Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 8, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Mass timber suppliers see surging sales in Canada, US

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 8, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

As commodity lumber producers struggle, the value-added sector serving mass timber construction is surging. In related news: a tutorial on how to build taller with wood; wood’s contribution to the bottom line; and the upside of waste wood

In other news: BC moves forward with leaders’ table on caribou recovery; Nova Scotia’s bat population is slowly recovering; and the US is proposing endangered species protection for the Pacific Fisher. On the human Safety front, the BC Wildfire Service is studying firefighter’s health; while a US report says wildfire smoke is worse than controlled burns.

Finally, this Monday, Canadians and Americans pay homage to the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to keep us safe, while thanking our aging and remaining veterans. One way to do this is by revisiting the role of the Canadian Forestry Corps in WW1.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

“Sawdust Fusiliers” — The Canadian Forestry Corps in WW1

By Judith Elson
Royal Commonwealth Society of Canada
November 8, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

During the First World War huge quantities of wood were needed on the Western Front: to shore up trench walls and line muddy trench floors; to make stakes for barbed wire fences; to construct corduroy roads over muddy terrain; to build shelters, hangars, military buildings. …Britain had plenty of suitable trees but lacked experienced men to cut and trim them. On February 16, 1916, Andrew Bonar Law, the British Colonial Secretary, formally asked the Duke of Connaught, Governor-General of Canada, if Canada would provide the manpower necessary to cut and process timber in England. By March 1, 1916, the Canadian Government had responded by creating the 224th Battalion, dedicated to harvesting and processing timber resources overseas. Another three battalions were recruited in the next fifteen months. …By the end of the year, 11 companies of Canadian lumbermen were working in Britain, with another 3 companies working in France, a total of 3038 Canadians.

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Business & Politics

Interfor Reports Q3’19 Results

By Interfor Corporation
Global Newswire
November 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Interfor recorded a net loss in Q3’19 of $35.6 million, or $0.53 per share, compared to a net loss of $11.2 million, or $0.17 per share in Q2’19 and net earnings of $28.2 million, or $0.40 per share in Q3’18.  Adjusted net loss in Q3’19 was $11.8 million compared to an Adjusted net loss of $16.2 million in Q2’19 and Adjusted net earnings of $28.3 million in Q3’18. Adjusted EBITDA was $16.8 million on sales of $486.5 million in Q3’19 versus $12.6 million on sales of $481.3 million in Q2’19. Included in the Company’s results for Q3’19 are $23.2 million (after-tax) for capital asset write-downs and restructuring costs, or $31.8 million on a pre-tax basis. 

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Clearwater mayor optimistic a decision will come soon on proposed Canfor cutting rights transfer

By Colton Davies
RADIO NL 610
November 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The mayor of Clearwater says stakeholders involved in a proposed forest tenure transfer in his region are waiting on the province to make a decision. Merlin Blackwell says he thinks a decision will come soon on Canfor’s proposed $60-million-dollar transfer of its cutting rights to Interfor. “That said, unlike Fort St. James, there’s no indication that a mill will come back.” …Canfor proposed the sale in June to Interfor and it needs provincial approval under the newly-created Bill 22. “I think because of the statuatory decision-making process and the Minister of Forests being in that position, they do have to stand a little bit back on that. But I do have a feeling – this is my personal feeling – that we will have a deal on that, and it won’t be too far off.”

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Minister says he’ll decide what happens to wood allocation from closed Irving sawmill

CBC News
November 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick’s minister of natural resources and energy development says he has the final say over a disputed wood allocation tied to the now-closed Irving-owned sawmill in Baker Brook. The sawmill, owned by J.D. Irving Ltd., officially closed Nov. 1, resulting in the loss of 65 jobs in the area. The company… plans to consolidate its operations and will try to find placements for the affected employees. The mayor of Haut-Madawaska, a rural community of almost 4,000 that includes Baker Brook, has since raised concerns JDI would transfer its wood allocation and remove equipment from the mill, effectively warding off any competition to move in its stead. …JDI spokesperson Mary Keith said late Thursday the “wood allocation will still be used to sustain much needed jobs” in northern New Brunswick.

