Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 15, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Sierra Club report calls for increase of old-growth forests

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 15, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

A Sierra Club report calls for BC’s old-growth forests to be returned to 30% of their original level. In related BC news: ENGO’s call for more old-growth protection; second growth forests are not as fire resistant as old growth; and today is the deadline for input on BC’s forest policy review. Elsewhere: a fresh approach to the spruce budworm is working in New Brunswick; Saskatchewan foresters join Quebec to fight the budworm; and private investors team up with the Nature Conservancy to protect Appalachian forests.

In other news: lumber and plywood lead price decline in residential construction; Western Forest Products strike enters third week without agreement on a mediator; a Montana perspective on BC’s mill closures; national efforts taken to stop US firefighter suicides; and China’s GHG emissions are up more than 50% in the last ten years.

Finally, the latest viral online craze involves… stapling bread to trees. Sorry!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Froggy Foibles

People are stapling slices of bread to trees and residents are so confused

By Ewan Somerville
Gloucestershire Live
July 15, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

…Residents in the South Yorkshire city have been left perplexed by slices of white bread popping up on tree trunks left right and centre. Yes, you read that right, people are stapling slices of bread to the bark. … “This week the trees on the north side of the road have been ‘decorated’ by persons unknown with slices of white bread which have been stapled in place. “They are on the north side of the road and on the north east sides of the trees. Is this part of some weird new cult?” …stapling bread to trees is actually a very weird, slightly deranged, mildly hilarious viral online craze. Online geeks from around the world have been showing off their bread-tree fancies on a Reddit thread,with some even branching out from the classic loaf to em-BARK on a slice of bagel stapling.

Read More

Business & Politics

NAHB National Association of Home Builders : Building Materials Price Declines Led by Lumber and Plywood

The Market Screener
July 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Prices paid for goods used in residential construction decreased by 1.1% in June according to the latest Producer Price Index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The decline broke a four-month trend of increases and was only the fifth month over the past two years in which prices fell. Over the past 12 months, building materials prices have decreased 1.6%, just the fifth June year-over-year decrease since 2000. The decline is a sharp reversal of June 2017 to June 2018, during which prices increased 8.8%. The PPI report shows that softwood lumber prices decreased (-1.7%, not seasonally adjusted) in June-the index’s third consecutive monthly decline. …One of the special indexes published by BLS tracks lumber and plywood in one category. Similar to softwood lumber, the lumber and plywood index fell 2.3%. Prices paid for softwood lumber and lumber and plywood have decreased 23.1% and 17.6%, respectively, since June 2018.

Read More

Implications of reducing stumpage to help companies during poor markets

By Jim Hilton
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
July 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the recent announcements of mill closures and pressure on the government to make changes to help lower production costs, I think it is a good time to review how stumpage is calculated and what are the best ways to make adjustments which will help and not hinder the situation. …When markets are high and stumpage is relatively low, lumber profits are good. …Companies’ profits drop quickly when the markets bottom out and the stumpage still remains high because of the review times built into the MPS formula. For example, the Stumpage Rate determination is designed to be an objective approach and is adjusted every 12 to 18 months for timber sales input and quarterly for the stand selling price. …While trying to tamper with the stumpage rate may not be a good idea… Maybe the 12-to-18-month adjustment period needs to be shorter.

Read More

Chamber Roundtable highlights forestry concerns

CKPG TV Prince George
July 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – A number of representatives with an interest in forestry were at the Chamber of Commerce offices, meeting with some MLA’s who have been touring communities affected by a downtown in the industry. There was talk about things like re-training opportunities and support services for displaced forestry workers and opportunities in other sectors, like energy. …The MLA’s have made stops in places like Ashcroft and Clearwater, which has been devastated by mill closures. They say the message there is around the need for some help. Now. …Those in attendance also voiced concerns over current policy, like the Chief Foresters plans with the Annual Allowable Cut, and what that could mean. …Bill Kordyban Jr., Owner of Carrier Lumber… “If we lose our AAC, we’re basically at the point where we’ll have to shut down. We’re a one-mill operation, we’re done.

