Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 10, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

BC declares a state of emergency, thousands flee wildfires in California

July 10, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

No let-up in sight as forest fire evacuations and closures abound. Here are the headlines:

  • 3,600 ordered from homes in central BC as wildfire spreads 
  • BC wildfires burn down homes as thousands flee: There was no stopping it [Ashcroft]
  • Wildfires burn across more than 15,680 acres in western Colorado
  • Wildfires send children fleeing from California summer camps
  • ‘Summer of the fire’: Senior climatologist doesn’t see BC wildfires letting up

What’s the cause?

  • Past firefighting efforts have made BC forests more fire-prone: expert
  • Are wildfires worsening due to development, climate change and controversial forest management? (San Diego)
  • Beetle-kill trees fueling Colorado wildfires
  • Forget the wet winter; the West is burning hot and fast

What’s being done about it?

  • Penticton man sets up Facebook group to help fire evacuees
  • Wildfire readiness stepped up as heatwave drags on (Alberta)
  • Increased fines for starting a forest fire (Ontario)
  • Congress should pass Resilient Federal Forests Act to address wildfire threat
  • Clark promises $100 million for fire-ravaged communities to rebuild (BC)
  • Fort McMurray rallies to help BC wildfire evacuees
  • Norbord, Tolko to shut down operations (BC)

A new softwood lumber agreement?

  • Nothing official but Paul Quinn (RBC) reports that “a few believe a deal is imminent”. Having lived through the previous four disputes, Paul describes it as “a low probability” while at the same time recalling the Trudeau-Obama negotiations where the “Canadian side proposed a quota for the first time ever”.
— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Opinion: Future is bright for BC and Canadian economies

July 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

“Hewers of wood and drawers of water” is the well-known summary of our economic origins and early economic history. We did rely heavily on the exploitation of our diversified, natural-resource endowments. Because of the abundance, quality and diversity of these gifts of nature we were able to prosper, whether from our wildlife, fisheries, forests, rivers and lakes, farms or mineral deposits. We earned significant “economic rents” from these resources (i.e. excess returns from the costs of exploiting them). …Economic rents from our resource base diminished considerably by the 1980s. The largest, most-accessible forests and mines had already been developed, the fisheries on both coasts were overfished and went into decline, and both now encounter heightened global competition or trade barriers like the countervailing and anti-dumping duties recently levied by the U.S. government on Canadian softwood imports.

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The Continuous Digester – what we learned last week

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
July 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Random Lengths reported that SYP continues to fall… as supply outpaces demand and concerns of downside risk linger. …Western SPF prices rose for the fourth consecutive week. Trading was steady, but we believe a lot of the recent strength in W.SPF prices are the result of a rising C$, now at US$0.776. …OSB – Prices continue their slow grind higher, with all grades up or flat w/w. …A Potential SLA? – We received a number of calls and e-mails last week on the potential of a new Softwood Lumber Agreement. A few believe that a deal is imminent. It appears that Trump would like to accomplish this before the NAFTA negotiations begin on August 16th. We note that the Canadian side proposed a Quota for the first time ever (Trudeau-Obama negotiations).

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Opinion: Future is bright for BC and Canadian economies

July 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

“Hewers of wood and drawers of water” is the well-known summary of our economic origins and early economic history. We did rely heavily on the exploitation of our diversified, natural-resource endowments. Because of the abundance, quality and diversity of these gifts of nature we were able to prosper, whether from our wildlife, fisheries, forests, rivers and lakes, farms or mineral deposits. We earned significant “economic rents” from these resources (i.e. excess returns from the costs of exploiting them). …Economic rents from our resource base diminished considerably by the 1980s. The largest, most-accessible forests and mines had already been developed, the fisheries on both coasts were overfished and went into decline, and both now encounter heightened global competition or trade barriers like the countervailing and anti-dumping duties recently levied by the U.S. government on Canadian softwood imports.

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Tolko to shut down operations in Williams Lake on Monday due to wildfire situation

Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
July 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With more than 60 fires burning in the Cariboo area, several of which are impacting the community of Williams Lake and surrounding rural communities, Tolko Industries is closing operations Monday. “Lakeview and Soda Creek divisions will not operate tomorrow, Monday, July 10,” communications advisor Janice Lackyer said Sunday afternoon. “Moving forward, managers will meet daily to determine operating status and these updates will be communicated via Tolko’s website and social media channels.

