Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 23, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Change in the weather coming but things may get worse before they get better

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

A change in the weather is coming but things may get worse in some regions before they get better. Here are the key wildfire headlines:

  • Change in weather could blow wildfire smoke out of BC
  • More resources needed to make BC fireproof (First Nations Chief)
  • BC loggers lose at least $5M of equipment in raging wildfire ( Kootenays BC)
  • Ontario announces that out-of-province fire crews are no longer needed
  • Many native animals and birds thrive in burned forests, research shows (US West)

In Business news: lumber tariffs are driving up US housing prices; record prices mean record profits for lumber producers; America’s largest homebuilder continues to post impressive results; former BC premier Dan Miller to lead contractor sustainability review: and tree-nursery firm PRT expands to Michigan. Other topics of note include: BC’s celebri-tree (Doug); Nova Scotia’s radical forestry shift; Trump’s impact on public lands; and potential violence in California’s forests.

Finally, a German study says the longer growing season that comes with climate change means faster tree growth but less dense and weaker wood.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canadian firm to grow 8 million tree seedlings a year in Brighton recreation area

By Jennifer Timar
The Livingston Daily
August 23, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

North America’s largest producer of container-grown tree seedlings plans to grow about 8 million seedlings a year in the Brighton State Recreation Area.  A large commercial tree nursery with 22 greenhouses comprising about 7,000-square-feet, several outdoor raised beds and a building for production and office space will be constructed this year at 5995 Chilson Road at the corner of Bishop Lake Road in Hamburg Township in the recreation area.  Victoria, British Columbia-based PRT Growing Services Ltd signed a 20-year lease with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division for about 14 acres at the site. The lease includes an option to renew for up to another 20 years. …The company will pay the state $1.4 million in rent over 20 years… create about 50 seasonal jobs and a couple year-round jobs.

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Bull of the Day: DR Horton Inc.

By David Borun, Zacks
Nasdaq
August 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

DR Horton is America’s biggest homebuilder by volume and has held that position for the last 16 years. …Homebuilding stocks have been sluggish in 2018, as fears of increased costs – as a result of lumber tariffs – and higher interest rates have had investors concerned about both margin and demand for new homes. Neither problem has actually materialized however, and earnings are as strong as ever. In May of 2018, Lumber prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange reached all-time highs of $655/per 1000 board feet, due primarily to U.S. Tariffs on Canadian lumber imports. …Lumber prices have fallen precipitiously in the past two months and are currently at $460, just slightly above their multi-year average. …In the midst of what once appeared to be a perfect storm for homebuilders, DR Horton continued to post impressive results.

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The business of heat: B.C. resource sector struggles to beat the heat

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
August 23, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As B.C. summers bring longer and more frequent stretches of extreme weather, the province’s businesses grapple with the challenge of rising costs, threats to natural resources and changes in consumer spending patterns. …B.C.’s primary industries – pulp mills, agriculture, mining and natural gas – use large amounts of water and could be affected by restrictions on water use during droughts. …For some industries, such as pulp mills, there may be no alternative but to shut down temporarily when water levels become too low. …Water scarcity isn’t the only concern for primary industries in B.C. Forest fires also pose a significant threat to homeowners, business and, of course, the forestry sector. Last year’s fires destroyed 1.2 million hectares of timber, taking about one year’s worth of annual allowable cut. Even when fires aren’t actually burning, the mere threat of fire, due to hot dry weather, can shut down logging operations for weeks at a time.

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Peak Wood, high lumber prices equal record profits

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
August 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

North American forestry companies, including Canadians, are making record profits, despite American softwood lumber duties, thanks to high lumber prices in the U.S. Those record high lumber prices are partly due to American duties on Canadian softwood lumber – something that U.S. President Donald Trump has, without a hint of irony, recently complained about. According to Wood Resource Quarterly, many forestry companies in North America and Europe are reaping record profits. Between January 2017 and June 2018, average prices for lumber in the U.S. increased by 40%, Wood Resource Quarterly reports.  “Lumber prices in the U.S. have experienced a spectacular surge in 2017 and the first half of 2018. By the end of the (second quarter of 2018) the benchmark lumber price index reported by the market report Random Lengths reached its highest level in at least 30 years.” “We had record high prices in the second quarter, by a mile,” said Russ Taylor, managing director for Forest Economic Advisors Canada.

