Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 23, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

T’is the season: wildfires and their management dominate today’s news

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 23, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

With summer’s heat in full bloom, wildfires and their management dominate today’s news. The headlines include: BC wildfires have the potential to become firestorms; past forest management exacerbated last year’s wildfire season in BC; West Fraser continues to salvage burned timber in the Cariboo; Oregon’s handbook helps investigators determine wildfire cause; and fire intensity shows that more forest management is needed in Oregon.

In other news: a Dovetail report on sourcing of forest products – the roles for gov’t and certification programs; BC’s Caribou plan could nix upgrades at Weyerhaeuser’s mill; and on its anniversary date, Massachusett’s 10-alarm apartment construction fire points to arson.

Finally, ping pong balls are being used to fight forest fires in BC; while slingshots are helping children plant trees in Kenya.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Kenyan school children using slingshots to plant trees

The Associated Press
July 22, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

NAIROBI, Kenya — School children in Kenya are helping to fight deforestation by planting seeds using slingshots. It’s part of an initiative by the company SeedBalls Kenya, which makes and sells seedballs globally. It encourages children to have slingshot competitions using the charcoal-covered seeds instead of stones. About 2 million seedballs have been planted in Kenya in the past year and a half in what has been called “guerrilla gardening.” Kenya’s government has recognized the threat from deforestation and earlier this year imposed a temporary logging ban that was extended in May by another six months. SeedBalls Kenya recycles coal dust it collects around the capital, Nairobi. It buys the seeds from the Kenya Forest Research Institute.

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Business & Politics

Caribou plan could nix upgrades for Grande Prairie Weyerhaeuser mill

By Kevin Hampson
Daily Herald-Tribune
July 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Uncertainty looms over the Grande Prairie-area Weyerhaeuser wood mill as the company seeks assurance from the province about new caribou regulations. A provincial plan to protect threatened woodland caribou could reduce the mill’s supply of timber, effectively putting an end to its operation, said Wendy Crosina, manager of forest stewardship for Weyerhaeuser Timberlands. About 67% of the company’s merchantable timber is within caribou ranges that will be protected under the new regulations. “If the constraints of a caribou range plan keep us out of those caribou ranges to any degree, or any great degree, we’re not going to have enough wood to run the mill,” she said. Crosina said the company needs assurance from the province that the new plan won’t reduce the mill’s supply of wood, or “fibre.” 

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More potentially harmful chemicals found on old Domtar site

By Angela Jung
CTV News
July 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province has taken further regulatory action after receiving new information about contaminants found in the soil of a former wood processing plant in northeast Edmonton. An unoccupied area, referred to as “Parcel Y,” is proposed for residential development and was subject to further testing as part of the ongoing investigation. Developers – Cherokee Canada and 1510837 Alberta Ltd. – hired consultant Thurber Engineering Ltd. to conduct more soil samples in the spring. Thurber drilled six boreholes, and results found high levels of dioxin and furan from two locations near the middle of the parcel. The information was shared with the province on July 13. The province said the levels represent could be potentially dangerous to the workers who are currently conducting tests on the site, and are “disappointed information was not provided sooner.”

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Is a new timber mill in our future?

By Gerry Obrien
Herald and News
July 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The reactions were predictable when Green Diamond Resource Co. announced this week that it is closing off some 50,000 acres of private land to public access in the Klamath Basin, in part due to theft, vandalism, garbage dumping and abuse of the land.  …Elsbree is the local representative for Green Diamond in Klamath Falls. He and Patti Case, public affairs manager, visited the H&N prior to the closure announcement. What else they had to say might bode well for the community — namely a new lumber mill. …Timber that was planted 35 years ago is now coming ready for harvest. Elsbree predicts that the need for a new, efficient timber mill is just around the corner.  …Despite the fact the timber is on private ground, Elsbree emphasizes there’s a whole litany of environmental and habitat policies that Green Diamond follows.

