Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 1, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Add drought and river flow warnings to news of more fires and evacuations

The Tree Frog Forestry News
August 1, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

High temperatures and drought conditions are reducing river flow on the BC Coast and increasing river temperatures throughout Europe — creating challenges for fish, forests and foresters. In related news: new fires are threatening more homes in California; evacuation orders have been expanded in Ontario, and lighting is the main driver of new fires in BC.

In other news: Canfor Pulp reports record earnings; Resolute and Sonocco CEOs join AF&PA’s Board; Georgia Pacific plans to open a new lumber mill in Albany NY; APA clears the air on formaldehyde regulations; and the USFS Chief says CLT can make thinning a profitable endeavour. 

Finally, Ontario’s premier says reducing the number of city councillors in Toronto will save trees; while one of his constituents demonstrates how not to transport lumber in your car.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor 

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Froggy Foibles

Mississauga driver pulled over with wood beams sticking out windows

CBC News
July 31, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

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Business & Politics

Canfor Pulp Products’ 2Q sales soared 41% to $396 million

Lesprom Network
July 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Pulp Products 2Q 2018 net income was $63 million, or $0.97 per share. Record-high 2Q 2018 sales amounted to $396 million, reflecting strong shipments and sales realizations. Canfor Pulp reported operating income of $85.4 million for the 2Q 2018, an increase of $0.3 million from the $85.1 million reported for the 1Q 2018 reflecting favourable Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft pulp unit sales realizations, increased shipments following major weather-related transportation disruptions experienced in the 1Q 2018 and to a lesser extent, improved NBSK pulp mill productivity. CEO, Don Kayne said, “Our solid operating performance in the 2Q enabled us to capitalize on these favourable market fundamentals, and set new record-high operating earnings”.

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Slashing city council to save trees: Ford explains his plan for Toronto

By Marieke Walsh
iPolitics.ca
July 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO — By slashing the number of councillors at Toronto’s city hall Premier Doug Ford says he is saving trees and paving the way for more police officers. …Having not mentioned cutting municipal councillors once in the spring election campaign, Ford announced on Friday that his government would reduce the number of wards in Toronto from 47 to 25. …In response to a question from Horwath in which she accused Ford of “trying to control Toronto city hall from the premier’s office,” Ford said the $25 million in savings the changes will realise over four years will be a boon for the environment. “I can assure you that when we have 25 councillors, it’s going to be 500,000 less sheets of paper,” he said. “I’m protecting the environment. I’m protecting trees.

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American Forest & Paper Association elects two new board of director members

American Recycler
August 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced the election of Resolute Forest Products president and chief executive officer Yves Laflamme and Sonoco Products Company president and chief executive officer Robert Tiede to serve on its board of directors.  AF&PA president and chief executive officer Donna Harman issued the following statement, “Yves Laflamme and Robert Tiede bring deep industry experience and valuable leadership to the table as we work to advance the paper and wood products industry’s top advocacy priorities.” …Laflamme fills the seat left by the retirement of Resolute president and chief executive officer Richard Garneau and Tiede fills the seat left by the retirement of Sonoco president and chief executive officer M. Jack Sanders.

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Albany to host new lumber plant

By Dave Miller and Grason Passmore
WTVM TV
July 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ALBANY NY — Georgia-Pacific will soon begin work on a new facility to process lumber for the American market, in the Albany-Dougherty Industrial Park. The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission announced Tuesday that the new plant would cost about $150 million, and would cover 320,000 square feet. …The company is partnering with Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission and the State of Georgia to create the lumber production facility at the Albany-Dougherty Industrial Park. …”We looked in Southwest Georgia, and Albany and the site we finally landed on had everything we wanted,” said Rick Kimble, the Spokesperson for Georgia-Pacific. …It would require about 130 employees and would have an annual payroll of about $5 million.

