Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 29, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Brazil’s “change in course” blamed for up-tick in Amazon logging

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 29, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Brazil’s Bolsonaro promised economic growth over forest protection. Seven months into his term, multiple critics say it’s already happening. In related news: Canada’s forgotten rainforest (Narwhal); charred forests not growing back in the Pacific Northwest (CBC); time to redefine our forest priorities (Assoc. of BC Forest Professionals); urban trees promote mental heath (Phys.org) and cloning redwoods to combat climate change (NBC).

In other news: Canfor extends its Taylor pulp mill curtailment; BC Premier Horgan appoints new parliamentary secretary for forestry; the Softwood Lumber Board has a new leader for Think Wood; and SFI opens its 2019 conservation grants program.

Finally, memorable plywood applications and why you should buy slow furniture.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Time to redefine forest priorities

By Christine Gelowitz, RPF, CEO, Association of BC Forest Professionals
The Prince George Citizen
July 26, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Christine Gelowitz

Are we facing a turning point in how we think about and value B.C.’s forests? In recent years, B.C. forests have been ravaged by pine and spruce beetle, two years of significant wildfires… It’s against this backdrop that the B.C. government… conducted public consultations on the Forest and Range Practices Act. …The act has been criticized by a variety of groups. …Put simply, forest professionals are trying to balance legal (government-required) and non-legal (locally-desired) priorities that often conflict with each other. Finding “win-win” solutions for objectives that are completely at odds is almost impossible and leaves everyone unhappy. Clearly, it is time to review and update the Forest and Range Practices Act to clarify how regional communities, Aboriginal peoples, and other special interests want to use and manage the forest today. …Forest professionals are passionate about B.C.’s forests. …In order to properly care for our forests, we need clarity on what British Columbians expect from their forests and where priorities lie.

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Business & Politics

Production cuts at Canfor’s Taylor pulp mill extended

Prince George Matters
July 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor is extending the curtailment at the Taylor pulp mill into September. The company announced the extension in its second-quarter results released Friday, July 26, citing ongoing market conditions. The curtailment extends five weeks to Sept. 9, cutting summer production of bleached chemi-thermo mechanical pulp by about 50,000 tonnes. The mill was originally scheduled to restart Aug. 5. “Our pulp business … delivered solid results in the second quarter but in the latter part of the quarter, we began to see significant erosion of NBSK pulp and BCTMP prices, which in combination with the reduced fibre supply in BC due to the industry-wide sawmill curtailments, resulted in the decision to curtail operations in the third quarter,” Canfor president and CEO Don Kayne said.

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B.C. Premier John Horgan assigns, makes changes to parliamentary secretary jobs

By Chad Hipolito
Canadian Press in the Victoria Times Colonist
July 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ravi Kahlon

British Columbia Premier John Horgan has appointed Sheila Malcolmson as his parliamentary secretary for environment. Horgan says Malcolmson, who won the Nanaimo by-election in January for the New Democrats, will focus her work on addressing marine-sourced plastic debris and make recommendations for action on derelict vessels. A news release says Ravi Kahlon has been appointed as parliamentary secretary for forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development. The release says Kahlon will help the minister, Doug Donaldson, to work with communities in the Interior as the forest industry there faces significant challenges. 

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Standing in the ashes of forestry

By Andru McCracken
Rocky Mountain Goat
July 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The board of the Valemount Community Forest (also the board of the Valemount Industrial Park) have purchased a mill and have the intention of running it. …If the board is successful there could be up to 8 new decent paying jobs. In a community of 1000, that’s nothing to sneeze at. It’s a good move because it uses wood that isn’t easy to sell and it creates a special product that isn’t being manufactured by multinational conglomerates. Valemount’s major mill has been shut down so long it may seem strange that we could have an economically successful mill while so many massive mills are shutting down, but there is a good example that both explains and demonstrates how it can work.

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Finance & Economics

Random Lengths Lumber Market Report

Random Lenghts Publications
July 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

The measured pace in framing lumber trading that began in early July persisted into the latter part of the month. …Traders looked for more production curtailments to help balance supply and demand, but little developed this week on that front. Soft prices in various species pushed the Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price down another $5, to $351.