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Tariffs on newsprint cause far-reaching harm

By the Editorial Board
The Daily Journal
July 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

It’s no secret that the news industry faces its share of challenges today. One of the latest hurdles is one that’s avoidable. This spring, the Trump administration ordered tariffs on Canadian newsprint. That action came in response to a complaint filed by a New York hedge fund that owns a paper mill in Washington state. It is separate from other, more high-profile tariffs announced recently. And while it may appease some shareholders, the newsprint tariff has had far-reaching negative consequences. The fact is, many U.S.-based paper mills are Canadian-owned entities, including a mill right here in Grenada. Resolute Forest Products in Grenada employs more than 160 workers and supports an additional 500 jobs in the community, representing an economic impact of about $100 million. While those mills are hit by the tariffs, the mill in Washington simply can’t make enough newsprint to meet the nation’s demand.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Probe into Massachusetts Inferno Ongoing a Year Later

By Diana Nunez
Firehouse.com
July 22, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Monday, July 23 will mark one year since the massive 10-alarm fire destroyed an apartment complex in downtown Waltham. Since then, reconstruction has begun and the new complex is set to be completed by the end of this year. The arsonist who started the fire has not been found. …As in any fire investigation, the officials said they used video and interviews to eliminate possibilities before landing arson. They said it was proof of multiple fire sources that ultimately gave them the largest clue. …Since reconstruction began, concerns have been voiced by Waltham residents about whether or not the wood-frame is the safest way to build. …”Wood is huge concern during the construction phase for the fire service,” said MacInnis. However, he said once the construction is completed, the building will be as safe as any.

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Unusual Milwaukee office building to use timber, not concrete or steel, for frame

By Tom Daykin
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
July 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

This isn’t your great-great-grandfather’s office building — even though it will be constructed with a frame fashioned mainly from wood, instead of concrete and steel. The unusual seven-story building planned for downtown Milwaukee’s riverfront would feature laminated timber: layers of wood pressed together to create columns, beams and other building frame components.  It’s a new twist on old building materials that were largely abandoned after the first steel frame skyscrapers began rising in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “It kind of went away for 100 years. Now it’s coming back,” said Milwaukee architect Jason Korb. The wood frame office building, planned for the site of the demolished former Renaissance Book Shop, would be the first of its kind in Milwaukee — and among a relative handful of such buildings throughout the U.S.

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Forestry

Kevin Kriese becomes chair of the Forest Practices Board

By Michael Grace-Dacosta
The Interior News
July 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kevin Kriese

Smithers resident Kevin Kriese was appointed chair of the Forest Practices Board last month. “It’s kind of a dream job. I’m quite excited,” said Kriese. “The chair of the Forest Practice Board is a very unique position. An opportunity to lead an independent organization working on sustainable forest management doesn’t come up very often.” The board is an independent agency that advocates for sustainable forest and range practices in British Columbia. Kriese will be leaving his current position as assistant deputy minister for the north area with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to join the board. “The board serves a critical role in overseeing forest and range practices in British Columbia,” said Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson in a press release.

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West Fraser continues burned timber salvage in the Cariboo Chilcotin

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
July 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Harvesting of timber from areas impacted by the 2017 wildfires continues to be a main focus for West Fraser in Williams Lake. Since May 1, 98,000 cubic metres of burnt timber, mainly Douglas-fir, or 1,687 trucks loads have been delivered from Bald Mountain near Riske Creek and Slater Mountain just north of Williams Lake, behind West Fraser Sawmill. “Our cutting permits lent themselves to logging in May and early June, which is normally too wet, but the flip side of that is you get into fire season, so we are wrapping things up now as the extreme fire hazard starts coming into those areas out west and here,” said Mark Runge, woods manager for West Fraser in Williams Lake. So far the quality of the burned wood has been OK.