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Norbord Reports Fire Near 100 Mile House, British Columbia Mill

By Norbord Inc.
Canada Newswire
July 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Norbord Inc. today reported that its OSB mill in 100 Mile House, British Columbia has temporarily suspended production due to the wild fires burning nearby in the region and in order to comply with evacuation orders in the 100 Mile House and surrounding areas. At the time of evacuation, the mill was secure.  At this time, Norbord is assessing the impact to its production schedule. All mill employees have been safely evacuated and no injuries have been reported. The 100 Mile House mill has a stated annual production capacity of 440 million square feet (3/8-inch basis).

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Revelstoke logging company fined over fatal logging accident

BC Local News
July 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Revelstoke logging company was fined by WorkSafeBC in connection with the death a worker in 2015. Canyon Creek Contracting was fined $13,783.82 after it was found to have not done enough to ensure the safety of its workers prior to an incident resulted in the death of Max Stoller on July 27, 2015. Stoller died when he was struck by a tree that slid down a cut block during a harvesting operation near Laforme Creek north of Revelstoke. A report by WorkSafeBC, which was published in the May/June 2017 issue of WorkSafe magazine, says the incident happened during a cable-yarding operation. It says a yarder operator was landing timber onto a road, where a loader was passing it on to a skidder. That’s when they observed a small tree sliding down the slope. An alert was signalled but Stoller, who was standing next to the skidder and facing away from the slope, was struck by the tree and died as a result of his injuries.

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New growth for Grayling: Former lumber boomtown looks back to forestry industry for economic future

By Lindsay Vanhulle
Crain’s Detroit Business
July 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

GRAYLING — Once the playground of lumber barons, Grayling is probably more familiar to travelers as a freeway exit on the way to someplace else. That’s changing. A Chilean forestry company’s $400 million particleboard factory just south of town is poised to transform the area’s economy. And its arrival may offer lessons for other Michigan towns on how to revive their financial fortunes. A year from now, Arauco promises, its plant, now under construction near Interstate 75, will provide upwards of 200 jobs for a city and a region sorely in need of an economic jolt. Up to 1,000 additional workers will be hired in the shorter term to build the 820,000-square-foot factory, roughly the size of Buckingham Palace.

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Victorian radial sawmill taking concept to commercial reality with timber technology

By Tim Lee
ABC News, Australia
July 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The deafening din is the same as any sawmill, but the timber rolling off the conveyor belt is far from conventional. It has been radially sawn, a milling technique that delivers some enormous advantages over existing methods. “Basically we cut up timber differently to other people,” explained Chris McEvoy, former CSIRO wood scientist and now a joint owner of a company called Radial Timber. Those boards are invariably more stable than conventionally sawn timber. The technique helps counter the natural stresses and strains that cause timber to warp. More excitingly, radial sawing can convert much smaller logs into useful timber, and that means it has big potential for Australia’s emerging plantation-grown timber industry. Its proponents believe it will hasten the shift away from the current large reliance on native forests.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Interior design: why timber ceilings are making a comeback

By Karen McCartney
The Sydney Morning Herald
July 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

My house was built in the 1960s, and had a modest build budget by the standards of the time. In 2017, builders suck their teeth, look at our ceiling of western red cedar, and tell us how much that would cost these days. Prohibitive, they say. Yet the timber ceiling looks to be making a comeback in residential architectural projects, in both Sydney and Melbourne. …”The weight and tactile quality of timber gives a sense of shelter and security,” he says Sydney architect Nick Kent. “As a natural material, it presents a subtle variation of texture and colour that changes over time.”