Read More

Western Forest Products strike on Vancouver Island set to enter third week

By Karl Yu
BC Local News
July 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With a Western Forest Products strike on Vancouver Island about to enter its third week, the company has rejected mediation, says the union. The forest company and United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 have been in a labour dispute since July 1, after the union issued 72-hours’ strike notice. In a press release issued today, the union said it, with the aid of legal counsel and the B.C. Labour Relations Board, notified Western on Monday, that it “was prepared to accept a request for mediation with no preconditions, as renowned mediator Vince Ready was prepared to make himself available” if the two sides agreed. The union said Western Forest Products advised yesterday that they wouldn’t agree to Ready’s appointment. Ready’s resumé includes settlements in strikes involving teachers and construction and mining workers and Western’s refusal to agree to someone with those qualifications is in contrast to what it has previously stated regarding mediation, Brian Butler, USW Local 1-1937 president, said in the press release.

Read More

Western Forest Products, union disagree over mediator as strike drags on

Canadian Press in CBC News
July 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forests Products and the union representing about 2,600 striking forest workers in British Columbia say both sides want to begin negotiations but can’t agree on a mediator. The strike began on July 1 and involves hourly employees and contractors, affecting the company’s six mills and its timberland operations in the province. United Steelworkers local president Brian Butler said in a news release the union is ready to negotiate and well-known mediator Vince Ready has agreed to make himself available for talks. Butler said the company’s refusal to use someone as qualified as Ready indicates it’s not serious about reaching an agreement. Susan Dolinski, vice-president of corporate affairs at Western Forests Products, said in an interview the company has been asking for mediation for weeks through the Labour Relations Board and both sides have expressed their preference for a mediator.

Read More

Trouble in timberland: British Columbia mills close as policies bite

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
July 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Big things have fallen in the Canadian timber world recently, and we’re not talking about trees. In British Columbia, at least 22 sawmills have closed either permanently or indefinitely in 2019. And on July 1, British Columbia tripled the rate it charges lumber companies for stumpage, or access to public timber. That’s likely to result in further declines in exports to the United States, which have already fallen by 1.4 billion board-feet in the past year. But how that might affect wood producers in Montana and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest remains murky. The region suffers from its own over-supply of lumber, as well as a sluggish construction market. The source of turmoil in British Columbia’s forest products industry is a hot debate, even among Canadians. Environmentalists there claim the B.C. provincial government gave the industry too much free rein for too long, and it has cut itself out of business while leaving extensive ecological damage.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Cricket for all: UBC researchers use algorithms to produce affordable cricket bat

By Rehmatullah Sheikh
CBC News
July 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Phil Evans

As New Zealand and England battle it out in the 2019 Cricket World Cup final in London, an attempt to transform a crucial aspect of the sport has begun thousands of miles away at the University of British Columbia.  UBC forestry professor Phil Evans is leading a project that uses an algorithm to design a cricket bat that’s cheaper to produce but just as powerful as the one used by professional cricketers.  Evans said his aim is to see a high-quality cricket bat in the hands of every aspiring cricketer. “In India alone hundreds of thousands of kids play cricket and idolize cricketers, and they want a bat that resembles the one that cricketers are using,” said Evans who spoke to CBC from Australia.  “We need to use cheaper material but we don’t want to give them a bat that’s not a good one.” …According to Evans, the process can be used on cheaper wood alternatives like Kashmir willow or Canadian-grown poplar to make mass-producing bats more affordable. 

Read More

Could wooden skyscrapers be the answer for sustainable construction?

By Malibongwe Tyilo
Maverick Life
July 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

In search of sustainable methods of construction, Swedish construction company, Folkhem, is building on a vision of the future of wood in construction. …However, concrete is by far South Africa’s most popular building material. …With the reality of climate change some in the construction business are looking to more sustainable solutions. Swedish property developers, Folkhem and Swedish architect firm, Wingårdhs, are on a mission to expand possibilities of wood in construction …Trees, being made of carbon-based compounds, absorb and store carbon dioxide from the air, therefore reducing the amount in the atmosphere. According to Folkhem, their eight-storey development has total carbon emissions of “minus 1 000 tonnes”. …The wood is also treated to be fireproof… While steel reinforcements can be broken down by heat resulting in collapse, the fireproofed wood is much more likely to withstand the fire. …”we can build houses forever, as long as we take care of the forest,” adds Folkhem CEO

