices to mitigate the impacts of roads on wetlands in Canada’s forests.

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City council to ask province for more protection for mature trees

‘We need to have this conversation if council hopes to improve infill,’ says Coun. Andrew Knack
CBC News
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Edmonton city council voted to petition the province for the power to protect mature trees on private property, but some councillors called it a slippery slope that could impede property rights. Council made the request as part of its response to the Municipal Government Act, which will be debated in the legislature in the fall. “We have some particularly historic trees that right now we have no ability to protect,” said Coun. Ben Henderson. Council has long struggled with ways to protect mature trees that fall on private property. Mature trees are often cut down during infill construction in mature neighbourhoods, which residents say impacts the character of their communities.

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Eye on BC’s Forests: The FPB Newsletter Summer 2016

BC Forest Practices Board
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In my meetings with stakeholders and professionals I have heard some comment that the Board never acknowledges good practices, and from others I have heard the concern that there is just a minimum standard of forestry being practiced in the woods. I think we can all agree we want our practices to be second to none, and that there is a standard, neither minimum nor maximum, that is expected to be met and exceeded where possible. The Board considered these comments and saw an opportunity to identify and share better, notable or innovative practices we see as a way of leveraging better performance through the identification of these practices for others to adopt.  The Board prepared a 2016 calendar featuring some of the forest and
range practices seen last year that, in the Board’s opinion, demonstrate
better forest management.

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The fight to save Echo Lake’s old trees and wildlife has begun

By Mark Hume
The Globe and Mail
July 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ken Wu hunts down giant, old trees for a living. As executive director of the Ancient Forest Alliance, he has hiked most of the watersheds on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, hoping to find – and save from logging – the last remaining pockets of old growth. At Echo Lake, just a 90-minute drive east of Vancouver near Harrison Hot Springs, local landowners brought him a few years ago to see a magical forest, draped in moss, with towering trees where up to 700 eagles come to nest when salmon are spawning in the nearby Harrison River.

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Black bear advisory issued for Humber Valley and surrounding areas

By Gary Kean
Western Star
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The provincial Forestry and Agrifoods Agency has issued a black bear advisory for the Humber Valley, Deer Lake, Bay of Islands and Gros Morne areas. Based on reports of black bears in the area, residents are encouraged to take appropriate steps to avoid attracting bears into their communities and backyards, where the animals can pose a risk to public safety. This includes the proper storage, collection and disposal of garbage including not putting out garbage until collection day. Last week, a nuisance bear was trapped and removed from the Norris Point area.

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Kilmer and forest group meet with public in Quilcene

Port Townsend Leader
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, 6th District, D, visits Quilcene on Thursday, July 21 to attend the latest of a series of public meetings together with timber, conservation and government representatives of the Olympic Peninsula Forest Collaborative. The meeting provides an opportunity for the collaborative to engage the public in its efforts. …The collaborative is focused on increasing habitat restoration thinning and aquatic restoration projects under the Northwest Forest Plan for the Olympic National Forest, which would create economic opportunities on the Olympic Peninsula, according to a press release. Among the items discussed at the official launch were the group’s goals and governance structure, along with the best ways to incorporate feedback from the public.

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Group tours Threemile tree thinning project

NBC Montana
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

STEVENSVILLE, Mont. – Local government leaders, biologists, foresters and others toured a recently thinned swath of forest land east of Stevensville. The Threemile Wildlife Management Area is 6,000 acres set aside for elk, deer and a diversity of wildlife. Three-hundred-forty acres of the area was logged to reduce overcrowding of trees and to open up more feed for wildlife. It was a cooperative venture between Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. The Threemile Wildlife Management Area sits in the foothills of the Sapphire Mountains. It’s native elk country. But scientists said elk numbers have drastically declined. In fact, in a recent aerial survey only one bull elk was found in the area.

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Blowing smoke about forest thinning

By Peter Kolb, professor of forest ecology, College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana
The Missoulian
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


…Forest manipulations do not change the risk of a wildfire occurring. However, if done appropriately they can reduce the risk of a wildfire turning into a crown fire and burning with such intensity that it cannot be controlled, and kills a majority of the trees it burns through. Thinning also reduces the risks of a bark beetle infestation creating high fuel loading that can also promote high intensity and severe wildfire effects. A look at the differences between treated and untreated areas provides a pretty obvious comparison. …This is supported by an overwhelming number of well vetted science based studies and practical experiences from those that fight fires. Such treatments are site specific and will vary in their effectiveness and longevity on the landscape,

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Oregon seeks dismissal of timber-management lawsuit

Associated Press in The Statesmen Journal
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ALBANY, Ore. — Oregon wants a court to dismiss a lawsuit from Linn County that alleges the state has failed to live up to decades-old contracts allowing counties to receive payments based on annual timber harvests from state-managed lands. The county asserts that it and other timber-rich counties have been deprived of more than $1.4 billion because a forest management plan adopted more than a decade ago emphasized improvements to fish and wildlife habitat and other conservation measures, which reduced logging and slashed timber revenue in half. Sarah Weston, an attorney for Oregon, argued Monday in Linn County that the case should be tossed because the forests are meant to be managed for the greatest permanent value, which includes factors beyond timber production.