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Forestry

Wildfire readiness stepped up as heatwave drags on

By Bill Kaufmann
Calgary Herald
July 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

When wildfire expert Dr. Mike Flannigan looks at Alberta’s timbered eastern Rocky Mountain slopes, he sees a potential tinder box. In some ways, says the University of Alberta professor, the region could be a victim of the success of a fire management strategy dating back to the 1930s, whose burn prevention has allowed the growth of forest and the fuel to doom it. What were once tracts of grassier montane are now far more flammable coniferous tracts, he says. “These forests are primed to burn, places like Kananaskis Country and Bragg Creek,” he said. Those behind that fire management, he added “are aware of the fire problems and the flammability of the landscape . . . fire management has been exceedingly successful, but that could change.”

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Past firefighting efforts have made B.C. forests more fire-prone: expert

Canadian Press in the National Post
July 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — British Columbia has been so successful at putting out wildfires in recent decades that it has actually created a situation where its forests are more prone to flames, says an expert. Lori Daniels, an associate professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia, said firefighting efforts over the last 60 to 100 years have allowed for denser forests with a lot of dead material on the ground. Now, when the province has hot, dry weather and lightning strikes or there is a human ignition, the fires are much more severe and fast-moving, she said. “The irony is we tried to protect our forests from fire and we created a situation where they’re much more susceptible and the fires are more damaging,” she said. The province declared a state of emergency on Friday after about 140 new fires broke out. By Sunday, crews were battling 220 blazes.

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Clark promises $100 million for fire-ravaged communities to rebuild

Prince George Citizen
July 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – British Columbia is making $100 million available to communities and residents affected by wildfires to help them rebuild. Outgoing Premier Christy Clark announced the fund today during a visit to Kamloops, where she met with emergency officials and families impacted by scores of out-of-control fires. Clark says $600 will be made immediately available by electronic transfer through the Red Cross to people who have registered after being forced from their homes. She says the transition team for premier-designate John Horgan’s incoming government has been briefed on the establishment of the fund. Horgan was to meet with evacuees in Kamloops and visit emergency operations centres that are dealing with what his team called the “worsening wildfire crisis.”

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Wildlife may survive these wildfires, if they’re fast

By Andrea Demeer
Comox Valley Record
July 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

People and pets first. Property second. Then there are all those wild animals to worry about. There are many unknowns when assessing the impact of a forest fire on wildlife, Helen Schwantje, the BC government’s top wildlife veterinarian told The Spotlight in a telephone interview Sunday morning. “We may never know what animals were killed and what happened,” she said. “Mother Nature is pretty resilient, but this is a pretty nasty situation…there is nothing that wildlife managers can do to assist the animals until things are safe for people to go in and look.”

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Congress should pass Resilient Federal Forests Act to address wildfire threat

By Nick Smith
The Hill
July 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The 2017 wildfire season is reigniting a national discussion on the causes of catastrophic wildfires and the solutions that are needed to protect forests, property and human lives in the future. Fortunately there’s a balanced solution now moving through Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), the only forester in Congress, has introduced the bipartisan Resilient Federal Forests Act (HR 2936) to give the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management the tools and resources they need to better manage our public lands. The legislation has already been approved by the House Natural Resources Committee and could soon receive a vote on the floor of the U.S. House. 

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Timber company sues state agency over Elliott State Forest deal

By Andrew Theen
The Oregonian
July 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


The timber company behind the lone bid to buy the Elliott State Forest filed a lawsuit this week alleging Oregon violated its own policies when elected officials “unilaterally and wrongfully terminated” an agreement to sell the land to a private company for $220.8 million. Lone Rock Timber Management filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Marion County Circuit Court naming the State Land Board and Oregon Department of State Lands as defendants. Gov. Kate Brown, Treasurer Tobias Read and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson comprise the land board. The timber company is seeking $1.3 million for out-of-pocket expenses plus $2 million in “lost business opportunity damages” after the state declined to sell the land. The company also seeks 9 percent interest rate on the expenses it says it’s owed, dating to the May meeting where the company says the agreement with the state unraveled.

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Fiery rhetoric from California to feds over $18M fire debt

By Brian Melley?
Associated Press in The Washington Post
July 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES — California’s emergency services director fired off a sharply worded letter to the U.S. Forest Service this week that said the agency had stiffed the state $18 million for fighting wildfires on federal lands last year and raised the prospect that the state may stop protecting national forests during blazes. “I cannot continue to support the deployment of resources to protect federal land that ultimately may bankrupt our local governments,” Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci said in the letter sent Monday to Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell. The dispute stems from longstanding commitments that coordinate and reimburse firefighters for work on federal lands. Wildfires are fought with a combination of local, state and federal firefighters working under mutual aid agreements.