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Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Western Forest Products Inc. Continue to Work Together Pursuant to the Reconciliation Protocol Agreement

Huu ay hat First Nations and Western Forest Products
Global Newswire
August 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT ALBERNI — Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Western Forest Products announce that they are working together to explore potential alternative ownership structures in Huu-ay-aht’s traditional territories pursuant to the Reconciliation Protocol Agreement. This collaborative effort may also involve other First Nations with traditional territories in the Alberni Valley over the next several years.  …The shared vision of Huu-ay-aht and Western includes a framework for reconciliation and revitalization of the Alberni Valley forest sector. The framework includes increased participation of area First Nations through tenure ownership, employment and business opportunities, sustained domestic manufacturing, increased training and jobs, effective marketing and valued-added product innovation, and strong environmental stewardship.

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Facilitator named for logging contractor sustainability review

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
August 22, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dan Miller

Dan Miller, former premier and provincial cabinet minister, has been hired as the independent, third-party facilitator for the next stage of the logging contractor sustainability review. “As we move forward into the next round of facilitation, I’m pleased to have Mr. Miller on board,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “It’s in everyone’s interest to ensure that the relationships between logging contractors and forest licensees is strong and thriving, so that our forest sector will continue to be a major contributor to B.C.’s economy.” The logging contractor sustainability review, conducted by George Abbott and Circle Square Solutions, finished in May 2018. Its aim is to improve the overall competitiveness of both logging contractors and licensees. The report made 13 recommendations that include making better use of technology, improving communications, better information-sharing and ensuring best practices for setting contractors’ rates of pay and dispute resolution mechanisms.

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US tariffs on lumber imports are driving up housing prices

By Hendrik Sybrandy
CGTN America
August 21, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Warning signs are flashing for the U.S. housing market. Existing home sales and new housing starts have both leveled off in recent months. Mortgage rates are on their way up. Homes have become more expensive. And a U.S. tariff on Canadian lumber has only added to the cost. “They went up 21 percent, then another 21, then another 21, and we went on a record run of price increases in the lumber side of things,” said Dave Hoglund, Vice President of Purchasing for Builders, which provides building materials to contractors in six U.S. states. He said higher lumber costs, along with a lack of available land for new homes in places like Colorado and a shortage of construction labor have made homes significantly more expensive. …“We’re in sort of uncharted territory,” Brown remarked.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Mayoral race: Sudbury should be a leader in tall wood buildings, Crumplin says

Sudbury.com
August 22, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Bill Crumplin

…Bill Crumplin wants to talk wood. Specifically, the candidate for mayor says, if elected, he wants Greater Sudbury to be national leader in research and innovation into tall wood buildings. “…we need to get serious about transforming our local economy while being sensitive to the causes and impacts of climate change,” Crumplin said in a news release this week. “Over at the McEwen School of Architecture, they’ve used cross-laminated timber as a modern building material. It’s strong, fire-resistant and beautiful. …And it sequesters carbon.” …“As mayor, I would direct the city to finally prioritize the development of strong urban design guidelines, and promote the use of other tools to better achieve efficiency and environmental resiliency in our built environment. And it will be my priority to emphasize the use of cross-laminated timber in new public development.”

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Oregon first state to codify timber high-rises

By Kim Slowey
Construction Dive
August 22, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Building Codes Division this month issued a statement of alternate method (SAM) introducing three new types of construction for tall wood buildings. The ruling makes Oregon the first U.S. state to allow construction of wood buildings taller than six stories without special consideration, according to the American Wood Council. …As part of the SAM, the division said it wanted to drive home the point that the state building code “is not a barrier to innovation or any method, technique or material of construction that is supported by scientific findings.” The SAM is based on two years of development work by the International Code Council’s (ICC) Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings and is written to be consistent with the use of cross-laminated timber and structural composite lumber.