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Government increases protection of rare ecosystem

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
July 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An additional 980.5 hectares of the Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem has been protected in 19 land parcels near the communities of Bowser, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay and Cedar on Vancouver Island, and on Galiano and Salt Spring islands. The Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem is ranked both globally and provincially as a high priority for preservation, and is home to many endangered plant communities. Of the global range of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems, 80% occur in the southern Strait of Georgia area. Of the 256,800 hectares in British Columbia, only 9%, or 23,500 hectares, is provincially owned. The Province consulted with 19 First Nations regarding the proposal to protect additional lands. In addition, the proposal was advertised for public review and comment from November 2017 to January 2018. Over 1,078 submissions were received, with 98% supportive of the proposal.

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More Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Douglas-fir ecosystem protected from logging

Parksville Qualicum Beach News
July 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is protecting more Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem land from logging near Bowser, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay and elsewhere on the coast. That makes the total of Costal Douglas-fir ecosystem now protected from logging to more than 11,000 hectares, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural resource Operations and Rural Development made Friday, July 20. In the announcement, the ministry explains that, “The Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem is ranked both globally and provincially as a high priority for preservation, and is home to many endangered plant communities. “Of the global range of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems, 80 per cent occur in the southern Strait of Georgia area,” reads the announcement. Of the ecosystem found in B.C., nine per cent is provincially owned. 

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Protected areas – how much is enough?

By Jim Hilton, professional agrologist and forester
Williams Lake Tribune
July 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…A quick review of a provincial government publication shows where this province is at. B.C. has a total of 95 million hectares, of which 57 million is forested lands. Public forests account for 95 per cent, while private is 5 per cent. Public forest land, which is subject to forest management agreements, i.e. timber harvesting land base (THLB), consist of 22 million hectares (23 per cent). Parks and protected areas along with special management zones make up approximately 29 per cent. The majority of forest land excluded from harvesting is usually lower productive forest land, but still provides biodiversity values and other exclusions like old-growth management, and some special reserves are often highly productive timber areas as well. 

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Industry and conservationists square off over B.C.’s Howe Sound

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
July 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In some parts of the world, the island-studded fiord called Howe Sound would have been locked up as a national park long ago, given its astounding natural beauty on the edge of a metropolis of more than 2.5-million people. It’s a special place where steep-sided mountains plunge almost 300 metres into glacier-fed waters that are home to a wide range of marine life, including salmon, herring, whales, dolphins, porpoises, and fragile glass-sponge reefs. But full protection is not what happened to Howe Sound. …Over the decades, industry continued to come and go in the sound, including the Western Forest Products Woodfibre pulp mill, closed in 2006, on the same site where B.C. Sulphite Fibre Company began operations in 1912. The place remains a contamination nightmare.

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Post Wildfire 102 – Restoring the Forest

By Lisa Marak and Sara Grady
Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations
July 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nature’s balancing act is challenging enough without interference. How we have managed our forests through the decades, our success at fire suppression and control and global warming have disrupted the balance of our ecosystems and culminated in last year’s worst wildfireseason for BC. …For woodlot licencees impacted by the wildfires, restoring the forest starts with salvaging what burned wood they can before it can no longer be made into lumber. …Replanting with the same species that were destroyed might not be the best long-term option given possible changes in growing conditions, improvements in seed stock and changing climates. BC’s Chief Forester recently introduced Climate Based Seed Transfer (CBST) as an option to meet silviculture obligations in a changing climate. …This is one of the ministry’s first climate change adaptation policies intended to increase the ability of BC’s forests and ecosystems to adapt and respond to the impacts of climate change.

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Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

By Carli Berry
BC Local News
July 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A UBC wildfire expert says Okanagan wildfires have the potential to become massive firestorms because of the amount of dry fuels available. David Andison, with the Department of Forest Management Resources at UBC, said the recent hot weather and winds dry out fuels quickly, and winds bend flames towards other flammable fuel. When wildfires become large enough, usually thousands of hectares in size, they use so much energy they are able to affect the surrounding area and weather patterns, he said. “Because they are consuming so much energy they need oxygen and so what they do is suck oxygen in. I’ve got pictures of fires where on the edge the trees are actually bending over at a 45-degree angle towards the fire and it’s the oxygen being sucked in because it’s consuming so much at such a rapid pace,” Andison said.