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Are wildfires worsening due to development, climate change and controversial forest management?

By Joshua Emerson Smith
San Diego Union Tribune
July 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfire season is getting longer and more intense, and both scientific and forestry experts foresee hotter and drier conditions that would significantly exacerbate the situation. …However, many fear these tactics won’t be enough to keep pace with the worst consequences of powerful blazes, which have ripped through the state’s forests with growing frequency and size over the last few decades. A continued trend of backcountry development and aggressive fire suppression to keep those properties safe has led to densely packed forests in close proximity to many communities. At the same time, California’s recent five-year drought — by many measures the worst in thousands of years, according to some researchers — has left more than 100 million trees dead from San Diego up through the Sierra. It’s unclear what this unprecedented event means for this fire season and those to follow. 

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Beetle-kill trees fueling Colorado wildfires

By Drew Engelbart
KDVR.com
July 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DENVER — The mountain pine beetle has had a major impact throughout Colorado, killing hundreds of millions of trees. While the epidemic does not increase the risk of wildfires, it certainly impacts the severity of them. The State Forest Service annual report estimates that one in every 14 standing trees in Colorado is dead. That’s 834 million trees, and that number has gone up 30 percent in the last seven years. “The condition of our forests and drought over the last 20 years or so has really allowed it to gain ground and cause a lot of tree mortality in our pine forests,” said Boyd Lebeda, a district forester with the Colorado State Forest Service. Researchers believe that the damage left by the bark beetles has not necessarily increased wildfires, but has increased the severity.

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Logging around Flagstaff ramps up for summer

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
July 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As the summer swings into gear, recreationists heading to the Dry Lake Hills and Mount Elden will notice an increase in logging activities linked to the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. Supported by a voter-approved bond in 2012, the project aims to reduce the risk of wildfire and post-fire flooding in the city’s key watersheds. Since June, crews using chainsaws have thinned 36 acres in several forested areas north of the city. An additional 32 acres were thinned last year in areas that include sections east of Schultz Creek and along the Rocky Ridge Trail. The cut trees will either be offered up for firewood or gathered into big slash piles for later burning. It will likely be September when logging machinery moves into Paradise Valley, the lower Oldham trails, along the base of Mount Elden, along Elden Lookout Road and near the intersection of Mount Elden and Schultz Pass roads.

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Forestry company says it won’t do harm to trout fishing paradise

By Lindsay VanHulle
Bridge Michigan
July 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

GRAYLING — Arauco North America says it wants to be a good environmental citizen when its forestry products plant opens near Grayling next year. So far, that sits well with conservation groups in Michigan’s scenic River Country. “We’re just being watchful,” said Tom Baird, president of Anglers of the Au Sable, an environmental group dedicated to protecting the river system. Baird said Arauco executives were willing to quickly meet with several conservation groups, including Anglers as well as Trout Unlimited, to share ideas for setbacks from rivers and streams that feed into the Au Sable system. …Baird said fishermen don’t want to stand in the way of a plan to create hundreds of jobs in the region.

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Hydrowood rescues timber lost to Tasmania’s flooded forests

By Matthew Denholm
The Australian
July 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Beneath the dark, frigid waters of Tasmania’s hydro-electric lakes lies a vast, lost treasure. The island’s hydro schemes — constructed throughout the 20th century — dragged its economy into the industrial age. They also flooded large tracts of old-growth forests; a massive loss of now highly prized and increasingly rare timber. However, this forsaken ­resource — including distinctive and valuable timbers such as celery top and Huon pine, sassafras, myrtle and blackwood — is lost no more. Two local entrepreneurs have mastered a means of harvesting the still-standing drowned forests from the bottom of hydro lakes. The Weekend Australian can reveal not only the success of Australia’s first underwater logging operation, but that it is now estimated the resource can last for many decades.

