Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 11, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Canfor significantly curtailing production capacity in BC

The Tree Frog Forestry News
June 11, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Canfor Corp announced that it is curtailing all of its BC sawmills except one for 2-6 weeks. In other Business news: Random Lengths said despite curtailments lumber prices sagged last week; Keith Baldrey opines on BC NDP’s Bill 22; and the federal gov’t’s ban on single-use plastic may be good for Canada’s paper producers.

In Wood Product news: China designates wood frame construction as green, with a little help from the Canada Wood Group. Elsewhere: the pros and cons of timber buildings continues to be debated in the wake of the UK’s Grendfell fire. 

Finally, ’tis the season for fire readiness per: BC’s Forest Enhancement Society; Montana’s Fire Service; and Oregon/Washington’s Fire Coordination Center.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Random Lengths Lumber and Panel Market Report

Random Lenghts Publications
June 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Despite a growing list of mill curtailments, prices of framing lumber sagged under the weight of production. Demand strengthened marginally in some markets, but weather continued to stifle activity in others. …Structural panel supplies outpaced demand, and prices faded as a result. Prices of OSB continued to erode, with downward pressure most severe in the South. …2019 has disappointed and frustrated most Southern Pine lumber traders as the year’s halfway point draws near. While market conditions have given traders plenty of reason to complain, reported prices suggest the South has actually fared relatively well compared to the broader North American market. …Western Red Cedar trading has picked up in recent weeks, but some traders believe elevated prices have done long-term damage to market share.

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How Coastal First Nations took control of their economy and environment

By Emilee Gilpin
Vancouver Observer
June 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ten years ago, First Nations in coastal B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii established a special conservation and financing organization to revitalize their economy. Since then, the organization, Coast Funds, has helped create more than 1,000 new jobs and attract nearly $300 million to the region, says a new report released on Wednesday by Coast Funds. …Coast Funds was created in 2007, after the 2006 Great Bear Rainforest agreements, which included a pledge by conservationists, First Nations, industry, and government to denote 70 per cent of old growth forests ‘off limits’ to logging and other extractive practices. At the time, the groups agreed that a sustainable economy is vital to conservation efforts in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Since then, according to the organization’s 2019 report, Coast Funds’ board of directors has approved 353 projects, while investing about $87 million in infrastructure and about $41 million in local salaries. 

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More lumber production cuts at northern B.C. sawmills

By Kyle Balzer
Prince George Matters
June 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

There are more curtailments scheduled for northern B.C. sawmills, this time by Canfor. The corporation says it plans on shutting down production at all but one of its provincially-based locations for two weeks including Prince George, Vanderhoof, Chetwynd, and Fort St. John. However, the company says there’ll be longer clock-outs for workers at three other mills, with a predicted export loss of nearly 200 million board feet of lumber. A four-week production cut will take place at the Houston and Plateau mills, while Mackenzie will see the longest curtailment of them all at six weeks. This comes six days after Canfor announced it’ll be shutting down its Vavenby location entirely, reducing its number of B.C. locations to 11. The curtailments will begin next Monday (June 17), ending on July 26.

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Canfor Significantly Curtailing Production Capacity in BC

By Canfor Corporation
Cision Newswire
June 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Canfor Corporation announced today it will be curtailing operations at all British Columbia sawmills, except WynnWood. The majority of mills will be curtailed for two weeks or the equivalent, with extended curtailments of four weeks at Houston and Plateau, and six weeks at Mackenzie. The curtailments are scheduled to run from June 17 through July 26. The curtailments are due to very poor lumber markets and the high cost of fibre, which are making the operating conditions in BC uneconomic. The curtailments will reduce Canfor’s production output by approximately 200 million board feet. Following the previously announced closure of Vavenby in July, Canfor will have 12 sawmills in Canada, with total annual capacity of approximately 3.55 billion board feet.