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US GDP slows to 2.1% in second quarter but beats expectations

By Jeff Cox
CNBC News
July 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

US Growth decelerated in the second quarter, but not by as much as Wall Street thought, as tariffs and a global slowdown weighed on the U.S. economy, the Commerce Department reported Friday. GDP increased 2.1%, down from the first quarter’s 3.1%. Dow Jones Q2 estimates were for 2% growth. However, the underlying numbers seemed to take steam out of the recession fears.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

6 reasons you should buy “slow furniture”

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
July 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Fast furniture is like fast food or fast fashion; here’s why you should go slow and how you do it. Reading Kate Wagner’s article in Curbed on buying furniture… I liked the term she used, “fast furniture”, to describe the stuff from IKEA, Wayfair and Amazon. …She wrote: …And now we are squarely in the age of “fast furniture,” characterized by the bounty of cheap, flimsy, and disposable furnishing options on the market. Unlike the furniture of our grandparents, furniture today is often not made to last generations (let alone an apartment move). As a result, furniture is taking its toll on the planet, and our wallets. …So what should we do instead? Morrill suggests [we] buy furniture made from whole materials, including solid wood, which she says “may cost more up front, the resale value is substantially higher down the line.”

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Timber skyscrapers could be made with Northern Ontario wood

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
July 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Northern Ontario wood will feed the province’s first cross-laminated timber (CLT) plant in southwestern Ontario. Patrick Chouinard, a co-founder of Element5, the operators of a proposed $32-million facility in St. Thomas, said the fibre sourced for their operation will come from the White River area. He said siting a CLT plant in Northern Ontario was their first option when they were deciding where the building was going to go. But after crunching the numbers, Chouinard said it made economic sense for the plant to be close to their customers. “Because of the cost of transportation, it was decided that the plant really had to be in southern Ontario where the majority of our opportunities are.” The Ontario government announced July 23 that it’s investing close to $5 million in the company’s automated plant and the 60 manufacturing jobs.

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Memorable Plywood Applications of the 20th Century

By Mike Jackson
The Journal of the American Institute of Architects
July 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The concept of laminating sheets of wood together with an adhesive dates back to the Egyptian pharaohs. But its widespread application in residential construction and interiors did not gain popularity until the 1930s when a chemist at the Harbor Plywood Corporation developed a waterproof adhesive. Here, the Building Technology Heritage Library chronicles the use of plywood as a framing material, decorative feature, and more through the 20th century. Click the read more to see eleven publications like the ones pictured below.

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Made in the Northwest: Vaagen Timbers

By Derek Deis
KXLY Spokane
July 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Vaagen Timbers believes it’s only the sixth manufacturer of Cross Laminated Timber in North America. Derek Deis has the details in another edition of Made in the Northwest. [Video story, 2:55 minutes]

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Softwood Lumber Board Appoints New Leader for Think Wood Program

By Softwood Lumber Board
Global Newswire
July 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Kabira Cher Ferrell

West Linn, Oregon — The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is pleased to announce Kabira Cher Ferrell as its new Vice President, Marketing and Communications, leading the Think Wood program, effective August 1, 2019. Kabira joins the SLB with solid wood background having led the Wood, Naturally effort for five years and more recently, provided strategic planning and counsel for the Think Wood program.  She also spearheaded the 2018 Issues Management initiative working across the SLB’s funded programs. …“As the construction and design market evolves so do Think Wood’s strategy and tactics; I am excited to have Kabira lead the Think Wood program and look forward to further strategic alignment between initiatives funded by the industry and our partners,” said Ryan Flom, SLB chief marketing officer. 

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Forestry

Now Open: 2019 SFI Conservation Grants Program request for proposals

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
July 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) opened its annual request for proposals (RFP) for the SFI Conservation Grants Program today. Applications for the program will be accepted from eligible entities through September 30th. Requirements for this year’s program are available on the SFI website. The SFI Conservation Grants Program supports SFI’s mission to advance sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. These grants facilitate partnerships with conservation groups and academic partners that contribute to the understanding of critical conservation outcomes across the range of American and Canadian forests. Projects focus on the connection between sustainable supply chains and current global conservation issues such as water quality, biodiversity, species at risk, carbon sequestration and resiliency to climate change. 