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Feds seek $1.6M from contractor for fighting 2012 Alpine fire

Deseret News
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALT LAKE CITY — The federal government wants $1.6 million from a Utah County construction company to cover suppression costs for a wildfire that it says a track hoe operator sparked in Alpine four years ago. The U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service filed a civil lawsuit in federal court against Patterson Construction Inc., and several subcontractors and individuals on Tuesday. Patterson Construction hired a subcontractor to do a geotechnical study before building more homes in the foothills near Alpine, including using a track hoe to do excavation work. The track hoe stalled at one point and workers sprayed an ignition accelerant to get it started, causing the engine to burn hotter than normal, according to the lawsuit.

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New hybrid sweetgum trees could boost paper, bioenergy production

By Sandi Martin
University of Georgia
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Athens, Ga. – Sweetgum trees thrive under diverse conditions, grow as fast as pine trees and provide the type of fiber needed for specialty papers-and they’ve long been desired by paper and bioenergy producers. But there’s a hitch: Harvesting mature sweetgums can often be too costly or even ill-advised because they typically grow the best on the edges of swamps and in river bottoms, which are often inaccessible during the wet winter months. Researchers at the University of Georgia may have solved this problem: They’ve crossed American sweetgums with their Chinese cousins, creating hybrid sweetgum trees that have a better growth rate and denser wood than natives, and can produce fiber year-round.

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Australia’s most dangerous jobs ranked according to fatalities and injuries

By Lucy Cormack
The Sydney Morning Herald
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Death and injury are not usually high on the list of concerns for the average office worker. But for those working in agriculture, forestry and fishing, perhaps they should be. An analysis of the most recent data set from Safe Work Australia found the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry recorded the highest number of injuries and fatalities from 2003 to 2014, with the 686 deaths recorded accounting for 23 per cent of total workplace deaths in the period. In 2013-14 the combined industry recorded the third-highest number of worker’s compensation claims, referring to 8.6 million hours worked. …Safe Work Australia said it is difficult to compare Australia’s work place fatalities to other countries, due to differences in the scope and methodology used by countries to collect fatality data.

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REDD+ politics – or why it is so difficult to tackle large-scale drivers of deforestation

By Maria Brockhaus
Center for International Forestry Research
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

What challenges do REDD+ countries have in common, where do they differ? And how do a country’s politics play out in managing drivers of deforestation? Representatives from more than a dozen countries across three continents had the rare opportunity to discuss these and other questions at a recent REDD+ knowledge-sharing event held from 8-10 June in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The three-day meeting, hosted by the Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources at Hawassa University, brought Ethiopian policymakers and practitioners together with researchers from 15 REDD+ countries in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia to present and analyze their progress.

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Minister urged to take heat out of forestry issue in Leitrim

July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Farmers in Leitrim who are protesting about the scale of forestry planting have said the county does not want to be turned into a “carbon sink”. They claim local farmers cannot compete with outside buyers acquiring land for forestry and availing of tax incentives. Minister of State Andrew Doyle visited the county on Tuesday to meet farmers who say they are being forced to compete for land with foreign and Irish investors who were getting favourable treatment from the banks. Mr Doyle, who said he accepted the issue was emotive, gave an undertaking that new regulations would be introduced before the next planting season in October. These would require site notices to be erected so local people would know in advance that land was earmarked for forestry.

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Minister urged to take heat out of forestry issue in Leitrim

July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Farmers in Leitrim who are protesting about the scale of forestry planting have said the county does not want to be turned into a “carbon sink”. They claim local farmers cannot compete with outside buyers acquiring land for forestry and availing of tax incentives. Minister of State Andrew Doyle visited the county on Tuesday to meet farmers who say they are being forced to compete for land with foreign and Irish investors who were getting favourable treatment from the banks. Mr Doyle, who said he accepted the issue was emotive, gave an undertaking that new regulations would be introduced before the next planting season in October. These would require site notices to be erected so local people would know in advance that land was earmarked for forestry.

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Forest Fires

2016 wildfire season dramatically different than last year

Kelowna Now
July 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

One year ago, the wildfire situation in the region was significantly different than it is this year, and that’s good news. This time last year, 219 fires had been sparked in the Kamloops Fire Centre, scorching a total of 3,600 hectares. This year, according to fire information officer Max Birkner, there have been 92 fires in the region and 243 hectares burned. Birkner attributes mitigation work and cooler than normal temperatures for the decrease in numbers. But also said it seems as though the public is getting the message to keep cigarette butts from flying out their windows and making sure campfires are extinguished completely.

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N.W.T. fire crews plan burnout to protect airstrip at Snare hydro system

NWT Power Corp says fire not a threat to workers on site
CBC News
July 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wildfire 10 kilometres south of the Snare hydro system is now approaching the airstrip servicing the facility. The fire, which initially covered 10 hectares, is now covering 1900 hectares of forest about 65 kilometres north of Behchoko and has been classified “out of control.” “The fire is approximately one kilometre from the airstrip,” said Amber Simpson, a wildfire information officer with the N.W.T.’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Simpson said fire crews are doing what they can to protect it. “There are fire crews prepping to do a burnout. We’re just waiting for the right conditions to do that operation.