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Ban on single-use plastics could be boon for Ontario forestry industry

CBC News
June 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Northern Ontario forestry producers are hoping the Canadian economy is about to trade plastic for paper. The federal government wants to ban single use plastics like straws and forks, as early as 2021, and the Forest Products Association of Canada is hoping that wood and paper will take their place. Bob Larocque, senior vice-president of the group, says this would open new markets for northern Ontario mills. “This will be new types of end product development that will require the current products that are being made by the northern pulp and paper facilities,” Larocque said. “It’s creating and maintaining a more diverse market than we have today, so that’s incredibly helpful for our current facilities.” Larocque says they’re working on substituting their own products for ones that will be most affected by the government ban.

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All eyes on BC NDP’s Bill 22 as forest industry slides into a crisis

By Keith Baldrey
Burnaby Now
June 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics

Keith Baldrey

The B.C. forestry industry is sliding into a crisis and a new law on the books has many observers worried it could make things worse. Some saw mills have permanently closed, while others have recently curtailed operations. …A shrinking timber supply appears to be the main culprit, but… the 20-per-cent duties on softwood lumber shipments to the U.S. will begin to take their toll as… well, the NDP’s embrace of UNDRIP. …Also creating uncertainty is Bill 22. …The key change gives the government the power to stop forest companies from selling their logging rights to each other following a mill closure. …One industry official told me forest companies are best positioned to work out the inevitable “rationing” that is coming and think the government should stay out. …Unless I am reading things wrong, forest companies would be wise to accommodate local First Nations’ interests when embarking on the “rationalization”… perhaps to the point of taking them on business partners.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

China recognizes wood frame construction technology in new Green Building Standard

By Eric Wong, Managing Director, China
Canada Wood Group
June 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, International

Wood Frame Construction Technology (WFC) has officially been recognized for the first time by China’s Green Building Evaluation Standard as a viable solution for the country’s green building credit rating. This is another milestone for WFC in China on the government regulations front after a series of prefabrication policies favourable to wood has been published in the past few years. The newly revised standard… includes WFC as one of the three building solutions along with concrete and steel systems. It also awards credits to wood frame solutions for being an innovative construction technology. The new standard also introduces the entry Certified Level, making it aligned with the LEED certification system and offering more accessible eligibility. This also means that green building standard is likely to be implemented as de-facto compulsory measures in the future. …The standard is expected to be revised again in 2020.

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A New Way to Stay Tuned on Market News from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and India

By Olivia Su, Market Access and Communications
Canada Wood Group
June 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, International

Canada wood is focused on diversifying markets for Canadian wood products. …There have been many new and exciting developments: China Wood Frame Construction Technology has been recognized for the first time by China’s Green Building Evaluation Standard as a viable solution for the country’s green building credit rating. Korea has celebrated urban regeneration with the completion of its tallest hybrid wood building.  Japan is anticipating an increase in supply and demand for wooden large-scale buildings due to favorable Building Standard Law amendments. …To better communicate and highlight key overseas developments like these, Canada Wood is now posting on Twitter: @wood_canada and LinkedIn. Be a part of the conversation and follow Canada Wood: Canada Wood Group.

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Timber building is on the rise but is there enough and is it safe?

By David Thorpe
The Fifth Estate Australia
June 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The use of cross laminated timber (CLT) and other engineered timber products is on the rise around the world but struggling with low awareness levels and concerns about fire risk and toxicity. Now the industry is fighting back. Last year in the wake of the Grenfell fire disaster the UK government banned combustible materials from the walls of residential high-rise buildings – and this included CLT. The industry was up in arms because the structural properties of CLT allow taller timber structures and carbon sequestration, amongst other benefits. The British ban covers buildings above 18 metres (around six storeys) that are residential, but only their use in external walls. CLT’s supporters such as the Timber Trade Federation advised the authorities there was no evidence that banning CLT would improve fire safety, and believe it excessive that this blanket ban covers the whole of the external wall construction, not just the cladding.