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Forestry professor sees value in debris piles

By Joel Barde
Pique News Magazine
July 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Under current legislation, forestry companies operating in B.C. are required to dispose of all of the debris piles they produce, unless special exemptions are made by the province. But according to Tom Sullivan, a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia in biology and forestry, that requirement should be amended. Debris piles can speed up habitat restoration and should left at appropriate levels in appropriate areas, said Sullivan. “If we are trying to restore forests, a good place to start is to leave some woody debris out there that animals will make use of and colonize,” he said. …Sullivan’s studies have shown that such piles, which are often made up of branches and undesirable timber, provide valuable habitat for displaced animals such as martens, fishers, and small weasels that do not like clear-cut land.

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Charred forests not growing back as expected in Pacific Northwest, researchers say

By Jon Hernandez
CBC News
July 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Camille Stevens-Rumann was a student of raging wildfires well before she began formally researching their impact on the environment. The Colorado-based forestry professor fought wildfires that swept through the region. …Her research has taken her from the charred forests of America’s Rocky Mountain ranges all the way to the Pacific Northwest, just south of the B.C. border. What she’s found: certain tree species are having a tough time growing back in areas that have been affected by wildfires due to warming temperatures — a discovery that could have major implications for both the forestry sector and long-term climate change targets. …Both studies attribute climate change to be the lead cause of why the trees are struggling to grow back in certain fire-scarred areas. Stevens-Rumann says there are many similar forests facing the same challenges in B.C.’s Southern Interior.

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Canada’s forgotten rainforest

By Sarah Cox
The Narwhal
July 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…To encounter a rainforest more than 500 kilometres from B.C.’s coast, with oceanic lichens that sustain endangered caribou herds during winters, is something of a miracle. By all accounts, a rainforest shouldn’t be scattered in moist valley bottoms stretching from the Cariboo Mountains east of Prince George to the Rocky Mountains close to the Alberta border. …Scientists wonder at the alignment of nature that made it possible for coastal species to hitchhike here thousands of years ago and flourish undisturbed in the sheltered dampness that kept fire at bay. …Following decades of industrial logging, much of what remains of B.C.’s undisturbed and unprotected inland rainforest is now at risk of being clear-cut — including the few unlogged inland rainforest watersheds between Prince George and the U.S. border, 800 kilometres to the south.

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Pushback on Carmi Trails

By Chelsea Powrie
Castanet
July 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Plans for a community forest protecting the Carmi Recreation Trails from logging are getting pushback from the Penticton Indian Band, who object to the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen’s support of the proposition.  The RDOS voted to send a letter of support for the plan in April, at which time the City of Penticton had also expressed support. But the PIB had yet to formally weigh in, and now they have, with a letter to the district up for the board’s consideration at Thursday’s meeting. “We were disappointed to learn that your council also engaged with local stakeholder groups with respect to a series of recreational trails within the vicinity of proposed harvest area K713 and K714. It is our understanding that your council voted in unanimous favour to move forward with the development of a long-term management regime for this area,” reads the letter.

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Research group targets Peterborough County area for old-growth forests

By Noor Ibrahim
Global News
July 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A research group is focusing on the Peterborough area as it maps old-growth forests in Ontario.  Ancient Forest Exploration and Research (AFER) is trying to expand the knowledge of old-growth forests. The Peterborough project is backed by a $75,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation which will support the initiative until February 2022. “An old-growth forest is a forest that has ideally been untouched for over 140 years,” said Carling Dewar, a forest ecologist with AFER. Dewar and her team of three at AFER, headed by chief scientist Dr. Peter Quinby, are starting with the trees in Peterborough County to eventually conserve them. According to the most recent reports by Forest Resource Inventory (2003), the northern area of Peterborough County contains 72 per cent of old-growth forest in Ontario. But, 26,000 hectares of the forests are unprotected, AFER says — the equivalent to 21,320 football fields.

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Congress needs to make fuels reduction a priority for Oregon communities

By Nick Smith, executive director, Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities,
Statesman Journal
July 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Nick Smith

Zach Urness’ reporting on the wildfire dangers facing Merlin and nearby communities highlights the need for better management of federal lands. It also underscores the folly of legislation pending in Congress that would make fuels reduction near these communities all but impossible. As Urness’ story notes, many in Southwest Oregon’s Josephine County are frustrated with the federal government’s inability to manage forests and maintain roads. Residents are taking responsibility for reducing fire risks on their properties, yet the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service aren’t doing the same on their lands.  This inaction is due to agency analysis paralysis, litigation and obstruction, and a lack of funding and personnel as budgets are exhausted by wildfire suppression costs.