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Cascades Continues its Solid Performance in the Third Quarter of 2019

By Cascades Inc.
Cision Newswire
November 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

KINGSEY FALLS, QC — Cascades reports its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended September 30, 2019. Sales of $1,264 million compared with $1,275 million in Q2 2019 (-1%) and $1,175 million in Q3 2018 (+8%). …Adjusted (excluding specific items) operating income of $88 million compared with $84 million in Q2 2019 (+5%) and $76 million in Q3 2018 (+16%). …Mr. Mario Plourde, President and CEO, commented: “Cascades delivered solid consolidated third quarter 2019 results, as demonstrated by the 24.9% OIBD margin realized by the Containerboard segment. 

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State has $483,000 for wood energy

Daily Journal of Commerce
November 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Commerce awarded $482,768 in grants to four projects that will provide heat, power, engineered fuel products or significant energy efficiency improvements from wood products. All grants must be matched at least dollar-for-dollar with other sources of non-federal funding. Here are the projects: Darrington Wood Innovation Center; $160,886 to support design of the center; The Lands Council in Spokane; $25,000 for conversion of residual woody debris to biochar; San Juan Islands Conservation District; $181,882 to develop energy and biochar technologies to process woody biomass at several locations; Wind River Biomass Utility in Skamania County; $115,000 to design, procure and test a system for sorting, gathering and transporting woody biomass.

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PotlatchDeltic lumber profits plummet 66 percent, still beats expectations

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
November 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Washington – For the period ended Sept. 30, PotlatchDeltic – which formed after a merger early last year – reported net income of $20.6 million, or 30 cents per share, down 66 percent compared to $60.4 million, or 93 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue for the three-month period fell nearly 21.7 percent to $226.3 million compared to $289.2 million in the same quarter of 2018. The company said volatile lumber prices were to blame. …Of the company’s three divisions – real estate, timberlands, and wood products – wood products suffered the heaviest decline of 87.3 percent from 2018.

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Finance & Economics

October Housing Starts Trend Lower in Canada

Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corp
Forex Factory
November 8, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Canadian housing starts fell in October compared with the previous month as groundbreaking decreased on multiple unit urban homes, data from the national housing agency showed on Friday. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts fell to 201,973 units from a revised 221,135 units in September, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation said. Economists had expected starts to be 221,200.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Timber Tutorial: How to Build Taller with Wood

By Eric Baldwin
Arch Daily
November 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Tall timber buildings are on the rise. Design teams around the world are taking advantage of ever-evolving mass timber technologies, resulting in taller and taller structures. Building off our recent article exploring the future of high-rise buildings, we’re taking a deeper dive into new emerging timber technologies and the advantages of building taller with wood. This tutorial explores how to make tall timber structures a reality. …This year, the International Code Council (ICC) announced approval of 14 code changes as part of the 2021 International Building Code (IBC) that will allow mass timber structures of up to 18 stories. Included in these changes is the introduction of three new construction types—IV-A, IV-B and IV-C. In this context, heavy timber is either sawn lumber or structural glue-laminated timber and is associated with Type IV construction.

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Biophilic Brands: Can Wood and Nature Boost the Bottom Line?

Think Wood
November 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Influential brands around the world are bringing nature indoors, through the use of wood and other natural materials, all in the effort to attract customers, enhance the buying experience and boost the bottom-line. And they might be on to something: recent research on retail sales suggests “going green” may actually increase the number of greenbacks a customer is willing to part with. In the American Midwest’s largest city, McDonald’s is showcasing how wood can bring value and help express the company’s growing commitment to environmentally conscious choices. As Carol Ross Barney of Ross Barney Architects explains, some durable materials aren’t always authentic and eco-friendly. Mass timber offers durability, resilience and sustainability”…Biophilic design is also a natural fit for Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC), Canada’s biggest retailer of outdoor gear… MEC is putting eco-conscious timber-framed architecture front and center in its newest flagship store, located in Vancouver and scheduled to open in 2020. 