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Bringing the Indoors Out with Southern Cypress

By Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association
Building-Products
August 22, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

…design professionals and builders are relying on products, such as cypress, that offer good looks, durable performance, and versatility for indoor and outdoor use. Tripp Josey of Josey Lumber Co., Scotland Neck, N.C., says cypress is an ideal wood to use outside thanks to its inherent properties. “Cypress is a naturally durable wood,” Josey says. “…cypress doesn’t need to be pressure treated to withstand the elements, and it also repels insects like termites and carpenter bees that tend to feed on or nest in other wood.” …Rod Richardson of Associated Construction Group, Gonzales, La., relies on cypress to create cabinetry for outdoor kitchens…“There are many building materials available, but one has stood the test of time and that’s wood. It offers appearance, feel and even smell that you can’t recreate with man-made products. And when I show customers different cabinet materials—even different woods—they usually lean toward cypress.”

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Forestry

B.C. Indigenous leaders call for better wildfire support

By Wanyee Li
The Toronto Star
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER—B.C. Indigenous leaders are calling on federal and provincial governments to set up an emergency fund for Indigenous communities dealing with the aftermath of wildfires. The fund was one of several recommendations in a 2017 report authored by B.C. First Nations groups following that year’s record-breaking wildfire season.  The report urged “support for those evacuated or relocated and for recovery, restoration and/or rebuilding of lands, homes, infrastructure in First Nations communities,” as well as support for training, supplies and equipment for emergency responders. “We can’t continue being held in ‘no man’s land’ between the two levels of government while they try to decide who will contribute first and how much,” said Grand Chief Steward Philip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, in a statement. “This has created a frustrating situation for impacted communities.”

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More resources needed to make BC communities fireproof: BC Assembly of First Nations Chief

By Kyle Balzer
My Prince George Now
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Terry Teegee

BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) Regional Chief Terry Teegee is hoping future wildfire season can be avoided. On Tuesday morning, Teegee joined Premier John Horgan and other officials addressing the current wildfire situation out west, worrying blazes like Shovel Lake could become the new normal due to dry forests and no one picking up the pieces afterward. Teegee explains more than a decade ago, the BCAFN released their own reports on wildfire seasons in 2003 and 2005, outlining ideas on fire prevention, which included the mountain pine beetle outbreak and low fuels as a result. “I think there has been some movement on those in terms of developing Community Wildfire Protection Plans, but there needs to be more resources to actually implement those recommendations, making their communities more fireproof.”

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It’s not just the forests burning. Our economic system was designed to burn everything in its path

By Julia Pope is the former strategic communications director of Stand.earth and Leadnow
National Observer
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Something has changed this summer, in Canada, and throughout the world. Across social and traditional media, there’s a new face of summer emerging. …all you see are disturbing images of smoke, flames and family picnics held against a backdrop of grey skies full of falling ash. …[When mountain pine beetle struck] we responded to this ecological crisis by extracting the trees more aggressively than ever. “Waste-wood salvaging” became an excuse to let logging companies consume much of what was left of the forest. …Seeing these in person was devastating and shocking beyond words. …The extraction economy is an extinction economy, or maybe more accurately an extinction machine.

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Loggers lose at least $5M of equipment in raging wildfire

By Laura Keil
The Rocky Mountain Goat
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vern Mickelson

Vern Mickelson is no stranger to wildfires. The Valemount logger has seen fires over the years, but they didn’t prepare him for what he saw Friday night. He and the other contractors working in the Hugh Allen valley roughly 60 km south of Valemount headed there in pickups Friday night to retrieve their logging equipment. It had been hot and windy for two days and they planned to move their equipment further from the blaze. When they arrived at 8 pm Friday night, the valley was engulfed, fire spreading both East and West. But other contractors fared worse. …In total, five trailers, several pieces of heavy equipment, a couple of parts trailers, a fuel truck, a service truck and several fuel tanks were destroyed. …“$5 million for sure was lost.

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Meet Doug: B.C.’s biggest celebri-tree

By Marsha Lederman
The Globe and Mail
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

“Doug is just over there in that valley,” Harley Rustad explained over his shoulder, leading us on a sweaty hike up a dusty gravel road. Rustad rounded the corner and turned to his right, and there was Doug – still standing, looking healthy; tremendous, really. …Rustad is a writer; Doug is a tree, and the subject of his first book. …More specifically, Big Lonely Doug, as it has come to be known, is the second largest Douglas fir in Canada, 66 metres tall and estimated to be about 1,000 years old. …In 2015, Rustad, on staff at The Walrus as an editor, came across a photo of the tree – the only one left standing in a massive clear-cut outside Port Renfrew …“Somebody must have saved that tree,” he said. “Maybe I could find out who – and why.” …The result is Big Lonely Doug: The Story of One of Canada’s Last Great Trees. [A digital subscription to the Globe and Mail is required to access the full story]

