Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 3, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Steelworkers take stand despite lumber market challenges

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 3, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The United Steelworkers voted 99 percent in favour of striking at Western Forest Products despite challenging markets and labour agreements in BC’s interior regions. Elsewhere: Canfor Pulp is implementing summer curtailments at two BC mills and Quebec and Ontario call for harmonized trade regulations.

In Forestry/Climate news: Oregon’s Governor isn’t backing down despite cap-and-trade failure; Florida timber growers are encouraged to plant – hemp; Dallas stays cool with an urban forestry plan; New Zealand allows longer log trains; and Finland studies logging’s impact on climate change.

Finally, Air New Zealand abandons newsprint; Nestle chooses paper over plastic; and Hardie mimics cedar siding.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Doug Donaldson must end raw log exports

Letter by Mark Graydon, Terrace, B.C.
BC Local News
July 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The recent wave of mill closures across the B.C. interior is no surprise. After years of increased harvesting needed to salvage pine beetle trees, it was only a matter of time before log supply would become constrained. What is surprising is that along B.C.’s coast, where forestry carries on as normal, raw logs continue to be exported to oversea mills. While mills in Smithers and Houston are having a harder time sourcing logs, timber is being exported from forest licences in the west. …With dwindling lumber production in the interior, other parts of the industry will soon start to experience the knock down effects. …Keeping more logs here in BC for our own mills needs to be part of the long term solution. …Doug Donaldson’s first step must be ending raw log exports. Without government action, our logs will continue to supply oversea mills at the expense of B.C. jobs.

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Thousands of Island forestry workers strike against Western Forest Products

By Luisa Alvarez
Chek TV News
July 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

About 3,000 forestry workers are on strike in coastal BC after negotiations between Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers failed to produce a new contract. …“I’m 40 years in this industry and I’ve been on strike a dozen times maybe more and you lose but there are times when you have to stand,” said Greg Page, a member of USW local 1-1937. …“WFP hasn’t stepped forward with anything that is near fair they are on the concession train and it goes from our pension our seniority our holiday pay our hours of pay it’s across the board,” said Page. The union was seeking a 3-year deal to replace the five-year deal the expired in mid-June. The company and the union were unable to agree on wages and benefits, shifting and a new drug an alcohol policy Brian Butler… says is targeting workers. 

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Western Forest Products workers on Vancouver Island on strike

By Karl Yu
The Nanaimo News Bulletin
July 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forest Products workers represented by United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, including employees at Nanaimo’s Duke Point sawmill, have begun strike action. …Western Forest Products has mills in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Chemainus, the Cowichan Valley and Port Alberni and timberlands up and down Vancouver Island and at Powell River. …Susan Dolinski, Western’s vice-president of corporate affairs, said the coastal forest industry is enduring “very challenging market conditions” and lumber prices are half of what they were a year ago. …Dolinski said agreements have been reached in B.C.’s northern and southern interior regions, where United Steelworkers, Council of Northern Interior Forest Employments Relations and Interior Forest Labour Relations Association have ratified new deals.

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Canfor pulp mills hit with curtailments

Business in Vancouver
July 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Pulp Products Inc. said June 27 it will be implementing phased summer curtailments in July and August at its Intercontinental and Northwood NBSK pulp mills in Prince George. “This is due to a significant deterioration in market conditions, in combination with fibre supply constraints and higher fibre costs resulting from recent sawmill curtailments across the B.C. industry,” the company said in a press release. The curtailments will reduce Canfor Pulp’s production output by 75,000 tonnes of NBSK pulp. It intends to resume full production at Intercontinental and Northwood in September, the company said.

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Quebec, Ontario ministers call for harmonized trade regulations

By Josh Rubin
The Toronto Star
July 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario and Quebec need to work harder to harmonize regulations in a variety of sectors or risk harming the economy of both provinces, provincial trade ministers said Tuesday. Two years after the introduction of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement eliminated many interprovincial barriers, there’s still plenty of work to be done on eliminating rules and regulations, which still have a real economic impact, Ontario’s economic development and trade minister Vic Fedeli told an audience at the Toronto Board of Trade. …Fedeli cited the example of a tractor-trailer bringing logs from the North Bay area to a lumber processing facility in Temiscaming, Que. “You’d stop just after you crossed the border, unhitch your tractor, then drive back to Ontario. Then a tractor would come from Quebec, and pull the trailer 60 feet into the parking lot of the plant.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