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Building taller: BC mass timber suppliers see surging sales in Canada, US

By Jean Sorensen
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
November 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

As the B.C. commodity lumber sector shutters mills, the B.C. value-added sector serving mass timber construction is surging forward with sales buoyed by a strong U.S. economy clamouring for new buildings and optimism over changes in Canada’s 2020 National Building Code. …The new Canadian code allows wood buildings up to 12 storeys and provides guidelines for the tall buildings trend unfolding. …The Canadian Wood Council’s program Wood Works! cites that, as of March 2019, 545 multi-family, commercial, or institutional projects have been constructed out of mass timber or are in design in the U.S. …Brian Hawrysh, CEO of the BC Wood Specialties Group… is not aware of any of the major commodity lumber producers opting in. Their business profile differs, he says, adding that ultimately it is a win-win situation for them as mass timber opens up a new market for dimensional lumber. Instead, companies entering the space are intermediate value-added manufacturers, such as Kalesnikoff.

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What’s our sustainability story? ‘Waste wood made good’

By Kenn Busch
Woodworking Network
November 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…We – North America’s producers of particleboard, MDF and decorative TFL panels – are, literally, the core of today’s furniture materials. It’s safe to say that you’ll find particleboard or MDF in every single building and furniture line produced in the last 50 years.  …Composite wood panels begin life as a recycled product. When trees are harvested for lumber and flooring, half of that wood fiber is left on the forest floor. We use over 99 percent of that leftover fiber in our panels. The tiny bit still left over becomes fuel for heating our plants and kilns. …Composite wood panels store more carbon than is released in its production. …Our panels release less formaldehyde than natural wood, or a bowl of fruit. …Designing and building with composite wood decorative panels truly makes the world a better place. We are waste wood made good. We are climate positive now. 

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Less steel, more wood could help New Zealand hit carbon targets

By Marty Verry, Red Stag Group
Stuff New Zealand
November 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

University and Scion research shows how New Zealand can achieve “zero carbon” in our third-biggest area of emissions, buildings. …Buildings cause GHG emissions in two ways; the embodied carbon from the extraction, manufacture and transport of the materials used, and the ongoing emissions from the energy used by the building. Nearly all electricity in New Zealand is from renewable sources so measurement of ongoing energy use, known as “Life Cycle Analysis”, is fairly irrelevant in terms of climate change. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always good to save power for economic reasons, but right now the biggest show in town is climate change. So when it comes to buildings and climate change, it is only the upfront embodied carbon in the materials that is relevant in New Zealand. Hands down the products that cause the most climate change damage are concrete and steel. 

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Forestry

Alberta firefighters call for reversal of cut to helicopter rappel program

By Travis McEwan
CBC News
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters who rappel from helicopters to fight forest fires called on the Alberta government Thursday to reverse its decision to end the program. The end of the Wildland Firefighter Rappel Program [RAP] was revealed Wednesday by Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen who called it a budget decision and said the government is putting priority on two other groups of firefighters who are used more often.  Close to 63 firefighters have been employed and trained by the program. The UCP government will work to place them in other crews, he said. …Mike Dempsey, a vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees who represents … firefighters in the RAP program said, “I’m a bit shocked and saddened, of course. It seems like they’re wanting to save a bit of money, but it’s going to cost them a whole lot more in suppression costs.”

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Log truck driving course offered for free at college

The Kelowna Daily Courier
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Job seekers looking to step into the cab and start up careers as professional log truck drivers can tap into a tuition-free training program coming to Okanagan College. The professional log truck driver program will be offered by the college in Oliver, starting Nov. 18. …It’s being offered tuition-free for eligible students who meet the definition of an employment insurance client, are eligible for WorkBC case management, have been referred by a WorkBC case manager and who possess a valid driver’s licence. …“This program was designed by the B.C. Forest Safety Council in consultation with log truck and truck harvesting advisory group,” said Dennis Silverstone, the college’s director of continuing studies and corporate training.