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Future legend takes out top forestry award

New Zealand Herald
July 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

He leads by example to “the highest of standards’ and now Shayne Maxwell has been crowned the Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year. Mr Maxwell, who works as a health and safety manager and company trainer at Kohurau Contracting, took out the top award at last night’s Northland Forestry Awards at Forum North in front of 500 of his peers. He was awarded the prestigious trophy by Government Minister Louise Upston after being nominated in three categories – health and safety, felling and harvesting. Mr Maxwell also took out the Individual Harvesting Excellence award and was joint winner, with Rosewarne Cable Logging, of the Outstanding Health and Safety Management Award.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Dormant ancient fungi could help trees adapt to climate change, study says

CBC News
July 7, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West


A new study from the University of British Columbia Okanagan says ancient dormant fungi could help modern tree species adapt to climate change. Biology professor Jason Pither, co-author of the study published in the June 2017 issue of FEMS Microbiology Ecology, says fungi already help tree species through symbiotic relationships. Modern fungi commonly help trees by gathering water and nutrients which they can bring closer to its roots. In return, the fungi absorb food for themselves. Fungi are often used by the forestry and agricultural industry to increase output, he said. Pither says fungi produce structures like spores that can lie in a dormant state in the soil and permafrost for tens of thousands of years.

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BC lags other provinces in reaching greenhouse gas reduction targets

By Gordon Hoekstra
Vancouver Sun
July 9, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some provinces have already met their target for the 2030 greenhouse gas emission reductions that Canada committed to in the 2016 Paris agreement, an analysis by the National Energy Board shows.  Those provinces are Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, plus the Yukon territory. The two provinces have reduced emissions by 30 per cent by 2015 from 2005 levels, well ahead of the 2030 target date, according to the NEB data. British Columbia lags behind. As of 2015, the province had reduced its carbon emissions by less than five per cent, according to the NEB figures. …“B.C. was once a climate leader, but with a lack of action in the past six, seven years after (former B.C. premier) Gordon Campbell left, there has really been no action to address climate change.”

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A warming Melbourne may need to consider a Sydney tree-change

By Craig Butt
The Sydney Morning Herald
July 8, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

These two thermal images, side by side, show how much trees can help keep the city cool during the sweltering summer months. The first shows a section of Elizabeth Street, opposite the Queen Victoria Market, on a 36.7 degree day in January. But take a look at the second image, taken a short way up the road. The presence of the trees shield the nearby area from the harsh sunlight and also slightly cool their surroundings by drawing in moisture from the ground.

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Forest Fires

Thousands flee wildfires burning in California and Canada

Associated Press in the Washington Post
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, United States

OROVILLE, Calif. — Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western United States and Canada, destroying a smattering of homes, forcing thousands to flee and temporarily trapping children and counselors at a California campground. In California, two major wildfires have sent nearly 8,000 people fleeing to safety. About 4,000 people evacuated and 7,400 others were told to prepare to leave their homes as fire swept through grassy foothills in the Sierra Nevada, about 60 miles north of Sacramento, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Sunday. …In British Columbia, firefighters were contending with more than 200 wildfires that had destroyed dozens of buildings, including several homes and two airport hangars. The three biggest fires, which ranged in size from five to eight square miles, forced thousands of people to flee.

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B.C. wildfires burn down homes as thousands flee: ‘There was no stopping it’

Canadian Press in the National Post
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A seasoned British Columbia firefighter says he’s never seen anything like the fast-moving wildfire that tore through his new home, leaving him and his neighbours scant seconds to escape. Ground and air crews are preparing for another day battling dozens of out-of-control wildfires that drove thousands of residents from their homes in British Columbia’s central Interior. The continuing hot, dry and often windy conditions are making it a desperate struggle, one that evacuees throughout the region are watching with increasing anxiety. Wilfred Duncan moved into his friend’s house on the Ashcroft Indian Reserve two weeks ago, only to watch the home burn down after the wildfire overwhelmed the community, destroying more than 30 buildings. Duncan is a retired forestry firefighter with 20 years of experience, but said the Ashcroft blaze was overwhelming.