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Trade war felt locally

By June Hubbard
The Wilkes Journal-Patriot
July 31, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NORTH CAROLINA — Effects of a trade war sparked by the Trump administration’s recent tariffs on various imported materials and products continue to unfold. …According to media reports, tariffs on imported Canadian lumber and wood products boosted American timber and lumber industries. …”The biggest impact so far has been imposed on other agricultural commodities,” said Clayton Altizer, a utilization forester with the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. “Forest products have yet to appear on any list of banned products. However, it’s fair to say there is a lot of apprehension within the industry right now. China is North Carolina’s biggest trade partner (for the forest products industry) by a large margin. And U.S.-China trade relations are certainly contentious right now.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Clear the Air: What You Need to Know About the New Formaldehyde Emissions Regulation

APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Building Products Digest
July 31, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

New national formaldehyde emissions regulations took effect June 1, prompting questions about chemical allowances in certain building materials. These U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations apply to composite wood products in the entire United States and are based on the California Air Resources Board requirements for similar products. [Example] questions about the EPA’s regulation on wood-based products from Steve Zylkowski, director of Quality Services for APA include:

  • Let’s clear the air on formaldehyde—what exactly is it?
  • The regulation specifies composite wood products. What products are defined as composite wood products?
  • What wood products are exempt from the regulation, and why?
  • How do dealers and distributors identify exempted structural engineered wood products?
  • What should dealers and distributors look for on the regulated products, and when do these regulations take effect?

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FSC Bans DuChateau from Certification; DuChateau Responds

The Floor Daily
July 31, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Oakland, CA –The Forest Stewardship Council and its accreditation body have announced that wood flooring importer DuChateau will be banned from FSC certification indefinitely. After an extensive investigation triggered by a Sierra Club complaint, ASI announced last spring that DuChateau had knowingly sold large volumes of flooring as “FSC 100%” that was not in fact certified. As a result, FSC suspended DuChateau’s trademark license agreement, resulting in a year-long suspension of their Chain of Custody certificate. …DuChâteau’s president Benjamin Buzali (said)… “Sustainability has been, and remains, a core value of DuChâteau. As unfortunate as this decision was, we view this as an opportunity to review and strengthen our own internal compliance and environmental procedures.”

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Cross-laminated timber as forest-management strategy

By TJ Martinell
The Lens News
July 31, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The state legislature earlier this year called on the Washington State Building Code Council to adopt rules for cross-laminated timber use when building residential and commercial buildings. The move represents ongoing efforts to bring CLT into mainstream use for residential and commercial construction, which would create commercial value for the small-diameter trees that are contributing to poor forestland health in Washington state. For state and federal officials, as well as private stakeholders, that change could hasten restoration work by making tree thinning a profitable endeavor rather than a costly project requiring government funding. The potential CLT offer was articulated by U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen… “We can use new opportunities for forest product delivery to help us to improve forest conditions, while also creating jobs and sustaining rural communities.”

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Forestry

Land recovery one year after Elephant Hill and Gustafsen wildfires

By Beth Audet
100 Mile House Free Press
July 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Last summer in the South Cariboo was defined by its wildfires. The Elephant Hill wildfire burned 191,865 hectares of land, the Gustafsen wildfire burned 5,700 hectares and additional fires-of-note burned in the Canim and Hawkins Lake area. Pat Byrne is the district manager for the 100 Mile House Natural Resource District of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development. …“There are parts of the area where it’s going to look like a normal forest next year and parts of the area where it’s going to look like a plantation for 15 years.” The land is already starting to recover and plant communities are re-establishing themselves, according to Byrne, but it will be a long process.

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Hunters encouraged to help with moose

By Chris Gareau
BC Local News
August 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the Province indicating moose populations are decreasing, hunting season for bull moose in the Bulkley Valley area is down to three days. …The Province is spending a lot of money — $14 million over the next three years — on developing a new wildlife strategy. Having a somewhat accurate count of animals would be needed to make an effective strategy. This is where the Bulkley Valley Rod and Gun Club (BVRG) wants to help. …The BVRG is starting a project to collect moose hunter harvest information in the Bulkley-Lakes district moose population unit. …Local Stikine MLA and the Minister in charge of the hunting regulations, Doug Donaldson, is happy with the efforts from the BVRG around habitat. “I’m very happy that they’re pro-actively gathering the data on harvest and also taking action on habitat restoration, which is really the key to sustaining populations,” said Donaldson.