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More firefighting resources

Wayne Martineau, Letter to the Editor
The Prince George Citizen
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mike Farnworth

…I would like to add some more feedback to the ridiculous inadequate response from the Forest Ministry of BC to resource communities like Fraser Lake, Burns Lake and Fort St. James. Listening to Public Safety Minister Mike Farnsworth on BCTV tonight was disheartening, the minister was way too late in supporting resource communities in northern B.C. With regards to Fraser Lake in particular, many West Fraser timber cut blocks that supply the Lejac mill in Fraser Lake are currently experiencing some type of fire event. …The disrespect and callous response to both major wildfires currently trying to encompass and consume Fraser Lake borders on being a reckless response from Victoria.

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Can Grits bear radical forestry shift?

Editorial Board
The Chronicle Herald
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

NOVA SCOTIA — Tuesday was a busy day in the newly renamed Department of Lands and Forestry, as the long-awaited review of the province’s forestry policies landed. It likely did not go over well in some offices of the department. …The most important of Lahey’s recommendations is that the province adopt what the report calls “ecological forestry.” This would emphasize the forests’ biodiversity instead of encouraging the growth of trees for the use of paper mills. …This would reduce clearcutting on Crown land, which both industry and environmentalists will regard as the crux of the report. …Bill Lahey came away convinced, on the weight of all the evidence, that there should be less clearcutting on Crown lands and we should pay more attention to the health of our forests. We hope the Liberals won’t spend the next year thinking about how to avoid doing what Lahey recommends.

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President Trump is sacrificing our public lands legacy

By Jim Lyons, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
The High Country News
August 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Our national legacy of a million square miles of publicly owned lands is what makes America unique, but under President Donald Trump that legacy is being sacrificed. …In just 18 months, in collaboration with congressional Republicans, Trump has launched a coordinated and calculated attack on the fundamental laws and policies that guide the sustainable, multiple-use management of these national assets. …The onslaught began soon after the 2016 elections, when Republicans used the Congressional Review Act to rescind sensible Obama-era planning rules for public-land management. …What’s more, the Republican members of the Montana and Oregon congressional delegation are advancing legislation to eliminate wilderness study areas in their states. And in Alaska, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is working with the Forest Service to eliminate roadless areas on the Tongass National Forest.

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Retardant could cause fish die-offs, weed growth

By Terry Knight
Record Bee
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recent wildfires have changed the character of Lake County for years to come. Along with thousands of acres of brush and trees burning there are other factors that concern local residents. …To save homes and other property, the California Division of Forestry and Fire (Cal Fire) dropped thousands of gallons of fire retardant across the county. …The fire retardant doesn’t actually extinguish a fire but stops or slows the growth. The red color in the retardant is so that firemen can see where the retardant was dropped. It has no other purpose. The retardant is made up ammonia, nitrates, nitrogen and other chemicals such as fertilizer. …The big concern is that when the rains finally return this winter much of the retardant will find its way into the streams and eventually into the lakes of Lake County. …[This] could mean an increased growth of weeds and algae.

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Does Violence Again Threaten California’s Northern Wildlands?

By James A. Swan, Ph.D., Co-Executive Producer of the “Wild Justice” TV series
Crime Report
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In California, air temperatures are triple digits and strong winds have fanned at least 14 serious fires… But there are other “hot spots” in heavily forested Mendocino County in northern California that aren’t getting nearly enough attention, due to state budget cuts. …The area, site of a months-long 1990 battle, dubbed “Redwood Summer,” between eco-activists and loggers, is heating up again. During that tense summer, the woods witnessed some strange sights: 1,500 activists dressed as owls, singing protest songs as they chained themselves to trees and heavy equipment. … Redwood Summer ended with an uneasy truce, but with some good results. Virtually all remaining redwoods are now protected and restoration efforts are planned or underway. But the truce effectively collapsed a year ago. …A repeat of the violence that marred the 1990 protest would be catastrophic … Rainbow Ridge is a beautiful area, but not telling the truth undermines all conservation work.