Read More

Forestry

Saskatchewan pilots join Quebec foresters in fight to halt spruce budworm

By Julia Caron
CBC News
July 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Aerial spraying of microbe toxic only to larvae saves foliage, ‘brings Eastern and Western Canada together’. Canada’s political leaders could learn a thing or two about interprovincial co-operation from the pilots helping to save Quebec’s most valuable forests from the scourge of the spruce budworm. Throughout June and early July, the airport in Mont-Joli, in Quebec’s Lower Saint Lawrence region, buzzed with activity, as five planes owned by a company based in Yorkton, Sask., carried out targeted spray operations, beginning as soon as dawn broke each morning. “When the buds start opening on the tree, we have to be out there spraying,” said pilot Kevin Labrecque. Labrecque spent five weeks conducting aerial spraying in Quebec, far from his home in Battleford, Sask.

Read More

First Nations, environmentalists, mill workers push province to overhaul forestry rules

By Chad Pawson
CBC News
July 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province is taking the next step in overhauling an act that manages B.C.’s trees, wildlife, helps slow climate change, and supports reconciliation with First Nations. …stakeholders hope it will be updated in a way that will not only make forestry more sustainable in B.C. but maintain and even increase industry jobs in the province. …The B.C. NDP campaigned on reforming the forestry sector in 2017 by consulting more with First Nations and managing the province’s wild spaces so that ecosystems are preserved while maintaining logging jobs in the province. …”We can no longer apply yesterday’s thinking to today’s challenges,” said Doug Donaldson as part of a public engagement process. …FRPA was introduced in 2004 by the Liberal government and some people criticized it for reducing the power the province had to monitor and manage forestry operations.

Read More

Kamloops part of program training new forestry workers

Kamloops This Week
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kamloops is one of three communities part of a $3-million provincial program aimed at training 100 new forestry workers amidst mill closures and curtailments in the region. Stillwater Consulting has been tapped by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to deliver the Advanced Forestry Training program in Kamloops, Cranbrook and Nanaimo. Students will earn 11 industry certifications, including silviculture surveyor certification, occupational first aid level 3 and basic chainsaw operator. …The 19-week program will prepare students for jobs as environmental technicians, recreational trail builders, silviculture surveyors and wildland firefighters. The program is recruiting students for a July 22 start date. Overall, 36 students per city can participate.

 

Read More

Old-growth forest should be returned to 30% of original level, researchers say

By Clare Hennig
CBC News
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A team from the University of Victoria is pushing for greater protection of old-growth forests in British Columbia in a report that calls for at least 30 per cent of the province’s original forest to be preserved.  Keith Schille, a law student at UVic and lead author of the new report, said preservation quotas often look at the amount of forest currently standing rather than taking into account what was there in the past.  “We don’t want to just protect 30 per cent of what little of the trees are left here on the Island,” he told CBC’s All Points West. “If we want to conserve biological functioning and ecological integrity in these ecosystems, we have to protect 30 per cent of what naturally would be in these systems.” Schille estimates that only about 20 per cent of Vancouver Island’s original forest is still standing compared to before deforestation initiatives. 

Read More

Fires and flooding: how B.C.’s forest policies collide with climate change

By Tegan Hansen
The Narwhal
July 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbians have a complicated relationship with forests. …We promote our provincial identity as nature-lovers through old-growth forests on tourism ads. But in many ways, we never left the gold rush era of destructive, unsustainable industries that wreak havoc on the land. Meanwhile, the forest-based communities we cherish are increasingly at risk. …Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, putting us on the frontlines of global climate change. But the time to “stop” climate change has passed. Now, we’re left bracing for the worst impacts of the climate emergency by adopting strategies to make our communities more resilient to increasing wildfires and devastating floods. …One of the most obvious strategies? Protecting the old-growth forests and intact forests — meaning landscapes not fragmented and degraded by industrial activity — still standing in BC.

Read More

Why Halifax is cataloguing up to 30,000 trees on the peninsula

By Frances Willick
CBC News
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Halifax Regional Municipality is planning to create an inventory of almost every tree on municipal property in peninsular Halifax. The municipality issued a tender last week for a company to collect data on each tree’s global positioning system (GPS) location, species and trunk diameter. While the project may seem daunting to industry outsiders, Crispin Wood, the municipality’s superintendent of urban forestry, doesn’t characterize it that way… “We decided to start small,” he said. “This shouldn’t be a huge amount of labour.” The inventory will include all trees that were intentionally planted, but will not include trees in naturalized areas. Wood estimates there are 20,000 to 30,000 trees on the peninsula that will be eligible for inclusion in the inventory. The data will be used to improve budget planning for pruning, removal and replanting, as well as to help monitor and prevent the spread of invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer.