In Depth: Siding

By Johathan Sweet
The LBM Journal
July 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The siding market continues to look strong for 2019 and 2020—especially in remodeling and replacement. …Overall siding demand is expected to grow by more than 3% annually over the next three years, according to research from The Freedonia Group. …“We still feel confident about the housing and siding market,” says Sean Gadd for James Hardie. …While there are plenty of material options for siding, vinyl is still No. 1 in market share in North America, representing about a quarter of all siding sold. …For those looking for alternatives… James Hardie has its Aspyre Collection… to serve the top-end of the market with a wide assortment of textures and profiles in fiber cement. …“When you go to the top of the market … you’ve got to look exactly like they want to have it look,” Gadd says… which mimics the look of natural cedar shingles.

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Nestle Wraps Yes Bar in Paper as It Seeks to Cut Plastic Waste

By Corinne Gretler and Ellen Milligan
Bloomberg
July 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Nestle SA is responding to criticism that the food industry uses too much plastic by introducing paper wrapping for a confectionery bar, made in a way it calls an industry first. The Swiss food company said it will start selling Yes fruit and nut bars for Europe in paper after developing a method to use that material at the high speeds necessary for packaging a mass consumer product. …“Moving from plastic to paper is not easy,” said Jas Scott de Martinville, head of Nestle’s product technology center for confectionery. The Vevey, Switzerland-based company’s efforts could spur others in the confectionery industry to tackle the plastics challenge …Nestle has exclusivity to the paper-packaging technology with a supplier, which it declined to identify. A water-based coating is added to the paper to seal it, ensuring freshness and shelf life.

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Air New Zealand won’t supply newspapers in Koru lounges

By Chris Hutching
Stuff.co.nz
July 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Air New Zealand’s “commitment to sustainability” means it will no longer supply newspapers in its Koru lounges. The airline has posted signs in its lounges telling people to use the wi-fi for their computers and cellphones to get the latest news. …Stuff Limited chief executive Sinead Boucher said… “We were really concerned that the message to their customers in the lounges said the decision was linked to sustainability and that therefore the extrapolation is that our papers must be bad for the environment,” Boucher said. “We are really proud of our sustainability efforts around print. Not a single tree is cut down to make our papers. One hundred per cent of the paper used is made from waste byproduct. ” …The airline said it had removed single-use plastic straws, stir sticks, eye mask wrappers and plastic toothbrushes from lounges and on board aircraft.

 

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Forestry

Egmont logging plans cause concern

By Sophie Woodroofe
The Coast Reporter
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

SKOOKUMCHUCK, BC — Plans in the works for 10 new cutblocks to be harvested this year in the Egmont area have sparked concern that BC Timber Sales hasn’t given enough notice to the community, contravening communications protocol. “I’m quite concerned with the timeframe and lack of community consultation and presentations,” said Pender Harbour/Egmont director Leonard Lee. …“They seem to have abandoned the communication protocol in the rush to harvest cutblocks.” Directors receive BCTS five-year operating plans annually and provide comment, as part of a communication protocol with the organization that was signed in 2014. …To deal with the short notice, Lee asked for community consultation prior to cutblock design.

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Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation and Tree Canada plant 20,000 trees north of Veregin

Kamsack Times
July 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation and Tree Canada joined forces to plant 20,000 trees on the weekend on Wildlife property about 10 kilometres north of Veregin. …The SWF and Tree Canada partnered to plant 20,000 white spruce seedlings through their National Greening program, a mass seedling planting program which targets areas in need of reforestation or afforestation across Canada, said a release from Tree Canada. Co-ordinated by a Tree Canada contractor, in consultation with the SWF land manager and area members, the planting was on 22 hectares of land adjacent to the Assiniboine River. …The reduction of wind erosion and the stabilization of the soil brought about by planting trees will also result in a cleaner Assiniboine river and watershed.