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Drought warning issued for Island, flow of rivers is low

By Lindsay Kines
The Times Colonist
July 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province has issued a level-three drought warning for Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and the Gulf Islands following weeks of hot, dry weather. A number of fish-bearing rivers and streams on the Island — including the Koksilah, Chemainus, San Juan and Salmon Rivers — are approaching critically low levels. “We’re just starting to see the beginning of potentially serious consequences,” said Valerie Cameron, a water manager with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. …If voluntary conservation measures fail, provincial officials have powers under the Water Sustainability Act to regulate water use, possibly by suspending water licences or short-term water approvals.

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A piece of Alaskan paradise is at risk. Here’s why we must save it

By Kim Heacox
The Guardian
July 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Over the years, I’ve walked many visitors into the Tongass national forest in Alaska, and watched the city tinsel drop from their eyes. …I live here, in this land made of water, where green is not just a color, it’s a texture. …Where we pick berries and hunt deer, and remember the slaughter, back in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, when US taxpayers heavily subsidized large-scale clearcut logging. …This massacre might now return, as the secretary of agriculture, Sonny Perdue, wants to put Alaska’s Tongass national forest back to work as a “healthy” forest. …Don’t be fooled. In short, Perdue and Murkowski want to exempt Alaska from the 2001 USFS “roadless rule” that prohibits road building on 44.8m acres in 37 states.

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After Several Arrests, Logging Protest Planned for Thursday

By Thadeus Greenson
North Coast Journal
July 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US West

A group of environmental activists is planning a protest Thursday in front of the Humboldt Redwood Co.’s Scotia office with the hopes of preventing planned logging activities in the Mattole River watershed. …The protesters, who erected a logging road blockade, say they are working to protect about 1,100 acres of what they call pristine forest… Humboldt Redwood Co. Director of Forest Policy John Andersen said … the company felt a need to intervene after learning recently that one of them suffered a bad burn to her leg… Once at the protest site, Andersen said company employees saw a fire ring “immediately adjacent to some tall, dead grass,” raising a host of concerns. “…we certainly didn’t want to see the Mattole go up on flames,” he said. “So we felt the need to get them removed so we hired a private security firm to do that.”

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Documentary highlights lives of Taiwan forest rangers

Xinhua
July 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

TAIPEI — A recently released Taiwan documentary hopes to draw public awareness to the lives of forest rangers on the island. “Taiwan Forest Guard,” directed by Lien Chien-hung, premiered in Taipei Tuesday, which is also World Ranger Day. The film chronicles the lives of four forest rangers working in the mountains of Taiwan. “Working in the forests can be dangerous,” said Sun Chia-hsiang, one of the rangers. “There are typhoons, earthquakes, mudslides, wild animals, forest fires and illegal logging activities.” …Director Lien Chien-hung said that the most impressive part of the filming process was when the entire crew spent five days living in the mountains with the forest rangers. …Chien hopes the documentary can help draw more attention to the lives of forest rangers. “Their salary is quite low, but their jobs are very hard,” Chien said. “I hope that the public will get to know them better.”

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Europe’s heat wave hits record highs hurting crops, animals and prompting wildfires

Associated Press in CBC News
July 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The heat wave gripping large stretches of Europe has already been blamed for deadly forest fires and crop failures. Now freshwater fish could be the next victims. Some regions in Germany sweltered as the temperature hit 39 C and …the country’s all-time record of 40.3 C could be topped Tuesday. Rivers like the Rhine and the Elbe have soaked up so much heat that fish are beginning to suffocate. …Firefighters are pumping fresh water into ponds and lakes to raise oxygen levels. …Scientists say the record heat seen in Europe but also North America and parts of Asia this year points to the influence of man-made climate change and could become more common in the future. Several of Germany’s nuclear power stations are reducing energy output because rivers used to cool the power plants are too warm. …Some are benefiting from the simmering heat. Beer brewers in Germany have seen sales rise by 7.92 million gallons in the first half of 2018…

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Timber industry bid to prove its green credentials falls flat