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Syncrude marks three billion barrel milestone with $3 million community investments

By Laura Beamish
Fort McMurrary Today
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Syncrude is donating $3 million to programs and initiatives in the region to commemorate hitting a three billion barrel milestone at their Mildred Lake project last week. …A number of new investments will be funded, including the University of Alberta Faculty of Engineering for student engagement in northern communities, Inside Education’s Wood Buffalo Environment Education Project, a machining program with the Fort McMurray Catholic School District, a non-destructive apprenticeship program with CAREERS: The Next Generation, an e-learning program with the Fort McKay First Nation and an education training program with the Mikisew Cree First Nation. Tree Canada Operation Releaf program will also be included. The program is committed to helping people in the community replant forested areas affected by the 2016 wildfires.

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Province moves forward with leaders’ table on caribou recovery in the Peace

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier John Horgan met with Chief Ken Cameron of the Saulteau First Nations and Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nations on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, to discuss moving forward with a leaders’ table to support the recovery of the endangered central group of the southern mountain caribou, while maintaining the social and economic well-being of communities in the northeast region of British Columbia. The leaders’ table will build on the work initiated by Minister Doug Donaldson and staff with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The leaders’ table will discuss next steps in moving forward to implement the Intergovernmental Partnership Agreement that was negotiated in response to the threat to the caribou identified under the federal Species at Risk Act. The leaders’ table will also review potential approaches to mitigating natural resource and land use impacts of the agreement, while advancing caribou protection.

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Greater Victoria mayors reach urban deer standstill with province

By Nicole Crescenzi
Victoria News
November 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mayors of Greater Victoria are back to square one in exploring additional options for urban deer management. In September, mayors from eight municipalities…penned a letter the the Ministry of Forests in hopes of arranging a meeting with Minister Doug Donaldson. Leading up to the letter, the mayors discussed how a regional effort needed to be taken for deer management…Any form of wildlife management must go through the province. …“As a group of eight mayors we were very disappointed that we could not get a meeting, neither here nor at the UBCM,” Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins said. …Black Press reached out to the Ministry of Forests on why a meeting couldn’t be arranged. “We welcome an invitation for staff to meet with the mayors regarding options on urban deer control. If options are not identified through discussions with staff, the Minister is pleased to discuss real or perceived barriers”, said a ministry spokesperson.

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Bat population in Nova Scotia seems to be slowly recovering after being decimated by fungus

By Ian Fairclough
The Chronicle Journal
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The bat population seems to be starting to make a slow recovery after it was decimated by white nose syndrome, which started to rip through the province’s bat colonies – and others throughout North America – in 2011. Last week, a New Brunswick researcher reported the discovery of several maternity colonies with healthy bats and pups, leading to a glimmer of optimism for the future of bats in that province.  Donald Sam, a species at risk biologist with Nova Scotia’s Department of Lands and Forestry, said the population here also seems to be starting the long road to recovery. “We’re a little ahead of New Brunswick, not to compare,” Sam said. “We identified maternity sites four years ago, mostly on Crown land because that’s what we have easy access to.” He said department staff have gone back to those sites several times, and the numbers are growing over the four years.

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Trump Administration Won’t List Spotted Owl as Endangered

By Matthew Renda
The Courthouse News
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday it will not list the California spotted owl as an endangered species. “The Service determined that California spotted owls continue to inhabit their historic range, and the species is not in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, nor is it likely to become so in the foreseeable future,” the agency said in a release issued Thursday. The announcement drew the ire of conservation organizations that continue to insist the bird of prey’s population is dwindling due to habitat destruction in the forests of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. …The spotted owl is currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

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Federal Officials To Propose ‘Threatened’ Status For The Pacific Fisher

By Monica Samayoa
Oregon Public Broadcasting
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing Endangered Species Act protections for the Pacific fisher, a relative of the weasel that persists in small numbers in forests of southwest Oregon and Northern California. The agency’s proposal, set to be published Thursday in the Federal Register, come days after the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service entered into agreements with five timber companies and the state of Oregon to protect the Pacific fisher on nearly 2 million acres of forestland in Oregon. The proposal to extend “threatened” status to Pacific fishers prohibits activities that bring harm, injury or death to the carnivorous mammals. It provides exceptions — essentially allowing the inadvertent killing of these protected animals — if it happens during activities like habitat management or “forestry management activities for the purposes of reducing the risk or severity of wildfires.”