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Tsilhqot’in plan protest in objection to Taseko drilling permit

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
BC Local News
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Tsilhqot’in Nation is organizing a peaceful action to protest exploratory drilling by Taseko Mines Ltd. west of Williams Lake. The TN said they will be exercising their Aboriginal rights and ancestral laws to protect Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) and Yanah Biny (Little Fish Lake), a place of cultural and spiritual significance for the Tsilhqot’in people, from the drilling program by TML in support of the rejected New Prosperity Mine proposal. “This project is dead,” said Tsilhqot’in National Government Tribal Chairman and Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse. “It cannot be built. Yet the company wants to come in and tear up a place that is as sacred to us as a church. We are deeply concerned about this escalating conflict. …“When the Tsilhqot’in must defend itself from invaders, it brings us back more than 150 years and makes us feel that nothing has changed with regards to Crown and Indigenous relations,” said Yunesit’in Chief and TNG vice-chair Russell Myers Ross.

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Lake Louise Ski Resort appeal against $2.1 million fine heard in Calgary court

By Jenna Dulewich
Rocky Mountain Outlook
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY –Lake Louise Ski Resort argued in Calgary court last Friday (June 28) that the judge that fined it $2.1 million under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) for cutting down endangered trees, erred in law and her sentence should be reconsidered. Lake Louise Ski Area is one of the first companies to be prosecuted under the act and the charges stemmed from a 2013 incident when employees did not have the required permits in place to do tree clearing on Ptarmigan Ridge and ended up destroying endangered whitebark pine trees. The tree species, which exists only at higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains, were listed as an endangered species the year prior and are protected under SARA. …The judge reserved her decision for a future court date yet to be determined.

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Alberni Valley wildfires have carelessness in common

By Mike Youds
The Alberni Valley News
July 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jimmie Hodgson

Mosaic Forest Management is on its toes and urging the public to be more cautious after two record-setting wildfire seasons and the prospect of a third this summer. Mosaic — which oversees the operations of Island Timberlands and TimberWest after the two affiliated last year — counted 66 wildfires on its land base in 2018. …In all, 80 percent were human-caused wildfires, twice the average for B.C. “We’ve definitely ramped up our response people,” said Jimmie Hodgson, senior manager of forest operations. …Mosaic is better equipped to take on wildfires on their own this year without relying so much on B.C. Wildfire’s Coastal Fire Centre. When the provincial wildfire situation gets intense, provincial resources can be heavily taxed.

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National park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen moves forward

By Parks Canada
Cision Newswire
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The South Okanagan-Similkameen region is an ecological treasure. …For millennia, the syilx/Okanagan Nation has called this region home and has been steward of the land, water, plants, and animals that make this place so special. …Today, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia and the syilx/Okanagan Nation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formally work toward establishing a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen. This is a significant step towards the establishment of a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen. …The iʔ sc̓ax̌ʷtət / Memorandum of Understanding confirms the working boundary for the proposed national park reserve, outlines next steps and provides a framework of naqscn/knʔxtwix / collaboration as negotiations begin for an establishment agreement… Working together, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia and the syilx/Okanagan Nation are taking action to protect this iconic natural and cultural landscape for future generations.

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Federal-state program to tackle Idaho forest projects

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

State and federal officials have identified 6,700 square miles (17,000 square kilometers) in Idaho to test a plan that allows state participation in federal timber sales to pay for restoration work on private, state and federal lands. Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Monday announced that the U.S. Forest Service and state officials had identified landscape-scale projects in northern and west-central Idaho as part of a federal-state agreement called Shared Stewardship. The agreement is intended to improve forest health and decrease the risk of disease and catastrophic fires. “Idaho continues to pioneer new, collaborative efforts to protect our citizens and communities from wildfire,” Little said in a statement. “Working with our federal partners, private landowners, and many others, the state of Idaho will test this latest innovative approach, so we can make a meaningful difference in the health of our lands and water.”

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More trees can help Dallas keep its cool, now that forestry plan has a green light

By Jesus Jimenez
The Dallas Morning News
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Dallas wants to make the city shadier. The city is partnering with the Texas Trees Foundation to develop a plan that will protect the city’s trees and plant more of them to keep the area cooler when temperatures rise. …The Urban Forestry Master Plan has been the subject of several months of talks and more than half a year of fundraising, Alvarez said. …The Texas Trees Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and enhancing urban forests in the state, raised $230,000 for the plan. …In addition, protecting the city’s trees would also save Dallas money. A 2015 study by the Texas Trees Foundation found that the city’s trees — 14.7 million of them — save the city more than $9 million annually through energy conservation and an additional $4 million in repairs to stormwater management infrastructure by collecting 59 million cubic feet of runoff. 