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Timber an ‘unsuitable material’ for construction

By Hamish Champ
Housing Today
June 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The weekend’s Bellway Homes fire in Barking, east London, highlighted the “unsuitability” of timber as a construction material, according to the head of the British Association of Reinforcement.  The fire (pictured below) destroyed 20 flats of the De Pass Gardens scheme and damaged nearly a dozen others. The blaze was tackled by more than 100 firefighters on Sunday afternoon. While Bellway said it was conducting its own enquiry into the fire Steve Elliott, chairman of the British Association of Reinforcement – which represents manufacturers of heavyweight reinforced concrete – said the blaze was “a further example of why timber was not a suitable construction material, whether built or under construction, structural or decorative”. …The Structural Timber Association, which represents companies working in the material across a range of construction sectors, has been contacted for comment on the Barking fire.

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Forestry

BC First Nations Forestry Council to host 1st Annual Conference

BC First Nations Forestry Council
June 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We are excited to announce our upcoming 1st Annual BC First Nations Forestry Conference at the Delta Grand Hotel Okanagan Resort in Kelowna from June 19-21, 2019. We are preparing to meet with First Nations, Government and Industry that will focus on a revised BC First Nations Forest Strategy, Forest Sector Workforce Opportunities and First Nations Industry Partnerships. 

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Barkerville Historic Town & Park Completes First Phase of Wildfire Mitigation Work

By Aleece Laird
Forest Enhancement Society of BC
June 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Barkerville, B.C. — Heralded as the largest living-history museum in western North America, Barkerville Historic Town & Park (BHT&P) was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1924 and a Provincial Heritage Property in 1958. …In 2017, a wildfire travelling at 4.5 kms per day came within just 12 kms of the historic site, something BHT&P CEO Ed Coleman and his team knew they needed to do something about in order to protect this irreplaceable historic Canadian asset. “The 2017 wildfires came much too close to the heritage park and we knew in order to protect this historic town, immediate and strategic measures needed to happen,” said Ed Coleman, CEO, BHT&P. “We have been working on fuel mitigation planning for 31⁄2 years, designing the prescriptions and subsequent treatments to protect the site from a wildfire.”

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Burned and beetle-killed forests need protection too

By Hilary Cooke, associate conservation scientist, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
Yukon News
June 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hilary Cook

…As climate change dials up wildfires, it’s understandable to feel a sense of loss when vast boreal landscapes get consumed and spit out as charred trees and sooty ground. But, within a very short time after burning, that forest supports a new and unique mix of biodiversity. …Burned and beetle-killed forests are important sources of fuelwood for Yukoners, and of biomass for our growing bioenergy production. But removing large numbers of trees over large areas can have a major impact on the biodiversity that depends on these disturbed forests.  …Post-disturbance logging can destroy plants that survived the initial disturbance or are in the early stages of regeneration. Damage to existing seedbeds can limit the recruitment of spruce seedlings. The first few years after a wildfire are critical for establishment of the growing forest.

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Community Forests: Exceptional Work in Local Forests by Local People Making Local Decisions

By Aleece Laird
Forest Enhancement Society of BC
June 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kamloops, B.C. — Ahead of the BC Community Forest Association’s (BCCFA) Conference and AGM in Mission, B.C. June 12 to 14, the team at the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) is reflecting on the important work community forests throughout the province are undertaking to mitigate wildlife risk and at the same time enhance wildlife habitat, forest recreation, increase the utilization of fibre, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through various treatments. These projects provide a triple win for British Columbians: increased social, economic and environmental benefits. “Wildfire risk reduction to protect people, homes, businesses, communications, water, power, and emergency escape routes is a priority for FESBC and community forests. We’ve been able to collaborate with many community forests throughout the province and have worked in unison with the BCCFA,” said FESBC Executive Director Steve Kozuki.

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Ontario Proposing Plan To Help Keep Province Free of Deadly Deer Disease

By Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Government of Ontario
June 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s Government is taking steps to ensure sustainable wildlife populations and continued hunting opportunities for future generations. The Government has developed a plan to allow the province to act quickly if Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) – a progressive, fatal brain disease that mostly affects deer and elk – is discovered in Ontario.  “We are committed to maintaining sustainable wildlife populations and supporting an industry that creates jobs and makes an important economic contribution to our province,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “While the disease has not been detected in Ontario, we believe an enhanced CWD prevention program will help protect the province’s wildlife from this fatal disease.” Chronic Wasting Disease can also affect moose and caribou. 