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Forestry manager isn’t surprised wildfire burns in same area as 2003 firestorm

By Carli Berry
Pentiction Western News
July 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On the 15th anniversary year of the firestorm that destroyed more than 240 Kelowna homes, a forestry manager for Gorman Brothers Lumber says he isn’t surprised a new fire sparked close to where the old one began in Okanagan Mountain Park. Kerry Rouck, forestry manager for the company, said the hot temperatures and dry climate make good conditions for wildfires. “We’re in a fire-prone ecosystem. Our ecosystems require fire to regenerate and stay healthy and we’ve excluded them for so many years and now we have buildups of fuel that wouldn’t otherwise exist,” he said. At the time of the 2003 firestorm, Gorman Brothers had special permission to clear out dead trees affected by the Douglas fir pine beetle infestation east of the park. Although the number of dead pine beetle trees found tapered off in 2012, with mature forests there’s an elevated fire risk, Rouck said. 

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Our roots in logging, our future in forestry

By Margaret Scott
Parry Sound North Star
July 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

As we welcome summer and the beauty of our district’s forests in full display following Canada’s 150th year, it seems an appropriate time to look back at the history of logging in the Parry Sound area and how forestry has changed throughout.  “We got a considerably late start,” explains John Macfie, a local historian and retired employee of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. … Before the 20th century, hardwoods could not be transported as they typically did not float. By the turn of the century, however, railways were penetrating the Parry Sound District. … This second wave of logging started around 1910 and by 1950, the best hardwoods had been cleared out. …As Canada has evolved and changed, so, too, has the management of forests and harvesting trees. Managing forests for wildlife, quality, social values, and long-term sustainability will help to ensure that future generations will still enjoy our forests in another 150 years.

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Responsible Sourcing of Forest Products: The roles for gov’t and certification programs

By Ed Pepke
Dovetail Partners
July 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, International

Ed Pepke

In recent decades there have been significant efforts to develop responsible sourcing and greater transparency within supply chains, including work within the forest sector.  An objective has been to increase accountability in the marketplace and reduce the occurrence of illegal sourcing, unsustainable production, child labor, pollution, deforestation, and other negative practices.  In the 1990s, many of the emerging efforts were concentrated within the voluntary, non-governmental and non-regulatory sector.  These efforts included the development of third-party certification systems and private sector on-product labeling initiatives.  In more recent years, the role of government in regulating and enforcing responsible sourcing has grown. …This report addresses the evolution of responsible sourcing within the forest sector and the intersection between voluntary, non-governmental initiatives such as third-party certification and the regulatory actions of governments.  

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How Investigators Determine Wildfire Cause

By Tony Schick
Oregon Public Broadcasting
July 21, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Like many investigations, wildland fire investigators begin by talking to witnesses and gathering information from first responders on the likely location and cause of the fire. Then, they attempt to verify or disprove that information with physical evidence. [It] certification as a wildland fire investigator. The National Wildfire  Coordinating Group offers a 337-page handbook on how to conduct such investigations. …Assuming they have ruled out lightning, they search the nearby area for signs of accidental causes, like power lines. …They are looking for anything that seems like it doesn’t belong, according to Paul Steensland, a fire investigation consultant who spent decades as an investigator for the Forest Service. …Examples of what they find are scraps of metal that might have sparked a fire, or matches and cigarettes or other signs of incendiary devices.

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Fires show more forest management needed

By David Scott, Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association
The Mail Tribune
July 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters deserve praise for their quick response to the 38,000-acre Klamathon Fire, especially as it burned across the state line into the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The fire demonstrates the importance of aggressive fire suppression tactics and inter-agency coordination. It also highlights the urgent need for active forest management to influence the size and severity of future fires. …While aggressive wildfire suppression is critical to protecting our communities, it is better to reduce the risks of severe fires before they start. …Unfortunately, the federal government has only made it more difficult to manage the forests it owns. …It is time to reverse course and halt the trend of locking up federal lands from active forest management. …Larger and severe fires in Southern Oregon show us what happens when our forests are not managed.