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Many native animals and birds thrive in burned forests, research shows

By Derek E. Lee Associate Research Professor of Biology, Pennsylvania State University
The Conversation
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is blaming this summer’s large-scale wildfires on environmentalists, who he contends oppose “active management” in forests. But the idea that wildfires should be suppressed by logging the forest is far too simplistic. Most scientists agree that large hot wildfires produce many benefits for North American forests. Notably, they create essential habitat for many native species. Fifteen years of research on Spotted Owls … directly contradicts the argument that logging is needed to protect wildlife from fires. Wildlife biologists, including me, have shown … that wildfires have little to no effect on Spotted Owls’ occupancy, reproduction or foraging, and even provide benefits to the owls. Nonetheless, despite this steadily accumulating evidence, the U.S. Forest Service advocates logging in old-growth forest reserves and Spotted Owl critical habitat in the name of protecting Spotted Owls from forest fires. 

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Forest Service announces new Pacific Northwest regional forester

By George Plaven
Capital Press
August 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Glenn Casamassa

The U.S. Forest Service has named a new regional forester for the Pacific Northwest covering Oregon and Washington. Glenn Casamassa, a longtime Forest Service employee and former supervisor of the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests and the Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado, will take over Sept. 17 at the Portland office. He succeeds Jim Pena, who retired July 3. Casamassa is a 30-year veteran of the Forest Service. As the regional forester, he will oversee 16 national forests, two national scenic areas, the Crooked River National Grassland in Oregon and two national volcanic monuments. …Casamassa earned his bachelor’s degree in forest ecology from Utah State University, and completed post-graduate work in logging system engineering at the Oregon State University College of Forestry. He began his career as a forestry technician, working as a seasonal firefighter on the Tonto National Forest in Arizona.

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Forest Fires

Another bad fire season

By The Editorial Board
Victoria Times Colonist
August 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The worst of the wildfire season in B.C. might be hundreds of kilometres from Victoria, but we can smell it, see it and feel it in our lungs. For the second summer in a row, hundreds of fires are burning throughout the province… Much of British Columbia’s matchless scenery can now be seen only through smoke that has made its air quality among the worst in the world. It is only luck that has kept southern Island forests from burning, as so many fires have been human-caused. …We have to look at how we fight fires, how we prevent fires, how we care for those with lung problems and how we design rural communities. We can’t just spray water on this year’s fire and hope that next year will be better. It won’t be, unless we stop warming the planet.

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Firestorm: 15 years later

By Wayne Moore
Castanet
August 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters are not supposed to cry. They’re strong, tough, and run into deadly situations while others run away. But, when the situation is so overwhelming, so devastating, it’s tough on everyone. It was that way on the evening on Aug. 22, 2003. Media from around the country gathered for an 11 p.m. news conference at Kelowna’s Enterprise Way firehall amid rumours numerous homes had been lost at the height of the Okanagan Mountain Park fire. “Tonight was probably the roughest night in Kelowna firefighting history,” then fire chief Gerry Zimmermann said in a teary, emotional statement. Years later, those emotions were still evident. …Some 15 years later, homes have been rebuilt and lives restored. …saplings have taken root as the forest continues the regeneration process. But, as was evidenced by the Goode’s Creek fire, which started in late July, there is still enough forest to move a fire along, although maybe not to the degree of 2003.

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Residents near Burns Lake dig in to protect homes

By Gordon Heokstra
Vancouver Sun
August 21, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some residents south of Burns Lake ordered evacuated because of aggressive wildfires continue to dig in to protect their homes and properties but may not be able to receive desperately needed fuel and supplies. On Monday, a fuel truck organized by the Cheslatta Carrier Nation was prevented from getting on a B.C.-government run ferry across Francois Lake… where several fires have burned hundreds of square kilometres of tinder-dry forest. “They don’t want supplies or fuel to go in — it encourages people to want to stay and fight to the end,” said south side resident Mike Robertson, a policy director for the Cheslatta Carrier Nation …The fuel for the residents is needed to run machinery, including bulldozers, to build fireguards. …The estimated 200 south siders — of a population of about 1,200 — who have stayed behind are not likely to leave. They are extremely independent and have experience fighting fires as ranchers and loggers, he said.