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Firefighters brace for tough Pacific Northwest wildfire season

By McKenna Ross
The Oregonian
June 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MOLALLA — Over the sound of a growing blaze and a nearing helicopter, firefighters yelled instructions to light brush and neat lines of debris on fire. Trainers were teaching 104 firefighters from 33 metro agencies, ranging from first season newbies to seasoned fighters, how to approach wildfires. Friday’s training is becoming more important than ever. Experts predict the upcoming wildfire season will have higher risks of big, costly fires. That’s coming after 2018′s record-setting fire season, which racked up wildfire-fighting bills of $514.6 million. The above-average concern focuses on northwest Oregon and western Washington in June, then includes all of western Oregon and eastern Washington by July, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

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Fire experts push Missoula toward better readiness

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
June 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Missoula will see more forest fires in its future, but it may have influence over how big they are and how long they last. “If we want only the most extreme effects under the most severe conditions, let’s keep doing what we’re doing,” Missoula Fire Science Laboratory research forester Mark Finney told City Club Missoula on Monday. In recent decades, 95% of the forest fuels turned into airshed smoke have come from just 3% of the wildfires, and those have been the largest and most catastrophic, Finney said. Missoula County covers a landscape that depends on frequent low-intensity fires to stay healthy, burning an average 36,000 acres a year. Due to the longstanding practice of fire suppression, that figure has been reduced to about 8,500 acres annually. That’s left tons of hazardous fuels prepped for ignition right next to growing neighborhoods. “Logging is often necessary before prescribed fire can be implemented,” Finney said.

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‘Elders Defend Elders,’ Say Activists as Four Arrested This Morning Trying to Stop Logging on Rainbow Ridge

By Kym Kemp
Redheaded Blackbelt
June 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Before the sun rose this morning, four Mattole residents–Michael Evenson, Ellen Taylor, David Simpson, and Jane Lapiner–were arrested trying to stop Humboldt Redwood Company from continuing logging operations on Rainbow Ridge, said the Lost Coast League. The Rainbow Ranch area southwest of Rio Dell beyond Monument Gate and located on the headwaters of the upper and lower forks of the Mattole River has been a hot spot since last year. Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) which sells its products as sustainably harvested maintains that they are following high standards in their their timber harvest practices. Activists claim that the company shouldn’t be allowed to log what they claim is a sensitive area. The two sides differ about what constitutes old growth and virgin forests among other issues.

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Feds give $480M to Florida timber industry after Hurricane Michael

Associated Press in WTVY.com
June 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis says nearly half a billion dollars from the federal government will help Florida timber growers recover from the impacts of Hurricane Michael. The governor met with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in Tallahassee on Friday to discuss the struggling industry. Hurricane Michael, which hit last fall, is estimated to have damaged the industry by $1.3 billion. Perdue says he personally visited the area after the hurricane to see the extensive damage in the Caloosahatchee Forest. Earlier this week, Congress passed a long delayed $19.1 billion disaster aid bill after months of political infighting.

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50m hectares of forest destroyed for commodities in 10 years – Greenpeace

Press Association in Irvine Times
June 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

An area of forest twice the size of the UK is set to have been destroyed for products such as palm oil and soy in a decade, Greenpeace claims. In 2010, members of the Consumer Goods Forum, which includes major global brands, committed to net-zero deforestation by 2020 through “sustainable” sourcing of key commodities including soy, palm oil, paper and pulp, and cattle. But a report from Greenpeace suggests that at least 50 million hectares (124 million acres) of forests across the world will have been lost in the decade to 2020 as a result of growing production and consumption of agricultural commodities. Clearing forests, around 80% of which is the result of agricultural production, releases greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change and destroys important habitat, threatening species with extinction. The environmental group accused the world’s largest consumer brands of failing to meet their commitments.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

More U.S. businesses making changes in response to climate concerns

By Steven Mufson
The Washington Post
June 11, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

…Many U.S. companies are taking note of the urgency of recent climate reports and are changing corporate policies. From carbon credits to eco-labeling to energy use, companies are responding to warming temperatures and consumer concerns. Those that do not can run into some unflattering public relations issues, as Procter & Gamble recently discovered when it was accused by an environmental group of cutting down trees in Canadian boreal forests to make Charmin toilet paper. …P&G vice president for global communications Damon Jones said in an email that 100 percent of its wood fiber supply comes from third parties certified by groups such as the Forest Stewardship Council. …But NRDC’s Vinyard said that some other third-party certification groups have loopholes. “Furthermore, because boreal trees grow so slowly, it often takes decades for the replanted trees to come close to any semblance of the prior undisturbed forest,” she said.