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Wildfires an ‘ongoing concern’ to BC’s forestry sector

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
July 12, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Over the last decade, fires have burned through some 15,500 square kilometres of B.C.’s forests and charred some 38 million cubic metres worth of trees from within the designated timber-harvesting land base, according to figures from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. In any given year losses to forest fires can swing from negligible to substantial. For example, the lowest year in the last decade was 2008, which saw fires burn 13,000 hectares and damage about 236,000 cubic metres of timber. The decade’s highest year for damage was 2014, which saw fires scorch 36,300 sq. km. of forests and damage 13 million cubic metres of timber.

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Proof from B.C. Wildfire; fuel management works

InfoTel.ca
July 12, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS – Preemptive work done in the Lillooet area proved effective in June when wildfire struck. Two fires started on June 30 in the area, but never got very intense, thanks to the fuel reduction efforts of local municipalities, First Nations groups and the B.C. Wildfire Service, according to a release from the B.C. Wildfire Service. The groups reduced the amount of fuel available to wildfires in the area by thinning, pruning and burning fuel sources. With photos below, the wildfire service shows how the fires weren’t able to grow due to the preventative efforts. One photo shows how the fires weren’t able to reach tree tops due to pruning, which keeps the fire low, while another shows the difference perscribed burning can have when a wildfire comes through.

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Crews stand down in Burns Bog fire, cause still being investigated

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
July 11, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

DELTA — Crews working for the fire department in Delta, are withdrawing from an ecologically sensitive bog more than a week after it caught fire. Delta Fire says the fire in Burns Bog is fully contained and crews from the B.C. Wildfire Service have also left the area. The fire department says it will work with Metro Vancouver Parks and co-ordinate an aerial scan using a thermal imaging camera this week to look for any areas of concern. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but fire Chief Dan Copeland said last week that weather is not considered a factor. The fire began July 3 and scorched 78 hectares.

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As climate change worsens wildfires, smokejumpers fight blazes from the sky

Drier winters, warmer springs and hotter summers make wildfires even wilder. These elite firefighters extinguish small fires before they grow into monsters
The Guardian
July 13, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The alarm sounded and in a blink the base thrummed with activity. Smokejumpers grabbed helmets, donned kevlar suits, tested radios and strapped on parachutes. A speaker blasted Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. “Final checks, OK, let’s go,” boomed a command. Within minutes eight smokejumpers were airborne in a Twin Otter, climbing into a blue Idaho sky. The plane soon returned, empty, to pick up another eight jumpers. Below them stretched wilderness with names such as Hells Canyon, Thunderbolt Mountain and River of No Return: America’s rugged, spectacularly beautiful west – the part that burns. Here, a single spark can ignite a huge wildfire that reduces forests to charred stumps and homes to ash. Smokejumpers are the elite firefighters; their job is to leap into the void, hike to a blaze others cannot reach, and kill it. They have been doing this since 1939.

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Wildfire continues to burn after a week at Gordon/Gilmer County line

Calhoun Times
July 12, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

According to Richard Cooper, director of Gordon County Emergency Management Agency, a wildfire that was reported on Thursday, July 7, continued to burn Tuesday afternoon but was contained. The fire has burned approximately 150 acres along the Gordon/Gilmer County Line, close to Oakman, according to the Georgia Forestry Commission who is handling the wildfire. The fire, which is believed to have been started by a lightening strike, has burned along Talking Rock Creek. “The Georgia Forestry Commission is doing an excellent job in containing the fire,” said Cooper. “They have a plow line around the fire and are back-burning it. It is contained with some areas burning inside the fire breaks.”

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Wildfire burns about 3,500 acres in Rosebud County

The Billings Gazette
July 12, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

About 3,500 acres of private, state and federal land has burned in a Rosebud County wildfire this week. The Harris fire was started July 9 by lightning strikes about 26 miles south of Ashland. On Tuesday, it was about 50 percent contained, according to a 10 a.m. incident report. Mark Jacobsen, Bureau of Land Management incident media contact, said while the fire isn’t contained, crews have nearly surrounded the blaze and are working about 200 yards into the fire’s perimeter to mop up smoldering areas.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Haines biomass project picks up steam with more grant money

KHNS Radio
July 12, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The Haines biomass project got another boost this week, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarding a $92,000 grant to the borough. The grant is for an industrial wood chipper and log splitter. The equipment will help Haines produce its own fuel source. Haines is being touted as a leader in the state when it comes to biomass energy. This week, a group of stakeholders met to update the community on the progress of the $1.5-million plan to upgrade more heating systems in borough buildings over the next couple of years. “There are two communities that are leading on biomass in Alaska,” he says. “One is Ketchikan and the other is Haines. By enabling you guys to deploy advanced boilers, for you guys to develop your own fuel supply locally, is an example that we can show to other communities around the state.”

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