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Urban trees found to improve mental and general health

By Ben Long, University of Wollongong
Phys.org
July 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

People in urban areas have a lower risk of developing psychological distress and better overall health if they have more trees within a walkable distance from their homes, a study by University of Wollongong (UOW) researchers has found. In neighbourhoods with a tree canopy of 30 percent or more, adults had 31 percent lower odds of developing psychological distress, and 33 percent lower odds of rating their general health as “fair” or “poor” over six years. Urban green spaces with open grass rather than a tree canopy did not deliver the same benefits. …”Our results suggest the type of green space does matter,” Professor Astell-Burt said. “We found that the residents of neighbourhoods with a higher amount of tree canopy had better mental and general health, but didn’t find the same correlation when the type of green space was open, grassed areas.

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Brazil’s Bolsonaro Blamed As Illegal Deforestation Pushes Amazon Rainforest to ‘Tipping Point’, Expert Warns

By Aristos Georgiou
Newsweek.com
July 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Brazilian Amazon rainforest is being cleared away at such a fast rate that it is approaching a “tipping point” beyond which it may not be able to recover, an expert has warned. As trees are lost, researchers say there is a risk that large swathes of the forest could transition to savannah as they lose the ability to make their own rainfall via evaporation and transpiration from plants. This could have significant implications for global warming, given that the rainforest absorbs vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere.”It’s very important to keep repeating these concerns. There are a number of tipping points which are not far away,” Philip Fearnside, a professor at Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research. The warning comes after the latest release of Brazilian government data.

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Critics Say Brazil’s President Isn’t Protecting The Rain Forest Or Its People (Radio Podcast)

By Philip Reeves
NPR Radio
July 29, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Philip Reeves

Worries are growing among environmentalists in Brazil, who say an indigenous leader in the Amazon was killed after gold miners invaded the area. [Radio Podcast 4 min)

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Under Brazil’s Far Right Leader, Amazon Protections Slashed and Forests Fall

By Letícia Casado and Ernesto Londoño
The New York Times
July 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BRASÍLIA — The destruction of the Amazon rain forest in Brazil has increased rapidly since the nation’s new far-right president took over and his government scaled back efforts to fight illegal logging, ranching and mining. Protecting the Amazon was at the heart of Brazil’s environmental policy for much of the past two decades. At one point, Brazil’s success in slowing the deforestation rate made it an international example. …But with the election of President Jair Bolsonaro… Brazil has changed course. …While campaigning for president last year, Mr. Bolsonaro declared that Brazil’s vast protected lands were an obstacle to economic growth and promised to open them up to commercial exploitation. Seven months into his term, that is already happening. Brazil’s part of the Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover since Mr. Bolsonaro took office. [a NY Times subscription is required to access the full story]

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Old-growth forests logged, as tree planting in Sydney accelerates

By Peter Hannam and Caitlin Fitzsimmons
Sydney Morning Herald
July 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Plans by the NSW Government to strip protection from old-growth forests in the state’s north-east will cause the loss of as many as 70,000 key habitat trees, the independent Natural Resources Commission estimates. The expected tree loss follows a decision last year to overhaul rules for coastal forestry that increased loggers’ access to timber previously off limits. The remapping and rezoning affects 14,600 hectares in the north-east alone in the initial phase and potentially five times eventually. The threat to native forests comes as Planning Minister Rob Stokes revealed the Berejiklian government had planted 154,000 trees since April 2018 when it announced its “stretch goal” of planting 5 million trees in greater Sydney by 2030. …But the initiative comes amid threats to trees elsewhere in the state.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Cloning giant redwoods could help combat climate change

By Mary Beth Toole and Anne Thompson
NBC News
July 28, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

…Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, an organization that advocates reforestation as a solution to global warming, is the brainchild of Jake’s father David, a third-generation tree farmer.  …”We’ll probably take a couple hundred samples,” he says. “Then once we have that basic genetic material captured in our laboratory, there’s really no need to come back to this tree.” The Milarchs plan to use these clones to supplement and strengthen depleted redwood forests and even migrate them as climate change begins to affect the trees in their natural habitats. They’ve already planted coast redwoods in the Presidio in San Francisco and have plans for these clones to be planted all over the world. New research published this month in Science Magazine seems to validate the mission of Archangel, suggesting that planting trees could be an effective strategy to help stem climate change.

