Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 19, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

BC forest sector / Canadian economy doing well despite obstacles

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 19, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Canada’s economy is benefiting from US growth and the forest sector is doing well despite American tariffs and constraints on timber supply. In other Business news: BC leaders are meeting to discuss the impact of tariffs on Catalyst Paper; CN is addressing its transportation woes by increasing boxcar capacity; and an Alberta economist is refusing to share the stage with David Suzuki.

In other news: the USDA promotes awareness of fire challenges in the wildland urban interface; a Wisconsin fire chief says he didn’t have the facts when he criticized heavy timber; an Earth Day founder supports building with CLT; prefabricated mass-timber construction is touted as the model for the future; and the first full CLT building opens in California.

Finally, here’s your guide to the best wine wood and food pairings for this grilling season.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Grill Gourmet: The Best Wood And Food Pairings To Try This Season

By Noma Nazish
Forbes Magazine
April 18, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

As the barbecue season is about to heat up, it’s time to clear off the grill and get your outdoor cooking game on. And one way to take it a notch higher is tossing in some wood chips while grilling. …Since different wood chunks make for different flavors, the key is to figure out what wood is compatible with the dish you’re preparing. “With unique compositions and burning points, different woods will produce different flavors. Fruit flavored woods such as apple, cherry and peach are great for when you want a subtle and delicate smoke flavor. For a more robust flavor hickory, pecan, mesquite and oak are perfect to add that kick,” Barnett explains. …Without further ado, here’s your guide to the best wood and food pairings for this grilling season.

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Business & Politics

CN to acquire 350 boxcars to meet growing demand in forest products, metals business

By CN
Global Newswire
April 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL — CN today announced it will acquire 350 premium boxcars to serve growing demand from industrial customers across its North American network.  “These additional boxcars, combined with our new locomotives, hundreds of new train crew members, and track expansion investments, will help give us the capacity and network resiliency we need for pulp, paper and metals customers,” said Doug MacDonald, vice president of bulk at CN. The leased 50-foot, high-capacity plate F boxcars, equipped with 12-foot plug doors, are expected to be delivered beginning in late summer with all the cars in service by the end of 2018. As part of CN’s $3.2 billion capital program in 2018, the company is investing in new trade-enabling infrastructure this spring and summer, building new track and yard capacity to handle increased traffic across CN’s West Coast to Chicago corridor more efficiently. 

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Why the architect of Alberta’s climate change plan is slamming an honorary degree for David Suzuki

By Tristin Hopper
The National Post
April 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

David Suzuki

University of Alberta economist Andrew Leach is openly denouncing his employer’s decision to award an honorary degree to activist and broadcaster David Suzuki. …Leach’s issue is with how the former Nature of Things host has spent years defaming economics as “brain damage.” “There’s no way I’d share a stage with David Suzuki … not a chance.” While at a conference where Suzuki was the keynote speaker, Leach saw Suzuki relate a favourite anecdote in which he claims that economics “teaches that environmental damage is to be ignored.” …“The economists say if you clearcut the forest, take the money and put it in the bank you can make six or seven per cent … so who cares whether you keep the forest?” he said. …“Economists … are not advocating resource depletion any more than oncologists are advocating cancer,” he wrote, noting that Suzuki’s own foundation relied heavily on economic modelling.

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Obstacles on roadway ahead for B.C.’s robust economy: forecast

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
April 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s economic growth will continue at 3.1% this year before hitting real estate speed bumps and slowing to 1.7% in 2019, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s Western Business Outlook. Countrywide, Canada’s economy is enjoying strong job growth and is well positioned to benefit from U.S. economic growth, although there are concerns over low business investment in Canada, the NAFTA unravelling, federal and provincial government deficit spending and the risk of an American trade war with China driving inflation. …B.C.’s forestry sector is doing well, despite American tariffs on softwood lumber and growing constraints on timber supply. …A booming housing sector in the U.S. has kept prices high, however. …BC forestry exports are expected to remain relatively flat between 2017 and 2022, thanks largely to the shrinking timber supply.