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On the road to the front lines of the climate crisis

By David Gordon Koch
Campbell River Mirror
August 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Dean Neville, an incident commander with the BC Wildfire Service… had just returned from a reconnaissance mission in a chopper. Zeballos is located deep within a narrow inlet, surrounded by bluffs, and those steep inclines were on fire. It’s located in the “fog zone,” a narrow strip of the outer Island that’s normally excluded from campfire bans. Neville told me that it’s unusual for wildfires to flare up in this region. …in Campbell River I met a trucker who hauls logs on the hillsides of the Zeballos area. He was worried about whether he’d have a job to go back to after the fires were out. It’s the kind of economic anxiety that’s becoming more common among people whose lives are affected by extreme weather and disasters like wildfires. Like the people who stand to lose their homes during increasingly intense wildfire seasons, they’re victims of climate chaos.

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Village wants province to shoulder wildfire prevention costs

By Rod Link
Terrace Standard
August 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the area battling some of the worst wildfires in decades, the Village of Burns Lake wants the provincial government to take more financial responsibility in measures to prevent future wildfires from threatening structures and infrastructure. And it’s doing so through a resolution to be considered next month when delegates from local governments across the province gather at the annual Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention. At issue is a provincial program called the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative which is managed by the UBCM. Through the initiative, local governments can receive money to clear away trees which, if they caught fire, could threaten structures, encourage residents to clean up their properties of fuels, train local personnel, develop efficient communications and emergency plans by local governments and generally make residents more aware of wildfire dangers.

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Province announces that out-of-province fire crews no longer needed

CBC News
August 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

ONTARIO — The provincial government says out-of-province fire crews, as well as those from the United States and Mexico, are no longer needed to help fight fires in the northeast. This comes as one of the largest fires in northeastern Ontario, Parry Sound 33, continues to be held. …About 1,400 firefighters have been working around the clock for weeks to control and minimize more than 1,100 fires across the province. Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Jeff ​Yurek thanked the firefighters Tuesday… says Ontario will be able to lend its resources to help fight the wildfires in the west.

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25 new forest fires ‘attributed to lightning’ in northwestern Ontario on Tuesday, says MNRF

By Cristina Jung
CBC News
August 22, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

The scattered rain and lack of precipitation this summer throughout much of northwestern Ontario has caused an increase in lightning-caused fires with a total of 25 new forest fires reported on Tuesday, said fire information officer Chris Marchand. “Almost of all those fires were attributed to lightning,” Marchand explained, “and the majority of them were located in the Red Lake and Sioux Lookout districts, but I think Dryden and Fort Frances caught their fair share as well.” He said conditions in this region have allowed lightning strikes from the last few days to “emerge from the ground as fires,” which means the fire behaviour this week is expected to increase as well.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change is making trees bigger, but weaker

By Lakshmi Supriya
Science Magazine
August 22, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

As global temperatures rise, trees around the world are experiencing longer growing seasons, sometimes as much as three extra weeks a year. All that time helps trees grow faster. But a study of the forests of Central Europe suggests the higher temperatures—combined with pollution from auto exhaust and farms—are making wood weaker, resulting in trees that break more easily and lumber that is less durable. …They found that in all four species, wood density has decreased by 8% to 12%, they report online in Forest Ecology and Management. …Increasing temperatures, and the faster growth they spur, probably account for some of the drop. But another factor, Pretzsch says, is more nitrogen in the soil from agricultural fertilizer and vehicle exhaust. …As the density of the samples dropped, so did their carbon content, by about 50%.

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Health & Safety

Change in weather could blow wildfire smoke out of B.C.

By Mike Laanela
CBC News
August 22, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

A change in the weather could blow away much of the smoke covering B.C., but things may get worse in some regions before they get better. That’s because outflow winds have been blowing smoke out to sea, according to Environment Canada Meteorologist Philippe-Alain Bergeron. “A lot of the smoke was actually pushed out sea … and so that smoke is going to be coming back in … But eventually we do get that fresh clean marine air,” said Bergeron. “It’s going to start clearing tonight for the West Coast of the island … and eventually make its way to the Lower Mainland tomorrow.” The air quality in the southern Interior might actually deteriorate before things get better, he notes, but eventually the fresh marine air should reach the region.

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