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Health & Safety

Early Detection of Spontaneous Combustion in Pellet Mills

By Derek Stuart
Biomass Magazine
July 26, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States

Derek Stuart

Wood pellets are increasingly being adopted as a fuel for both domestic and industrial applications at all scales, from small space heating to a 600-MW power plant. …Wood pellets are by their very nature combustible and can be ignited by a range of sources. Stored bulk piles of wood pellets tend to oxidize, which leads to self-heating and, potentially, spontaneous combustion. Additionally, the dust associated with the pellets, when dispersed and ignited, can give rise to a dust explosion under appropriate conditions of containment. Fortunately, there are techniques to detect the early stages of spontaneous heating and combustion, allowing operators the chance to prevent the problem and avoid costly damages. …Choosing the right detection method can significantly improve site safety by reducing fire risks.

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Forest Fires

‘It was just a wall of fire’: Neighbours fight off Cawston area blaze overnight

By Brady Strachan
CBC News
July 26, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A group of about 15 people living south of Cawston, B.C., banded together to fight off the Richter Mountain fire Thursday night and early Friday morning, as gusting winds fanned flames down the mountainside toward their properties. The wildfire, burning approximately 15 kilometres south of Cawston along Highway 3, has grown to 150 hectares, up from 80 hectares earlier in the day, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. On Friday, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen issued an evacuation alert for 10 properties adjacent to the highway and on Chopaka Road. “The fire was so strong and it was so windy,” said Melissa Genberg, who fought the blaze into the early morning hours of Friday along with her neighbours. “It was just a wall of fire.”

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‘It’s taken a lot of hard work’: Chuckegg wildfire finally being held as residents learn to live with its aftermath

Edmonton Journal
July 26, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Chuckegg Creek wildfire that forced thousands of people from their northern Alberta homes has officially been classified as “‘being held” after burning out of control for months. “It’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of different people — everyone from our firefighters on the ground to the extreme hard work of pilots’ countless hours of bucketing on hot spots to contractors to heavy equipment operators to everyone that makes the whole wheel turn,” said Victoria Ostendorf, wildfire information officer for the High Level area. The change in status means the fire is not expected to grow outside of its expected boundaries under current weather conditions. Ostendorf said firefighters will now work inwards on the fire to extinguish hot spots.

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Wildfire jumps in size overnight

By Damian Mann
The Mail Tribune
July 28, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Smoke from the wildfire raging 70 miles north in Canyonville continued to pour into the Rogue Valley over the weekend, with no letup in sight. The Milepost 97 fire continued its march southward, growing from 8,878 to 11,009 acres from Saturday to Sunday and threatening 586 structures. “This is one of the most difficult fires we’ve dealt with,” said Joe Touchstone, a public information officer with the Oregon Department of Forestry, which took control of fire operations on Friday. Last night, sparks from a burning tree that fell down ignited spot fires across the freeway, with firefighters rushing to mop them up. Despite the terrain, strong winds and the reduced visibility, ODF has the fire 5 percent contained.

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Grounded air tanker returns to fire battle

By Vickie Aldous
Mail Tribune
July 26, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Medford Airtanker Base’s large air tanker was grounded this morning due to low-lying smoke from the Milepost 97 fire near Canyonville. The Erickson DC-7 air tanker was able to lift off this afternoon to aid firefighters on the ground. The DC-7 can drop 3,000-gallon loads of fire retardant or water. The plane flew five missions from about 9:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. Early on, the smoke column from the fire was billowing into the sky, said Tyler Hoffer, Oregon Department of Forestry assistant tanker manager to the DC-7. “It started out relatively clear because the column was standing up. And then it started degrading over time. Smoke started laying down over the fire,” Hoffer said. The DC-7 was joined by two smaller air tankers that can each carry 650-750 gallons of retardant or water at a time. .

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