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Hemp holds promise and problems for Florida’s timber industry

By Forrest Saunders
WPTV West Palm Beach
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…Though [hurricane] Michael has long passed, a new storm is on the horizon– hemp. Loggers, mills and other livelihoods depend on trees and don’t want growers to plant something else. …Florida is allowing the growth of hemp following a new law from the last legislative session. The highly versatile plant and marijuana relative lacks the high but has many uses. Florida’s agriculture officials expect hemp will become the state’s next hot commodity. Commissioner Nikki Fried has estimated the plant will create a $10-20 billion industry. She’s encouraged timber growers to consider the new crop. They could recoup some losses with hemp, which doesn’t take decades to mature. …The Florida Forestry Association hasn’t officially weighed in on hemp. But, officials there say they too are encouraging the replanting trees.

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The Asian Forest Cooperation Organization and the Center for International Forestry Research join forces to promote sustainable forest management

Center for International Forestry Research
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) are joining forces to promote sustainable forest management in Asia. AFoCO Executive Director Chencho Norbu and Robert Nasi of CIFOR signed an MoU on 19 June 2019 at the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2019. Both parties look forward to strengthening their common, mutual objectives in scientific research, capacity and institution building on forest landscape restoration. As an intergovernmental organization aiming to strengthen forest cooperation, AFoCO promotes forest restoration and rehabilitation in support of its Parties’ global commitments in Asia. …“We are keen to connect and work with international organizations in the region, and to grow together,” said Norbu of AFoCO, pointing out the need to work in harmony with various institutions in Asia.

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Extended log trains will take more trucks off roads

By KiwiRail
Scoop Independent News
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Longer log trains between Waingawa and Wellington will deliver clearer roads and lower greenhouse gas emissions, KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller says. Today KiwiRail increased the number of wagons on its daily trains transporting logs from Masterton to CentrePort. “Last year KiwiRail moved 267,000 tonnes of export logs from the Wairarapa to CentrePort. Increasing the number of wagons from 30 – 45 a day, we will be able to move up to 370,000 tonnes a year. That’s about a 40 per cent increase in capacity,” Mr Miller says. “Our log trains already avoid about 16,000 log truck journeys into Wellington each year. The additional rail capacity will avoid a further 6,000 truck journeys each year on the Remutaka Hill Road, the Hutt motorway and the pinch-point of Aotea Quay.”

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From world wonder to disaster – New Zealand forestry must change

By Dame Anne Salmond, the Te Awaroa: Voice of the River project
New Zealand Stuff
July 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

In June 2018, many Kiwis looked aghast at images of a house marooned in a sea of logs in Tolaga Bay, with huge piles of logs choking the rivers, and on farmland and beaches. …they asked themselves, “How on earth did this happen?” It’s a long story. For more than 80 million years, Aotearoa New Zealand was a land of forests, at the heart of the world’s largest ocean.  …As the biologist Jared Diamond has said, this is the nearest we can find to “life on another planet”. …Not surprisingly, then, once European settlement got under way in the early 19th century, forests were felled in vast quantities – for ships’ masts and spars, for buildings in the settler colonies of New Zealand and Australia, for firewood and other purposes. … It’s time for forestry managers and conservationists to talk together, and for ministers and officials to listen to those whose lives and lands have been wrecked by a crude, extractive form of forestry on the East Coast and elsewhere.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Oregon’s cap-and-trade bill explained

By Joe Wolf
The Mail Tribune
July 2, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Oregon’s cap-and-trade bill didn’t survive the 2019 legislative session, but the broader issue of climate change isn’t going away. Gov. Kate Brown told reporters Monday she would not back down on the issue. …On the legislative side, state Sen. Michael Dembrow… said he is open to working with the 11 senators who walked off the job last month to avoid voting on the bill, but he’s not willing to water down the effectiveness of the cap-and-trade policy in the name of further compromise. …Opponents of the bill said the financial burden of the policy would have disproportionately impacted residents in their districts. …Another component that led to disagreement was a lack of clarity on what the bill would actually do, Dembrow said. For example, loggers gained attention for protesting the policy in Salem, but the industry would have been exempt from the policy.