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Union, politicians rally behind paper mill threatened by U.S. duties

By David Brindle
The Vancouver Courier
April 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC minister of jobs, trade and technology Bruce Ralston has invited City of Powell River mayor Dave Formosa and Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons to a high-level meeting about Catalyst Paper Corporation on Thursday, April 19 in Victoria. …The purpose of the conference is for MLAs, mayors and union representatives from communities most directly affected by serious challenges currently facing Catalyst to receive a status update and hear how provincial and federal governments are responding. …Not only has the company been hit by US anti-dumping duties, but a shortage of fibre has recently forced Catalyst to curtail production on paper machine 11 at the Powell River mill.

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Fear new U.S. anti-dumping duties could price Catalyst mills out of business

By Robert Barron
The Lake Cowichan Gazette
April 18, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The federal government is being asked to intervene after punitive anti-dumping duties were placed on paper products produced at Catalyst Paper mills in B.C., including the Crofton mill. …Unifor president Jerry Dias said U.S. President Donald Trump is introducing “chaos” into trade relations with Canada, with his latest attack on Canadian workers putting five pulp and paper mills across the nation in jeopardy of closure. “Unfair tariffs aren’t just political theatre, they’re reckless policies that will close down mills and throw hundreds of Canadians out of work,” Dias said. …Jon Lefebure, mayor the Municipality of North Cowichan where the Crofton mill is located, said increasing costs at the Crofton mill could drastically hamper its profitability, leading to layoffs and even its complete closure.

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Family logging business ‘blindsided’ by loss of Kruger contract

CBC News
April 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A South Brook logging company says its 44-year business relationship with the Corner Brook paper mill came to an end in a five-minute conversation last week, and now the company faces bankruptcy. Sterling Fowlow, who took over Arthur Fowlow Ltd. from his father, said he was called into a meeting with executives from Kruger — the parent company of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. Sitting across the table, he said, was the woodland manager for Kruger’s operations in Newfoundland and Labrador who told him, ‘You’re done.’ Fowlow told the Corner Brook Morning Show that he asked why their contract was being cut, but couldn’t get an answer. “He just blindsided me,” Fowlow said. “Left me speechless, took every bit of life out of me.”

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Silt runoff from big Nova Scotia sawmill under investigation

By Paul Withers
CBC News
April 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Bangs Falls, N.S., resident Paul Connolly dips his hand into the Medway River and it disappears into the grey, silty water pouring in from the Freeman Lumber Mill property just upstream. “The sawmill is not going away… but it’s having such an adverse effect on our river,” says Connolly, a local fishing guide fed up with chronic siltation from the mill. …”I want the department to enforce the law. Nobody should be getting a break from pollution and causing havoc in our river systems,” Connolly tells CBC News. …Freeman Lumber vice-president Richard Freeman said the company has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years on siltation control “with mixed results.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Toquaht and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations finalists for Commercial Building Awards

By Andrew Bailey
BC Local News
April 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two local First Nation communities are being celebrated for successful building projects. The Toquaht and Tla-o-qui-aht Nations have each been nominated for a Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Award. The Toquaht First Nation was nominated for its new, purpose-built, affordable housing complex in Macoah. “The nomination as a finalist for this award means a lot because it is really difficult to make a big project like this happen with the small team we have,” said Toquaht First Nation’s Director of Lands, Public Works and Resources Juliet Van Vliet. …The building contains eight units of housing and was built in roughly 10 months, with construction starting in 2017. Van Vliet said the facility was built with lumber from the Nation’s own mill and Toquaht citizens were employed in the construction of the housing units.

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Saskatoon fire crews battle blaze at hotel construction site

News Talk 650 CKOM
April 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A hotel construction site on Lorne Avenue continued to smolder late Wednesday afternoon after going up in smoke and flames in the morning. …Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Rodger said …“We fear there is a potential for collapse.” …Rodger later confirmed a number of propane tanks at the scene blew up in the flames. He said the fact the blaze happened in a building still under construction presented challenges. “Fire sprinklers, fire alarms, rated fire separations — they’re just not there. So we’ve got a lot of exposed wooden components of the building,” he said. …Kara Fagnou, director of building standards with the city said new requirements in the National Building Code of Canada were introduced in 2015. Those requirements allow for six-story wood frame construction, the type of framing used at the construction site on Lorne Avenue.

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US: No new investigation into plywood imports from China

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
April 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) will not launch a new investigation into plywood imports from China for the time being. With this decision, the DOC dismissed a petition filed by four US plywood producers on 15 February. In the petition, the plaintiffs called for more far-reaching reviews to complement the investigation completed at the end of 2017. Specifically, they aimed to expand the subject of the probe into plywood made with softwood veneer faces. The companies report that a variety of Chinese plywood manufacturers have started to switch outer faces with softwood veneers in response to punitive duties imposed on hardwood plywood products at the start of the year.