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3,600 ordered from homes in central B.C. as wildfire spreads

CBC News
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

About 3,600 people have been told to leave their homes as an out-of-control wildfire continues to expand in central B.C. The fire is about 400 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, and was sparked Thursday near a forest service road. It was just two hectares in size at 3 p.m. on Thursday and had expanded to 1,500 hectares by 3 p.m. Friday.  Around 120 firefighters from the B.C. Wildfire Service, 15 pieces of heavy equipment, six helicopters and crews with local fire departments are involved in fighting the fire. …That order includes the majority of homes in the communities of 105 Mile House and 108 Mile Ranch.

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Fort McMurray rallies to help B.C. wildfire evacuees

By Cullen Bird
Edmonton Journal
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fort McMurray residents are stepping up to help fire-threatened British Columbians overcome the same fears and struggles they went through just over a year ago. Hundreds of residents are offering their money, time and labour on social media to give their fellow Canadians much-needed supplies and information. Marty Frost spent the weekend with a group of friends building a walled 18-foot trailer and filling it with supplies to bring to fire halls and evacuation centres in B.C. “Canada helped us out last year — it’s time for us to step up to do something,” said Tamara Laverdiere, who volunteered to make the 15-hour supply run to B.C.

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BC wildfires: The latest as crews battle dozens of blazes in central Interior

By Patrick Johnston and Cheryl Chan
Vancouver Sun
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Raging wildfires across the B.C. Interior show no sign of abating Sunday, forcing highway closures and chasing more residents out of their homes. Close to 2,000 people who live in the District of 100 Mile House fled their homes late Sunday after mayor Mitch Campsall issued an evacuation order due to the looming threat of a rapidly-moving wildfire.  Another 195 homes north of Princeton were also ordered to leave in a “controlled evacuation” starting at 2 a.m. Monday when temperatures are cooler to allow safe passage from a 1,500-hectare blaze nearby.  With hot, dry weather, strong winds and the risk of dry lightning in the forecast, officials say the situation could get worse.

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Wildfire south of Port McNeill has decreased to 10 hectares

By Hanna Petersen
North Island Gazette
July 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfire burning south of Port McNeill has decreased to 10 hectares. The fire started Wednesday night north of Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park and is about 12 kilometres south of Port McNeill. Coastal Fire had previously suspected the fire had grown to 20 hectares in size, but this turned out to be not the case. “Yesterday there was a fair amount of smoke – so it’s hard to see what’s fire and what’s not fire,” said Coastal Fire Information Officer Donna McPherson. “They’ve had a good look at it, and it’s looking like it’s at the 10 hectare mark now.” McPherson said the fire is located in an area with a lot of slash, or forestry byproduct, which is why the fire was initially burning quickly. “Once it moves from the slash and into the healthy forest it’s not aggressive at all,” said MacPherson.

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Towns, homes evacuated in B.C. as wildfires burn out of control

By Maryse Zeidler
CBC News
July 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province of British Columbia has declared a state of emergency, as wildfires burn out of control throughout most of the Interior. “?The extended weather forecast is calling for continued hot, dry weather, with risks of thunderstorms in many parts of the province,” the province said in a written statement Friday. The declaration gives emergency resources special authority to deal with the fires. Wildfires burning out of control across the Interior have prompted the evacuation of at least one airport, two hospitals, an entire town and hundreds more homes throughout the region. The B.C. Wildfire Service said 138 new fires started throughout the province on Friday, many of them started by lightning.

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B.C. wildfires map 2017: Current location of wildfires around the province

By Amy Judd and Jesse Ferreras
Global News
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crews were battling about 225 wildfires around B.C. as of Monday. The B.C. Wildfire Service has provided a map of where the fires are located (it may not load in high traffic times so you might need to be patient). The map is accurate as of 5 a.m. Monday, July 10, although the wildfire situation may change at any time. The larger flames on the map are considered “wildfires of note.” There were five major wildfires burning in the area of Williams Lake on Saturday. A wildfire in the Wildwood/Williams Lake Airport area, just north of Williams Lake, was estimated at 2,000 hectares on Sunday at 12:16 p.m. It was zero per cent contained as of the latest update; crews managed to anchor the base of the fire into Highway 97, allowing them to build containment lines.