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Don’t blame beetles for killing forests, blame climate change

By Paul Brinkmann
UPI.com
July 2, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

ORLANDO, Fla. — Throughout North America, Europe and Asia, beetles are blamed for large areas of dying trees. But a Florida entomologist says the bugs are just a symptom of the real problem — climate change. …”Some people who manage forests or harvest lumber want us to target the beetle by cutting down trees or using insecticide,” said Jiri Hulcr, forest entomologist for the University of Florida. “But that would only treat the symptom. The only real solution is to reverse climate change. The time has come — it’s real.” Bark beetles have been around for thousands of years. But modern trade and transportation have distributed new bugs to new regions around the world, where they are considered invasive species.

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Increasing logging would severely hurt effort to combat climate change, confirms study

By Aleksi Teivainen
The Helsinki Times
July 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

FINLAND — A study led by the University of Eastern Finland has confirmed that increasing logging would severely complicate the effort to combat climate change. The Finnish Environment Institute (Syke), Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and University of Finland reported that increasing logging would reduce carbon sinks unsustainably if forest industry companies used the raw material to manufacture the same products as today. …The simulation takes into account the fact that increasing the use of bioenergy and wood products can compensate for roughly a half of the decrease in carbon sequestration. “In order to compensate for the detriment, you would have to succeed in promoting forest growth considerably from the baseline of the calculations. …The findings can be interpreted as a validation of the climate policy approach of the European Union.

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Health & Safety

Advanced heli-rescuers give urgent care to remote workers in Sea-to-Sky region

By Jon Hernandez
CBC News
July 3, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Miles Randell and his team of helicopter-flying medics [have] made a lifelong difference to a forest worker who was struck by an 18-metre fir tree and catapulted down a hill. …The worker was in a remote site outside of Squamish, an area where air ambulance staff couldn’t reach. …But [the] specially trained crew, known as a Technical Evacuation Advanced Aero Medical (TEAAM), were called to the site within minutes. …TEAAM is a non-profit society that uses hoists to reach patients in remote settings …”The TEAAM model should be the standard of care for the industry — especially the tree-planting industry,” said John Betts, executive director of the Western Forestry Contractors Association (WFCA). The WFCA and the Truck Loggers Association are lobbying the province and WorksafeBC for additional support for the TEAAM program. The group argues that the service can save millions of dollars in both workers’ compensation and health-care costs.

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Forest Fires

Firefighters battling 4 new wildfires in northwest B.C.

By Katya Slepian
The Nanaimo News Bulletin
July 2, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire crews are fighting four new forest fires in B.C.’s northwest, according to BC Wildfire. In a statement Monday, the agency said 10 new fires have been sparked by lightning since Thursday, with four still raging. Firefighters are battling a blaze 12.5 kilometres northwest of Meziadin Junction, as well as two fires 16 kilometres east of Meziadin Junction. They are also fighting a wildfire about 16 kilometres southwest of Kitwanga near Cedarvale. All four fires are under one hectare in size. Sunday saw nearly 23,000 lightning strikes in the northwest part of the province, most of which struck the “very dry” Cassiar Fire Zone.

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Fire crews continue to battle forest fire as hazard reaches high, extreme in northwestern Ontario

CBC News
July 2, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fire crews with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry continue to battle a number of forest fires in northwestern Ontario, with three new fires added to the list as of Monday evening. …Two new fires — Red Lake 43, located near Trough Lake, approximately 40 kilometres northwest of Red Lake and Red Lake 44, near Frances Lake, approximately 120 kilometres northwest of Red Lake — were also listed as not under control. Scott said Red Lake fire 23, located approximately 16 kilometres southwest of Keewaywin First Nation is now larger than 37,000 hectares and an incident team is on its way to set up infrastructure to protect values on the land. …The forest fire hazard was listed as high to extreme across the region.

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Large forest fire burning in Keewaywin First Nation area

Thunder Bay News Watch
July 2, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

DRYDEN, ON — A forest fire southwest of Keewaywin First Nation, 600 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, expanded significantly over the holiday weekend. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s provincial fire map shows that the blaze, which started on June 15, has now grown to 37,000 hectares. On Monday, its size was listed as 30,000 hectares after it expanded under what MNRF describes as extreme burning conditions. The fire is located 16 kilometres southwest of Keewaywin, and is burning in a west to east line. MNRF has kept the blaze under observation until now, but the ministry has now dispatched an ignition specialist to the fire to assess the possibility of using aerial ignition to bring sections of the fire to natural boundaries in order to stop its spread.

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