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Eero Saarinen Tulip chair replica shows potential of sustainable ‘wood-like’ material

By Liz Stinson
Curbed
April 19, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US West

Ekoa looks like wood—it has the warm, earthy hue, the swirling wood-like grains, the smooth, sanded finish. And yet, Ekoa is not wood. Lingrove, the company behind Ekoa, developed the composite material from flax linen fiber that’s combined with bio-resin from industrial waste. Mold it, cure it under high heat and pressure, and the process produces a wood-like material that’s lighter than carbon fiber, stronger than steel, moldable like plastic, and carbon negative. Lingrove originally developed Ekoa to build bodies for high-end guitars, but it’s keen to show off how the eco-friendly material can be used in furniture, too. This week, the company unveiled a replica of Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Chair made almost entirely from Ekoa.

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Earth Day founder calls for an end to plastic pollution (and builds with CLT)

By Erik Hoffner
Mongabay
April 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Mongabay: Your office, the Bullitt Center, is made of wood and is said to be the world’s greenest office building. …what’s your take on the trend of building large urban wooden structures, including skyscrapers? Denis Hayes: We built the Bullitt Center before Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) made its debut in the United States. We were the first 6-story, heavy timber building constructed in Seattle since 1927. …being certified by the Forest Stewardship Council is a pretty good proxy for sustainable forestry. Every piece of wood in the Bullitt Center is FSC certified. …Mongabay: What would you say are the biggest challenges for Northwest forests in 2018? Denis Hayes: Tens of millions of acres of West Coast forest have been killed by insects, mostly various bark beetles that global warming is allowing to spread into new regions.

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Katerra’s approach could make factory construction a model for the future

By Antonio Pacheco
The Architect’s Newspaper
April 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Some of the most fruitful innovation in the Architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry right now lies in the realm of factory-built buildings. Whether they include experiments with prefabrication, mass-timber construction, or modular components, architects are increasingly working with building assemblies that are fabricated off-site and under controlled conditions. And while some designers work in these modes on a one-off basis, a new crop of technology-focused, end-to-end construction service firms have sprung up that can take a project from idea to finished building all on their own, including construction and fabrication. Established in 2015, Katerra is one of the firms that are shifting how buildings get designed and built in the United States by pioneering a hybrid business model that combines prefabrication with mass-customization. 

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First Full CLT Building in California Opens in Plumas County

By Holmes Structures
Digital Journal
April 19, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO — The ribbon cutting ceremony by the Plumas County Health and Humans Services Department for its new Biomass Boiler Building in Quincy, CA on April 6, marked the opening of the first building in California made entirely of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). CLT is establishing itself as a sustainable building material with a reduced carbon footprint and an inviting, natural aesthetic. …the Biomass Boiler Building was constructed using CLT panels for the complete structural system to resist gravity and lateral forces, such as wind or a seismic event. …Originally, the Biomass Boiler Building structure was planned to be constructed with a prefabricated metal building system. Plumas County officials and the Sierra Institute decided to take the project in another direction to demonstrate the strengths and benefits of building with timber while also incorporating Plumas County’s most abundant natural timber resources.

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Largest Higher Education Project Receives Living Building Certification

By Emily Pollock
Engineering.com
April 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The R.W. Kern Center recently became one of only 18 buildings to be certified as a Living Building by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). Finished in 2016, the Kern Center was built as part of Massachusetts’ Hampshire College and houses its admission and financial aid offices, several classrooms, a student lounge and cafeteria. The 17,000-square-foot building is the largest higher-education project to be certified under ILFI standards. … The building itself is made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified local wood and schist from a nearby quarry.

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Clarifying my statement on fire codes

Letter by Chief Paul J. Menches, Holmen Area Fire Department
Coulee Courier
April 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A statement I made in last week’s article published in the Coulee Courier on fire codes was not entirely correct. Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) when properly engineered has a fire resistant rating and should not be used in the same context as Light Weight Construction (LWC) wood projects. Our focus has always been on the LWC construction that is being used in residential (homes and apartments) type construction. I did not have all the facts at the time I made comment, got focused on laminated wood and associated it with laminated timber.