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‘Summer of the fire’: Senior climatologist doesn’t see B.C. wildfires letting up

CTV News
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As more than 1,000 firefighters battle the out-of-control wildfires in British Columbia, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist Dave Phillips spoke to CTV News Channel about what’s causing the hazardous conditions. “It’s been too dry, too hot, for too long,” he said. “It’s like putting a giant dome over Western Canada, particularly in British Columbia and it’s not allowing any weather to come in.” According to Phillips, interior B.C. hasn’t seen rain in 28 days and hasn’t had more than a “thimble-full” in 53 days. The lack of air combined with record-high temperatures, humidity levels comparable to those you see in a desert, and wind gusts mean perfect conditions for wildfires, says Phillips. …As for long-term, Phillips says things will be much of the same. “This will the summer of the fire,” he said. “The rest of July and August will be warmer than normal and drier than normal.”

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B.C. declares state of emergency, 180-plus wildfires burning

By Geordon Omand
Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
July 8, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Fire crews worked to save buildings and protect transportation routes Saturday after thousands of people were chased from their homes by wildfires that raged out of control across British Columbia’s central Interior. More than 180 fires were burning, many considered out of control, as the B.C. government declared a provincewide state of emergency to co-ordinate the crisis response. Officials said buildings have been destroyed, but they did not release numbers. The BC Wildfire Service says over 173 fires were reported on Friday alone as lightning storms rolled over several parts of B.C. Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer for the service, said it was “an extraordinary day in terms of fire activity across the province.” [This article includes earlier stories as well underneath the primary story].

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Forest fire near Muskrat Falls now under control

CBC News
July 10, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forest fire that’s been burning in central Labrador for more than a week is now under control, according to provincial officials. The fire in the Edward’s Brook area, near Muskrat Falls, was first reported on June 28. It was being contained by firefighters, but was classified as out of control since then, despite the wet weather in Labrador. As of Monday morning, provincial officials said it has been brought under control.

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Forget the wet winter; the West is burning hot and fast

By Gary Ferguson, Author
Los Angeles Times
July 8, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…From the Rockies to the Pacific, the last 16 years have brought an astonishing 11 summers with more than a dozen so-called mega-fires, defined as a single burn engulfing more than 100,000 acres. More to the point of our anxieties, about 120 million of us are living on some 200 million acres considered to be at high risk of burning. We’re living our lives, as will our children and our grandchildren, in a land of flames. Without a doubt, Westerners will be in the news in the coming weeks — clutching our loved ones and watching our homes go up in smoke. The problem is partly the result of 80 years of over-aggressive fire suppression, beginning in the early 20th century. Because of the arid nature of the West, when trees die, the primary way they decompose is through fire. 

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Wildfires send children fleeing from California summer camps

Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
July 8, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A pair of Santa Barbara County wildfires quickly spread Saturday, threatening hundreds of homes and forcing evacuations at a popular lakeside campground and a summer camp where flames temporarily trapped children and counselors, a fire official said. The fire that started in the early afternoon had spread to both sides of Highway 154 and was “completely out of control,” county fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said. About 90 children and 50 counselors were struck at the Circle V Ranch and had to take shelter there until they could be safely evacuated. The fire was one of three in the state that grew quickly as much of California baked in heat that broke records in parts of Southern California. A record that stood 131 years in Los Angeles was snapped when the temperature spiked at 98 degrees downtown. The previous record of 95 degrees was set in 1886, the National Weather Service said.

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Fire rages in north China forest

Xinhua
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

HOHHOT — A lightning-induced fire engulfing 1,500 hectares of forest in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China has been put out, local authorities said. The fire broke out Thursday. About 4,000 firefighters from Inner Mongolia and neighboring Heilongjiang Province, together with a dozen helicopters were dispatched to extinguish the blaze. All open fire had been put out by 8 p.m. Saturday. The firefighters continue to search for smoke points. The forest is part of the Greater Hinggan Mountains in north and northeast China. According to firefighters, the Greater Hinggan Mountains have seen a longer period with high temperatures and severe drought this year, which has made it difficult for preventing and putting out fires. [End of story]

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