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Jeffrey D Allred, KSL Utah’s 2018 wildfire season among the worst as estimated firefighting bill tops $47 million

By Alec Williams
KSL.com
July 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALT LAKE CITY — More than $47 million have been spent on Utah’s wildfires so far this year, according to estimates from firefighting agencies, and 2018 is projected to be among the state’s most devastating in terms of acres burned. According to estimates provided by the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, wildfires have burned more than 115,500 acres. Firefighting aircraft, engines, crews, staff, water, fuel and supplies all leave a hefty bill, and most of the costs are divided among the relevant agencies — federal, state or county. “Fire costs change by the minute,” said Wade Muehlhof, regional spokesman for the Forest Service. “Every time a plane takes off, every time a crew is called upon a fire.”

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Lincoln Brower, expert and advocate for iconic monarch butterfly, dies at 86

Associated Press in the Los Angeles Times
July 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Lincoln Brower

Lincoln Brower, who was considered one of the foremost experts on the iconic monarch butterfly and a scientist who advocated for protection for the declining species, has died. He was 86. …Brower studied the orange-and-black-winged insect for more than six decades. It is famous for its epic migration each year. …Brower spent a lot of time in Mexico, where massive clusters of monarchs hang like Spanish moss in fir forests. …Brower also charted the butterflies’ stark decline. Its overall population has fallen by about 80% over the last two decades, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation group. …“If the monarch butterfly migration is to survive, it will be in large part thanks to Dr. Lincoln Brower’s dedication and work during the past half century,” Homero Aridjis, a former Mexican diplomat and environmentalist, said in a statement.

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Mechanized logging program training the next logging workforce

By Anthony Brino
The County
July 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

CHAPMAN, Maine — This July, a group of students are working at a woodlot in Chapman learning how to run a mechanized logging operation through a certificate program with Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle.  Now in its second year, the 12 week mechanized logging program was developed by NMCC, Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor, Washington County Community College in Calais and the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, as a way to help train the next generation of loggers using today’s advanced logging equipment. “The industry is looking for people. There’s no two ways about it,” said lead instructor Don Burr, a logger with 25 years experience who’s also run safety and mapping programs. “Four or five contractors are contacting me regularly saying we want people.”

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Forest Fires

Ping-pong balls of fire dropped to merge two B.C. wildfires

The Cowichan Valley Citizen
July 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The giant plume of smoke in the sky from Mount Eneas is a signal of success for BC Wildfire Service. The controlled burn operations to join the Mount Eneas wildfire and Munro Creek Forestry Service Road wildfire is going according to schedule. “We are controlling the fire, rather than leaving it to go on its own,” Shelley Zupp, information officer for BC Wildfire Service said. To create the burn ping-pong sized balls, filled with chemicals were dropped to merge the two fires. According to BC Wildfire Service there is no way the fire can get out of control because there is a flame retardant line working as a barrier.

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Forest fire near Manitoba border grows to more than 9,000 hectares

By Doug Diaczuk
The Thunder Bay News Watch
July 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

KENORA, Ont. – Fire crews with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry continue to battle numerous forest fires throughout the region, including a substantial fire north of Wabaseemoong First Nation that has grown to more than 9,000 hectares. There are 77 active forest fires in the region as of Saturday evening. Of the fires, 62 are under observation, being held, or under control. The fire known as Kenora 71, located 26 kilometres north of Wabaseemoong First Nation near the Manitoba border was discovered on July 15. Since its discovery, it has grown substantially, reaching 3,000 hectares in just three days and it has now grown to 9,174 hectares.

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Fire crews continue battling dozens of fires in northeastern Ontario

By Olivia Bowden
Canadian Press in CTV News
July 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

KILLARNEY, Ont. — Crews from across the country continued to cut down dozens of raging fires in northeastern Ontario on Sunday, after evacuation orders left some property owners uncertain of whether their homes and businesses would survive the flames. Provincial police issued a statement Sunday saying the largest fire in the area — known as “Parry Sound 33” — had grown to more than 5,000 hectares in size and was “not yet under control.” The blaze prompted mandatory evacuation orders for 50 homes that are only accessible by boat on Saturday, several days after it was discovered.