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Finland must further reduce logging to preserve carbon sink, says agency

YLE News
June 10, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Finland’s Natural Resources Institute (Luke) has revised its benchmark assessment of target carbon sink levels, after discovering an error in its calculations. According to the new count, Finland will need to raise its carbon sink sequestration numbers by another 10 percent beyond the numbers in its original estimate. The correction means that logging volumes of Finnish forests will have to be reduced by another 1-2 million cubic metres. The state-owned research institute’s new recommendation puts the ceiling at 81-82 million cubic metres for the 2012-2025 period, down from the figure of 83 million proposed in December. Luke says the calculation error accounts for the equivalence of 3 million tonnes of CO2, both with and without wood products.

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Forest Fires

Victoria police chief hands out hefty fine to driver who flicked lit butt

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
June 10, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — A “lit”terbug was issued a hefty fine after Victoria’s police chief caught him flicking a cigarette butt out his car window. Chief Const. Del Manak said he was travelling on a highway in his unmarked police car when he noticed the driver of a Ford Mustang ahead of him toss the lit butt. “I am driving in the curb lane, traffic was fairly light on Saturday evening and I noticed that the driver had a cigarette in his hand. He had put the ashes out the window as he’s driving and I saw that he took the last drag of the cigarette and he flicked it out his driver’s window,” he said. “It went in the air and landed in front on the road.” That action cost the 21-year-old driver $575 under the province’s Wildfire Act.

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Pikangikum evacuees returning home as firefighters make progress on wildfire near community

CBC News
June 10, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pikangikum First Nation residents are returning home as Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) fire crews continue to make progress on a large blaze that caused the evacuation of the remote, fly-in First Nation. Red Lake Fire 14 is burning just a few kilometres from Pikangikum. And while the fire’s size has remained largely the same since it broke out nearly two weeks ago, as of late Sunday, the 3,800-hectare blaze was listed as being held, the ministry said. Significant rainfall in the area over the weekend has aided firefighting efforts, and crews have begun to remove sprinklers from buildings, homes and other infrastructure. There are 24 crews working on the fire, and they continue to identify and extinguish hot spots, the MNRF said.

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Forest fire out of control but being held in place 4 Km from Gogama

Sudbury.com
June 11, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Cooler, rainy weather over the past few days has helped firefighters in their battle to tame the Timmins 2 fire burning four kilometres from Gogama. The small community two hours north of Greater Sudbury up Highway 144 was estimated on Sunday to be about 6,000 hectares in size, but with less smoke obscuring visibility on Monday, that original estimate has been revised. Still, the fire is around 5,000 hectares in size, burning on the west side of Highway 144. The community remains under a voluntary evacuation order. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has also recommended a two-hour evacuation order for residents of Gogama and surrounding areas. As a health precaution, Mattagami First Nation evacuation 30 young children and elderly people on Saturday night when smoke was at its thickest. Those people were able to return home on Sunday.

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Forest firefighting crews continue to battle blaze near Pickle Lake

CBC News
June 10, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) continues to fight an 833-hectare forest fire burning near the town of Pickle Lake. The fire, known as Sioux Lookout 8, has been “responding well” to recent rainfall, and sprinklers have been set up to protect buildings and other infrastructure, the ministry said. The fire broke out on June 6, and is burning along Pickle Lake Road. On Sunday, the township posted on its Facebook page that there was “very little fire activity” due to recent precipitation. Neither a state of emergency nor an evacuation notice has been issued. The MNRF said 17 fire crews are working on the fire, and more than 2.5 kilometres of fire guard has been constructed in critical areas.

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