Read More

Feds announce funding for youth employment program in forestry sector

By Michael Charlebois
The Thunder Bay News Watch
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY –  Zac Wagman had a dream of biking across Canada, he just needed a purpose. This summer, that purpose came in the form of an opportunity for young Canadians as a part of Project Learning Tree Canada and the Green Jobs program. …On Friday, the federal government announced $4.4 million in funding for the Project Learning Tree Canada. …Wagman, biking with his brother Nick, made a stop at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay on Friday, where they were greeted by Minister Patty Hajdu to announce the investment, which will support more than 500 local and Canadian youth, particularly those facing barriers. …The investment is part of the Youth Employment Strategy launched by the Liberal government in June. …Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of Project Learning Tree Canada, says the funding provides opportunities for over 100 employers throughout the country to provide employment opportunities.

Read More

Scientist ‘shocked’ by results of strategy to halt spruce budworm infestation

CBC News
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A fresh approach to controlling the infestation of spruce budworm in New Brunswick forests has surpassed expectations and minimized the effect of the devastating insect, according to the project’s lead scientist. An early intervention strategy focused on proactive detection and targeted spraying was adopted in 2014, as officials feared a growing infestation in Quebec would cross the border. Dr. David MacLean, emeritus professor of forest ecology at the University of New Brunswick, and the project lead, said the results are “extremely promising.” The spruce budworm population across New Brunswick fell by more than 90 per cent in 2018. That year, 220,000 hectares were treated with biological insecticide. In 2019, only 10,000 will be treated, MacLean said. …With an analysis still ongoing, MacLean speculated the reason for the massive drop in numbers is a mix of spraying, climatic influences and natural enemies.

Read More

Feds announce funding for youth employment program in forestry sector

By Michael Charlebois
TB Newswatch
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Patty Hajdu

THUNDER BAY –  Zac Wagman had a dream of biking across Canada, he just needed a purpose. This summer, that purpose came in the form of an opportunity for young Canadians as a part of Project Learning Tree Canada and the Green Jobs program. Wagman works as Green Jobs program manager for Project Learning Tree, a workplace program that provides youth with employment opportunities in the forest and conservation sector, and resources to succeed in those positions. Wagman decided he would take his passion of biking and use it as inspiration for the youth involved in the program. “It helps them see the bigger picture of what they’re a part of,” Wagman said. On Friday, the federal government announced $4.4 million in funding for the Project Learning Tree Canada.

Read More

This Land Was Your Land

By Christopher Ketcham
The New York Times
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

For the past 10 years I’ve been documenting the fate of the least protected and most at-risk portion of the national commons: the roughly 450 million acres across 12 Western states overseen on our behalf by the US Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service. …Both the B.L.M. and the Forest Service operate with a congressional mandate for what’s called “multiple use” management. On paper, multiple use means exploiting the land for its resources in a way that maintains ecosystem health. In practice, it long amounted to… “semantics for making cattlemen, sheepmen, lumbermen, miners the main beneficiaries.” Regulation has improved somewhat since that time. …Journey across the B.L.M. and Forest Service domain today and you’ll find no shortage of uses that look more like abuses. …Forests are felled for timber interests, grasslands are overgrazed for the benefit of cattlemen. The result is ecological impoverishment. [a NY Times subscription is required to access the full story]

Read More

Goats help protect homes from devastating wildfires from climate change

By Prabir Ghose
The US Blasting News
July 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CALIFORNIA — Forest fires have devastated acres of vegetation in America and these are thought to relate to Climate change. Therefore, farmers set loose hungry goats on the countryside. They devour the grass and other such items and ensure that fires do not spread. The wildfire season is fast approaching in the western parts of the country and the four-legged animals are necessary to manage the incendiary lands. …Deadly fire seasons in the area led local communities to evolve solutions to arrest these fires. They now prefer hungry animals to protect their lands instead of machines and chemicals. …According to Bloomberg, firefighters in California are teaming up with goats to help prevent deadly wildfires from devastating the state.