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CLT’s regional acceptance may increase after University of Arkansas’ construction

By Angel Kipfer
Woodworking Network
April 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville is building a 27,000-square-foot storage unit for its library and it will be the first facility in Arkansas to be built with cross-laminated timber panels (CLT). CLT will also be the main component of the university’s 200,000-square-foot Stadium Drive Residence halls on which construction began last fall. …Southern Arkansas is rich in yellow pine timber, a prime component of CLT, and according to the School of Forestry & Natural Resources (SFNR) at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, the state grows eight million more tons of pine annually than it harvests. The use of CLT in the university’s construction gives the SFNR hope that CLT use will generate more acceptance within the state and eventually lead to the emergence of a CLT manufacturing facility in Arkansas which would benefit economic growth…

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How to turn 20/20 hindsight into a clear plan for wind-resistant homebuilding

APA Engineered Wood
April 18, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

After the Storm: Building for High Wind Resistance, an APA – The Engineered Wood Association educational webinar, was attended by more than 500 industry professionals on March 30, 2018. The free recorded webinar, has been posted to the APA website.  The 60-minute presentation focuses on the structural failures observed during storm damage assessments and the behavior of wood structures during wind events. APA Engineered Wood Specialist Mary Uher begins with an overview of high-wind forces and continues with the importance of a complete load path and how good design and construction practices can improve the storm resistance of buildings. Mary also discusses code requirements and presents APA’s above-code recommendations for wind-resistant building. “Builders can cost effectively build a safer home and reduce future storm damage by paying attention to connection details, understanding lateral load concepts, and recognizing common failure modes seen in storm damage assessments,” says Uher.

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Forestry

Current spruce beetle outbreak in Omineca region not unusual

By Ken Alexander
The Terrace Standard
April 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Earlier this year, Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes expressed concern about the current spread of spruce beetle in the northern Interior. Noting she had been talking to several groups, including forestry and First Nations, the MLA said there is a significant fear that it’s very much like the mountain pine beetle invasion. “It has an epicentre right now, but they’re studying it… we have to become more proactive.” …However, Jeanne Robert, who is the Omineca-Northwest regional entomologist for the Ministry of Forests… told the Quesnel Observer there are significant differences between the pine beetle and the spruce beetle, which is being monitored annually. …The key difference, she noted, is the spruce ecosystem tends to be more diverse with a mix of spruce and balsam trees, and they tend to be longer cycling ecosystems.

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Ottawa spends $5.7 million on deer eradication in Haida Gwaii featuring New Zealand sharpshooters

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
April 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The federal government is spending $5.7 million over three years to eradicate introduced deer on six islands on Haida Gwaii  — including the hiring of New Zealand sharpshooters to fire from helicopters, boats and on the ground with tracking dogs. The program, which enters its second year of eradication this spring, is designed to allow vegetation on the islands to recover from foraging by Sitka black-tailed deer, which were introduced to Haida Gwaii, then the Queen Charlotte Islands, for hunting starting in 1898. …In 2017, a total of 598 deer were shot… Five Kiwis who specialize in deer eradication were hired… “Although we have a lot of great local hunters, we wanted people who are eradication specialists,” Robyn Irvine, project manager for Parks Canada, said in an interview.

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Chijuk Creek Timber Harvest – A WIN for All Alaskans!

The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman
April 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The vote regarding the Chijuk Creek Timber Harvest at the Matsu Borough Assembly, on April 17, can setup the opportunity for Alaskans to step onto the world stage and take control of their economic future. The logs harvested from Chijuk Creek will supply the Chinese wooden basket industry. The Mat-Su’s crooked birch trees and beetle killed Spruce are not suitable for the production of construction lumber. The business plan by Denali Timber Management, LLC, is to harvest trees in the Chijuk Creek that are 8 inches or more in diameter. This is not a clear-cut. They will then, transport the logs to Port McKenzie, where they will be loaded and shipped to China. This project has many key advantages, not just for the Mat-Su, but for all of Alaska.