By Adam Carey
The Age Australia
August 1, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Hardware chain Bunnings has put VicForests on notice that it must reduce its impact on Victoria’s native forests or risk losing its custom, after the state-owned forestry company failed in its bid to achieve green certification.  VicForests …is under pressure from green groups who want to see an end to large-scale logging in old-growth forests. It is also under rising pressure from several smaller timber mills across the state which say they have been starved of high-grade hardwood since the Andrews government bought out the state’s biggest native timber mill, in Heyfield, last year for $62 million. But a move by VicForests to demonstrate its green credentials and satisfy Bunnings, perhaps its highest-profile customer, has backfired. VicForests announced late last year that it was seeking Forest Stewardship Council certification… But auditors for the council have knocked back VicForests’ bid to obtain “controlled wood certification”, the lowest level of green endorsement on offer.

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Round log exports to stop by 2020

The National
July 31, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Peter O’Neill

PAPUA NEW GUINEA — Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says there will be a complete ban on round log exports by year 2020 so that we keep the jobs in our country. In a statement to parliament last week, he said: “We will not be issuing timber permits for round log exports by 2020. …“We want to get the timber companies to go into downstream processing in our country and the fixed product can be exported overseas. “That is well in line and there is a good understanding in the industry and Government about how we develop our forestry industry.” …We are making headways in terms of our negotiations with the resource companies.

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Forest Fires

Evac alert for 481 homes

By Chelea Powrie
Castanet
July 31, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has issued a precautionary evacuation alert for 481 properties in Cawston and Keremeos due to a dramatic increase in activity at the Snowy Mountain wildfire. Winds gusting up to 50 km/hr has pushed the fire to grow considerably on its north and east flanks, towards Keremeos and Cawston. Those high winds are kicking up embers and the possibility of spot fires several kilometres away from the main blaze, which was estimated at just over 3,000 hectares on Tuesday morning. “We don’t know how much it’s grown, just given that it’s still on the move, and definitely some smoky conditions out there,” said fire information officer Claire Allen. “We have helicopters bucketing ahead of the fire, to keep it from further encroaching towards the communities of Keremeos, Cawston and Highway 3.”

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B.C. Wildfires 2018: major lightning strike prompts several fires

CBC News
July 31, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A substantial number of lightning strikes across B.C. prompted a very active day in terms of new wildfire starts.  Ryan Turcot, a fire information officer with B.C. Wildfire Service, says 57 new wildfires started on Monday. “If you look back to last week, it was very hot and dry across the province. That really increased the fire danger risk for basically all of B.C.,” Turcot said.  Lightning was a major driver for the new fires; the Cariboo Fire Centre has had over 1,000 lightning strikes over the past 24 hours. …”We’ve been under this persistent ridge of high pressure for more than a week,” Erven said.  “What that does is it traps forest fire smoke near the surface of the earth, so you get the buildup of wildfire smoke concentrations throughout the Interior of B.C.” A shift in weather could bring some relief. 

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Evacuation orders expanded due to Parry Sound 33 forest fire

CBC News
July 31, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

More areas south of Sudbury, Ont., received evacuation notices today as firefighters continue to try to control a fast-growing forest fire known as Parry Sound 33. According to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the fire has now grown to 10,139 hectares. The evacuation orders affect several areas of the Municipality of Killarney… There’s no word on when the orders might be lifted. According to the Ministry of Natural Resource, as of late Monday evening, there were 41 fires burning across northeastern Ontario. Fifteen of those aren’t under control. Parry Sound 33 is of particular concern because it was less than a kilometre from the Pickerel River and just five kilometres from the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 69) on Monday night, prompting fears it could shut down the main highway. 

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A fire tornado hit California. Here’s how it happened

By Mark Kaufman
Mashable
August 1, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

At around 7:00 p.m. PT on July 26, a towering vortex of smoke and flame spun into the California sky. The tornado-like column rose over 16,000 feet into the air. It was a violent night for the Carr Fire, which after preying on profoundly dry forests, breached the Sacramento River and headed into the City of Redding, home to over 90,000 people. There’s no official name for the dramatic phenomena, though “firenado” has become popular. “I’m not particularly fond of the term,” Brenda Belongie, lead meteorologist of the U.S. Forest Service’s Predictive Services in Northern California, who works and lives in Redding, said in an interview. “But it works because of the strength of the fire whirl, the size — and the destructiveness is not unlike the power of a tornado.”