Read More

Montana loggers begin thinning forest to help prevent fires

The Associated Press in the San Francisco Chronicle
July 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON, Mont. — Logging work has commenced in a project intended to thin wooded areas that could potentially provide fuel for wildfires. The Ravalli Republic reported Sunday that loggers have started thinning about 5 square miles (13 square kilometers) of dense forest in the area of the Bitterroot River. The Meadow Vapor project will split the work area and the timber will be sold in two sales to area mills for various uses. The project focuses on removing diseased and smaller trees and leaving old-growth ponderosa pine and Douglas fir behind. Fires burned large areas of the region in 2000. The Bitterroot Community Wildfire Protection Plan has identified the area with an estimated 255 homes as a high priority for reduction of potential wildfire fuel. [END]

Read More

Forest Service chief makes quiet visit to Tongass National Forest

By Jacob Resneck
KRBD Ketchikan FM
July 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sen. Lisa Murkowski recently hosted the U.S. Forest Service’s top official in a flying visit to Tongass National Forest. The delegation kept a low profile during its visit to Southeast Alaska. Back in a mid-May budget hearing, Murkowski quizzed Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. She wanted to know why recent timber sales in Tongass National Forest had no takers. And what was the Forest Service doing about it? “It is a challenge and I’d be glad to work with you more even come up to Alaska that we can roll up our sleeves and really look at this,” Christiansen replied. Murkowski — who chairs the powerful Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee — acted on this opening. “I welcome you up to this state any time summer, winter, spring fall,” she said.

Read More

Fuel surplus could cause another destructive wildfire season

By John Hickey, University of California, Berkeley
Phys.org
July 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Eight months after the Camp Fire consumed the Northern California town of Paradise and was pronounced the deadliest wildfire in state history, California is facing the potential in the coming months for more death and destruction. Scott Stephens, a UC Berkeley professor of fire science, says the heavy rains of February and March have left California grasslands with perhaps twice as much burnable fuel as this time a year ago. “Most of the time, you’d have one ton of dry mass per acre, and right now it’s about double that,” Stephens, who has spent a quarter century in Berkeley working on fire behavior, fire ecology and forest policy, says. “I would expect grassland fires to be more intense and move around more quickly because of that. …Stephens says California could help itself greatly by following the Australian model of fire prevention, where there is regular governmental outreach to people who live in fire-prone areas.

Read More

Private investors protect vast forests in U.S. coal country

By Carey Biron
Reuters in the National Post
July 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WASHINGTON – Private investors have backed what supporters say is one of the largest conservation acquisitions ever in the eastern United States, offering a promising new model to protect land. Conservation group the Nature Conservancy announced Monday that it and partners now control almost 400 square miles of land in three states in the central Appalachian Mountains, traditionally heavily dependent on coal mining. The tracts… were purchased from timber management entities through a $130 million investment fund. …The Nature Conservancy will manage the land, known as the Cumberland Forest Project, for a decade, she said and will provide investors financial returns from three sources: revenue from certified sustainable timber sales, carbon offset credits and the eventual sale of the land, at the end of the period, with long-term or permanent management restrictions in place.

Read More

Can a Snail Too Tiny to See Save a Kentucky Forest From a Gas Pipeline?

By Sabrina Imbler
The Atlas Obscura
July 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

KENTUCKY — The Hidden Springsnail is one of the most felicitously named freshwater mollusks because it is a snail, it lives in springs, and it is notoriously difficult to find. …It’s a snail that hardly anyone would ever even think to notice or look for, but Lori Schroeder will stop at nothing to find it. After all, the fate of a forest might depend on this snail. …It took Schroeder six years of unflagging effort to find a living hidden springsnail in Bernheim, but she managed to pull it off. Bernheim, which is held in a trust, is the largest privately owned nature reserve in the state. Schroeder’s discovery there could help protect the forest from the looming threat of a gas pipeline and road that could slice up the 16,137 acres of its ecosystem.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Changing Climate, Vanishing Old Growth Bring Increase Fire Risk for Coastal Forests

By Brandon Wei, graduate student, UBC School of Journalism
The Tyee
July 15, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

It rains in Zeballos. …But despite the region’s average annual precipitation of 163 inches — more than three times that of Vancouver — the community of about 100 people was threatened when lightning sparked a wildfire last August. …The fact that some of the wettest forests in North America are now considered candidates for wildfires signals the severe shifts being caused by climate change. It means that old growth trees, critical for forest resiliency and traditionally quite fire resistant, are increasingly under threat. “We’re seeing impacts in places in coastal B.C. that are very unique, [which] speaks to the multi-year drought we’ve been experiencing,” said Lori Daniels, a professor at the University of British Columbia. …Much of the forests in coastal B.C. have been logged over the last century. Now younger second-growth forests dominate the landscape, and they are not nearly as fire resistant.