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The hidden dangers of tree hugging

By Mark Swanson
The Peninsula Daily News
April 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There are many good reasons for tree-hugging and I must have heard them all. In a recently published book, Matthew Silverstone reveals scientific data showing trees improve many health issues such as mental illness, ADHD, depression, headaches, reaction time and concentration levels. …How does hugging trees do all these good things for us? Plants and trees facilitate the cleansing and revitalizing of all of the stored-up negativity and stress humans experience and give it a place to be absorbed. …Tree-hugging is obviously good for humans but what does it do to the tree? …A tree subjected to an ill-advised “group hug” around the victim can be devastated. Remember the fungi?

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Forecasters warn of rare, life-threatening wildfire weather

By Ken Miller
Associated Press in ABC News
April 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Forecasters warned of dangerous, life-threatening wildfire conditions in parts of the Southwest and Southern Plains on Tuesday, as a forestry official warned firefighters battling a terrifying deadly blaze in Oklahoma that it would be a “historically critical day.” …By early afternoon Tuesday, temperatures that were projected to reach the mid-90s had reached 88 degrees (31 Celsius) with humidity at 6 percent. Wind gusts forecast to hit 40 mph (64 kph) were at 24 mph (39 kph). The forecast includes northwestern Texas and the Texas Panhandle where firefighting aircraft are stationed in Amarillo, Abilene and surrounding areas. …”If you looked at that fire weather forecast … it should scare the hell out of you,” Deb Beard, a commander of the Southern Area Incident Management, said during a briefing Tuesday.

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Winds Ease but Deadly Wildfires Endure in Southwest US

Associated Press in the New York Times
April 18, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

OKLAHOMA CITY — Frazzled residents in a part of rural northwestern Oklahoma paralyzed by days of wind-whipped wildfires expressed fear a blaze could overrun their home Wednesday, as firefighters battling the deadly fires there and in Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico found some relief at the promise of easing of dangerous weather conditions. Hundreds of people across the region have been forced to evacuate their properties, homes have been swallowed by the fires and cattle burned to death as they stood in rivers and streams, presumably seeking respite from the flames. Two people have died and at least 9 injured in the Oklahoma fires. …U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Nichols, who has been working with firefighters battling a blaze estimated at about 106 square miles (275 sq. kilometers) that started near Woodward, Oklahoma, said he welcomed reports indicating wet weather could be on the way.

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Windsor biologists using 3D printed robo-toads to study mating rituals in Costa Rica

By Stacey Janzer
CBC News
April 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A research project at the University of Windsor is using 3D printed lookalikes to discover why a species of toad in Costa Rica turns bright yellow for a single day during its mating season. The project started a decade ago when Dan Mennill and Stephanie Doucet witnessed a remarkable transformation while studying birds in Costa Rica. During the first heavy rainfall following a long period of dry weather, they say many new animals emerge, including toads the pair said were the colour of a bright lemon. “We watched them. It was amazing. Then we went and did our bird research and came back later in the day and they were all brown,” said Mennill. The quick change came as a surprise to the biologists and captured their interest. When they went back the next year, Doucet discovered the male toads change colour one day a year.

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Health & Safety

FireSmart starts at home

By Tanya Foubert
Rocky Mountain Outlook
April 19, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stew Walkinshaw

CANMORE – A local expert on the provincially recognized FireSmart program says while all levels of government have been working to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the Bow Valley, it is up to homeowners and residents to their part as well. Stew Walkinshaw – professional forestry expert and consultant on forest management – said at a Bow Valley Builders and Developers Association luncheon in April that the work being done to address the risk of wildfire locally really starts at home. …He encouraged homeowners to take responsibility for their properties and implement FireSmart techniques. Those include promoting the use of non-combustible materials for roofing, decks and patios, as well as fuel reduction within 10 metres of a structure. As well, it encourages the use of landscaping materials that are less likely to catch fire should an ember fall from the sky. 

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Where Your Front Door Meets the Forest

By Kaari Carpenter, Fire and Aviation Management
US Department of Agriculture
April 18, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

More and more communities are now near or within forests. In fact the area where unoccupied land and human development meet has a name and it’s called the Wildland Urban Interface, or WUI. The WUI is the most challenging area of the forest for wildland firefighters to suppress fire. Here fire transitions from trees and brush to homes and vehicles. This transition creates increased risks and costs for all involved. Largely because of increased development of the WUI, a record number homes, more than 12,000, and other structures, were destroyed by wildfires in 2017. But this doesn’t need to happen. If you live where your front door meets the forest, you can do your part to make sure your home is as resistant to wildfire as possible.

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