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Central Idaho wildfire enters Sawtooth National Forest

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
July 31, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, IDAHO — More firefighters are being called in to fight a fast-growing central Idaho wildfire that has been classified as one of the top priorities in the Great Basin region. The fire about 6 miles east of Bellevue on Tuesday nearly doubled in size to 54 square miles and started burning into the Sawtooth National Forest, a popular recreation area. Authorities say somebody shooting an exploding target on Sunday started the fire that’s burning in grass and timber. Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying that person. Fire spokeswoman Kim Osborn said about 150 firefighters are at the Sharps Fire with more arriving. She said they faced tough conditions Tuesday with temperatures in the 90s, low humidity, gusty winds and steep terrain.

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New fires erupt in Northern California, more homes threatened

Associated Press in CBC News
August 1, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Days after wildfires left a deadly swath of destruction in Northern California rural counties, new blazes exploded into life and threatened more homes in what has become an endless summer of flame in the Golden State. North of San Francisco, a fire threatened homes in an old ranching and farming area near Covelo. About 60 homes were ordered evacuated as the blaze erupted late Tuesday and winds whipped flames through brush, grass, oak, pine and fir near Mendocino National Forest, Mendocino County Undersheriff Matthew Kendall said. “We’re advised that the fire was threatening structures,” he said. The area was only about 64 kilometres north of where twin fires in Mendocino and Lake counties have burned an area nearly three times the size of San Francisco, destroyed seven homes and threatened 12,000 more. …”We’ve never really been out of the drought,” Scott McLean added. “We need several years of significant rainfall … to bring California back.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

P.E.I. Energy Corporation wants more wood chip biomass heating systems

By Josh Lewis
CBC News
July 31, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The P.E.I. Energy Corporation is seeking proposals for wood-chip heating systems that would be housed in approximately 25 government-owned buildings. The province currently buys heat from 29 privately-owned biomass systems. The request for proposals was published July 10 and will close on Sept. 14. It’s being done through the federal Low Carbon Economy Fund, said corporation director and CEO Kim Horrelt. “We’re looking at wood chips mostly, but for some of the smaller installations where wood chips may not be economical, there’s the possibility there could be some pellet furnaces,” said Horrelt. The RFP says the wood chips should be harvested in a sustainable way in P.E.I. “You don’t want to be trucking wood across [to P.E.I.] That doesn’t reduce your carbon footprint much if you’re trucking it in,” Horrelt said. “There’s a big economic benefit to these biomass systems in the wood industry,” Horrelt added.

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Every Time Trump Tweets About Climate, These Wackos Plant A Tree

By Jason Hopkins
The Daily Caller
August 1, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

One company is vowing to plant a tree for every climate change comment President Donald Trump ever makes. Treepex is a New York-based company that provides a platform for people who wish to sponsor the planting of a tree anywhere around the world, according to The Independent. …The tree-planting company is hoping to bank on anti-Trump sentiment by launching a new initiative: Treespond. Treepex will plant a tree every time Trump tweets or talks about climate change. Each comment will be rated on a scale, and the number of planted trees will depend on how “ignorant” the comment is. …“As soon as the quote is ‘Treesponded’, in partnership with American Forestry Association, certain amount of trees are planted across the national forests of California recently devastated by wildfire,” it continues. 

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‘Undeniable link to climate change’ in California’s Carr fire, expert says

By Stephanie Ebbs
ABC News
July 31, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

…Rising temperatures linked to climate change are making the fires larger, more dangerous and more expensive to fight, experts have said. …California Gov. Jerry Brown said the severe fires were the “new normal” for the state and that years of drought and rising temperatures from climate change contributed to the worsening fire seasons. Before the Carr Fire broke out near Sacramento, the area was facing its hottest July on record — as much as 10 degrees higher than normal. …While rising temperatures may not spark a wildfire, the heat often make fires more likely and more severe. …Multiple studies have found a connection between rising temperatures and the severity of wildfires, but other research suggests other factors also are at play. …The researchers found that in some cases the way people manage or develop land in a specific area can counteract increased risks associated with rising temperatures or drought.

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