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With 28 fires out of control, Ontario gets help from U.S., Mexico, other provinces

By Jeff Walters
CBC News
July 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Crews fighting forest fires in northern Ontario are receiving help from other provinces, the U.S. and Mexico as they try to contain a cluster of blazes after days of hot and humid weather. Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said in a release that, as of Sunday afternoon, 63 forest fires were burning in the northern and northeastern parts of the province, with 28 of them out of control. The ministry said 35 fires are either being held or being observed. Isabelle Chenard, a fire information officer for the ministry, says 775 fires have consumed 181,000 hectares of the province this year. That number has grown more than 75 per cent since this time last year, she explained. Since Canada Day, Chenard says, a swath of fires have been started by lightning strikes.

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Lightning and low humidity predicted for Southwest Oregon and Northern California

By Bill Cabbert
Wildfire Today
July 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

While Southwest Oregon is still dealing with the lightning-caused fires that started a week ago, forecasters expect another round of lightning starting Sunday afternoon. The locations affected will be Southwest Oregon and Northern California, including National Forests in the area: Siskiyou, Rogue River, Shasta-Trinity, Fremont-Winema, and Klamath. The best chance for lightning is Sunday, but it could linger through Tuesday. Adding to the lightning threat is low relative humidity which is expected to reach into the teens in most locations Sunday. And piling on to the wildfire danger is the current condition of the fuels.

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2 more firefighters hurt battling blaze near Yosemite

Associated Press in the Washington Post
July 21, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

MARIPOSA, Calif. — A California forest fire just west of Yosemite National Park was steadily growing Saturday after two more firefighters were injured while battling the flames in blazing summer heat to protect mountain communities in the Sierra Nevada. The Ferguson fire was churning northward within Sierra National Forest, sending up smoke that obscured valley views in the park. …Crews were getting a break from light winds but were contending with rugged terrain and sweltering temperatures, said Deputy Chief Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “The vegetation is so dry out there, and it’s so hot. This fire will continue to grow,” he said. …Two firefighters, who were hospitalized Friday after suffering back injuries, have since been released and were expected to fully recover, said fire spokesman Rich Eagan.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Foresty industry told to grow, instead of cut trees for profit

By Eric Frykberg
Radio New Zealand
July 23, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The forestry industry has been told to rely on growing trees to capture carbon dioxide, rather than cutting them for timber, to earn money from forests on steep hillsides. But the industry says it’s uneconomic, as profits will drop. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has made the recommendation following controversy over the dangers of harvesting timber on steep slopes. …WorkSafe said trees like radiata pine may have to be banned from steep hillsides, as cutting them down could be dangerous for workers. Instead, hillsides could be left bare after harvesting. …Forest Owners Association president Peter Weir wrote to MPI asking for an exemption to deforestation penalties when trees were not replanted on steep slopes. …Instead, MPI recommended planting different species of trees and using carbon sequestration – a process involving capturing and storing carbon – for commercial benefit.

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Leitrim trees: Anger at Irish climate change scheme

By Shane Harrison
BBC News
July 21, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

It’s known as lovely Leitrim – the county is well known for its picturesque lakes, hills and wooded areas. But planting large numbers of new trees is proving very controversial. The Republic of Ireland is hoping to increase its wooded area from less than 11% at the moment to 18% by 2046, as a climate change measure. The soil may be relatively poor but Leitrim is already close to meeting that target. Land prices are rising as big financial institutions – what some locals call “vulture funds” – use grant aid incentives to make a profit. Jim McCaffrey’s small farm will soon be surrounded by forestry. “To me it’s akin to ethnic cleansing, only you don’t use a bomb or a bullet,” he said. “You just push millions of taxpayers’ money at it and the  outsiders will come – the foreign investors, banks and pension funds. 

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