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Tamástslikt’s “Timber Culture” exhibit reveals multi-cultural logging industry

The Union Bulletin
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Gwen Trice

PENDLETON — In 1923, a Missouri lumber company built a town in Northeastern Oregon named Maxville. Hundreds of loggers left Arkansas and Mississippi to live and work there. Many brought their families, and many were African Americans. While the town has since disappeared, the Maxville story is still unfolding. “Timber Culture,” created by the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center, is an inclusive look at Oregon’s multicultural logging industry. The exhibit opens Friday, Nov. 8, and runs through Dec. 31 at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, 47106 Wildhorse Boulevard. …Gwen Trice, whose father was one of the Maxville loggers, spearheaded the exhibition project.

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Exporting Georgia’s Market-based Approach for Sustainable Forest Management

By One Dwivedi, University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry
Global Atlanta
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Puneet Dwivedi

Georgia is gifted with abundant and healthy forests that cover about 24 million acres or about 65 percent of total land in the state. …But are economics and sustainability always at odds? …This has led my team of researchers at the University of Georgia to examine whether market-based, non-state forest governance works and whether it can fit with existing and evolving government regulations to encourage sustainable forestry. By way of background, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)’s Fiber Sourcing Standard encourages best practices in forest management. …The SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard is particularly useful in Georgia. …Our study found that the implementation rate of best management practices was higher on those family-owned forestlands which were located within the procurement areas of mills certified to the SFI Fiber Sourcing standard. This suggests a voluntary, market-based approach to encouraging good forestry in Georgia is working.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Public input sought to help B.C. prepare for climate change

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
November 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Province is looking for public input to help develop a new strategy that will better prepare B.C. communities for the impacts of climate change. “Across British Columbia, we are seeing and feeling the steadily increasing effects of climate change – from record wildfires, to severe droughts and floods, to the job impacts of beetle-killed forests,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “British Columbians expect governments at all levels to act. Our CleanBC plan fights carbon pollution and puts our province on the path to a cleaner and stronger future — taking care of this special place for ourselves, our kids and our grandkids. Together, we can make sure our communities are prepared for future climate impacts, because waiting until they happen just makes no sense.” People can share their thoughts until Jan. 10, 2020, through an online questionnaire

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Health & Safety

Research to examine BCWS firefighters’ health

By Blair McBride
Houston Today
November 6, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) is funding research at two western universities that will focus on how wildland firefighters’ work affects their health. The $305,000 will fund projects to be conducted by researchers at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) and the University of Alberta, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) said in a news release on Oct. 29. …The UNBC portion of the research will be led by Chelsea Pelletier, an assistant professor at UNBC’s School of Health Sciences. Pelletier will examine scientific literature from around the world for all dimensions of firefighter health, including the physical, mental and emotional aspects. Her work will try to find solutions to reduce any health impacts firefighters face and “identify any gaps in the work-related health knowledge of wildland firefighters and associated personnel.”

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Smoke has serious impact on human health

By Peter Aleshire
The White Mountain Independent
November 7, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

WHITE MOUNTAINS — Bad news: Wildfire smoke contributes to 15,000 premature deaths every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Worse news: Expect 40,000 premature deaths per year by century’s end thanks to rising temperatures and bigger wildfires. Wildfire smoke can cause heart attacks, asthma and lung disease, contributing to the toll of cigarettes, auto exhaust and emissions from coal-fired power plants. One study showed a 7 percent increase in heart attacks and a 2 percent increase in emergency room visits when wildfire smoke rolls into populated areas. So does that mean the Forest Service’s plan to both repeatedly burn a million acres in Rim Country and the White Mountains will take a toll on human health? …But here’s the real question: Will controlled burns have less impact on human health than wildfires? Answer: Wildfires are definitely worse, according to multiple studies.

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