Read More

China says its greenhouse gas emissions soar over 50% from 2005 to 2014

CNBC News
July 15, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

China’s climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions hit 12.3 billion tonnes in 2014, up 53.5% in just a decade, the environment ministry said on Monday, citing the country’s latest carbon “inventory” submitted to the United Nations. China’s carbon emissions data is notoriously opaque, but as a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Beijing is obliged to submit an official inventory to the UN on a regular basis. It has previously released figures for 2005 and 2010. …The 2014 figure… includes China’s emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, but does not make adjustments based on changes in land use or increases in forest coverage. The environment ministry said if the impact of forests and other “carbon sinks” were taken into consideration, total emissions would have stood at 11.186 billion tonnes in 2014, still up 17% from 2010.

Read More

Health & Safety

Agencies boost efforts to stop wildland firefighter suicides

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in the Mail Tribune
July 14, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — Shane Del Grosso spent some 30 summers crossing smoke-shrouded mountains and forests to fight increasingly devastating wildfires in the U.S. West. Toward the end, his skills and experience propelled him to lead a federal multi-agency team that responded to large-scale national disasters. …But then came the long offseason lacking the shared-risk camaraderie. Isolation closed in, his family said, along with marital problems that can be exacerbated by first-responder jobs that require missed family events and birthdays. Del Grosso, 50, killed himself May 9, 2016, not long before the start of another wildfire season. …”It was maybe that male bravado firefighter thing where you don’t talk about what’s bothering you,” said his best friend, Noel Matson. Federal officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise have started making efforts to change that mindset after noticing an increase in wildland firefighter suicides in recent years.

Read More

Forest Fires

Forest Fire Situation Update Northwest Region

The Net News Ledger
July 15, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There are currently 20 active fires in the region. Seven are not under control, one fire is being held, two fires are under control, and ten fires are being observed. Red Lake Fire Number 23 is 8 kilometers south of the community of Keewaywin. This fire is 95,623 hectares in size. …Red Fire Number 39 –The fire size has been remapped to 44,736 hectares. …Red Lake Fire Number 40 is not under control at 30,212 hectares and is located near Nungesser Lake, approximately 40 kilometres north of Red Lake.  Recent precipitation has assisted in suppression efforts. …The fire hazard in the Northwest Region is generally low to moderate with rain either occurring today or overnight in the forecast. Some stations in the far north and in the Nipigon District will remain in the high range for another day until the forecast precipitation occurs.

Read More

Evacuation of Pikangikum First Nation on hold as forest fire gets smaller

Canadian Press in CTV News
July 14, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

PIKANGIKUM, Ont. — Officials say evacuations have been put on hold in Pikangikum First Nation as the forest fire near the northern Ontario community has reduced in size. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says that as of Sunday, the fire burning near Pikangikum was about 447 square kilometres. Jonathan Scott says the fire was reduced by about 60 square kilometres because of rain over the previous few days, which also helped improve the air quality in the area. Mathew Hoppe, commander of Pikangikum’s emergency operations centre, says the full evacuation of the First Nation was paused in light of the good news. He says the community will take it day by day in deciding what to do with the residents who remain in Pikangikum.

Read More

Smoke blankets the sky as wildfire on Hawaii’s Maui Island forces evacuations

Reuters in Global News
July 12, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Thousands of residents and visitors on Hawaii‘s Maui Island were ordered to evacuate two communities on Thursday as a spreading wildfire sent smoke billowing high into the sky, officials and local media said. The 3,000 acre brush fire in Maui’s central valley was uncontrolled Thursday night, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino told a news conference. He said firefighters would monitor it overnight but that it was too dangerous to battle the blaze in the dark. “We can’t fight the fire tonight,” he said. “We’re not going to send any firefighters into harm’s way.” …While thousands were ordered evacuated, it was unclear how many people fled the west Maui coastal communities of Maalaea and Kihei. But three shelters housed about 500 people late Thursday, media reports said.

Read More