Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for October 15 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Federal Conservatives release plan for BC’s forest sector

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

As part of an election campaign, the federal Conservatives released a plan to support BC’s ailing forest sector. In related news: lacklustre 3rd quarter results expected this week; Minister Donaldson takes issue with Liberal call for action; and the Wilderness Committee’s perspective on forestry downturn. Elsewhere: JD Irving closes New Brunswick Baker Brook sawmill; and the Wood Component Manufacturer’s Association elects a new board.

In Forestry news: despite Trump pledge, Oregon logging not increasing; BC scrambles to recruit tree planters; Alaska hit by the hemlock sawfly; and LA wildfire out of control after change in the weather.

Finally, building industry materials become runway fashion – all for charity.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Lumber and Lace Fashion Show

By Kelly Humphrey
Pine and Lakes Echo Journal
October 12, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

The Lumber and Lace event presents designs both inspired by and using materials from the building industry. Organizers described the event as an “abstract fashion show dedicated to the local building industry, showcasing the creativity and resourcefulness of our industry professionals while raising funds and awareness for local causes.” All money raised at the Mid-Minnesota Builders Association event goes to the Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity and Tools for Schools program. The event included voting by surprise guest judges. More than 30 member businesses participated in the first Lumber and Lace with nearly 200 people attending. The public event is open to all designers, MMBA members, non-members and nonprofits.

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Business & Politics

The need for community control of our forests

By Peter Ewart
The Prince George Daily News
October 12, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peter Ewart

As is well known, the state of the forest industry and the forests themselves in BC has deteriorated in the last 20 years, a culmination of longstanding bad policies and practices.  Big corporations have shut down dozens of mills devastating workers and communities across the province. …The forests are unhealthy, plagued by insect infestations, decimation of old growth trees, poor planting practices, environmental deregulation, and so on. …However, despite these serious problems, forestry in B.C. still has great potential. …The modern world needs renewable B.C. wood, not only for lumber, but also for the thousands of potential by-products and uses. …But control over the forests must shift from the near powerless state of communities today to one in which communities play the major role in decisions. …To accomplish these objectives, we need a new direction for forestry and new forms and mechanisms of democratic community governance. 

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Federal Conservatives release plan that would support BC’s Forestry Sector

By Scott Brooks
Energetic City
October 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – As part of an election campaign, Bob Zimmer, Conservative incumbent for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, announced on Friday a plan that would see Federal support for British Columbia’s ailing forestry sector. According to Zimmer, if a Conservative government is formed following the Federal Election, a plan will be implemented that would see Federal support go towards helping out the workers affected by mill shutdowns and curtailments, among other issues. Some of the ways the Conservatives plan to support forestry include striking a natural resources competitiveness task force, increase funding to control pest species, and resolve the softwood lumber dispute with the United States.

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B.C. forestry companies set to report poor third-quarter results amid industry slump

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
October 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC forestry companies are set to report lacklustre third-quarter financial results as tough market conditions send ripples through boardrooms and mill towns. …“We expect sentiment to remain challenging for the group through year-end,” CIBC World Markets Hamir Patel said. “The much-anticipated turn in the market failed to emerge in September.” West Fraser Timber and Canfor will release their third-quarter results next week. …Western Forest Products and Interfor will announce their quarterly results in early November. …Don Kayne, Canfor’s CEO, said part of the solution to weathering the tough times will be continuing to diversify geographically away from the US. Russ Taylor, managing director at Forest Economic Advisors, said BC has been much slower to adjust to lower lumber prices when compared with Alberta. “In conjunction with punitive US import taxes, the net result… is nothing short of a catastrophe for beleaguered BC Interior mills”. [a G&M subscription is required to access the full story]

 

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North Cowichan councillor’s proposal for regional control of forests gets nod at UBCM

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
October 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rob Douglas

A resolution from a North Cowichan councillor for the province to decentralize the management of B.C.’s forests was passed overwhelmingly at last week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Vancouver. Rob Douglas said he and other supporters of the resolution that would see the province’s forest industry managed at the regional level spent a considerable amount of time discussing the issue with the other delegates from municipalities and regional districts across B.C. over the five days of the conference before a vote was taken on the last day. “There was definitely a lot of interest in the idea,” Douglas said.  “The concept resonated right across the political spectrum and the urban-rural divide. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a process. “

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Forestry downturn and environmental degradation have the same root cause

By Torrance Coste, National Campaign director, Wilderness Committee
The Province
October 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A future where forestry looks like it did 30 or 40 years ago is out of the question. It’s just not an option anymore. In B.C., environmental battles have a long-standing place in news headlines. But while the fight to protect forests hasn’t gone anywhere, today’s news stories focus on the downturn of the forest industry and the resulting job losses and community impacts. The problem making headlines may be different, but the cause is the same. Access to forest resources in the province is dominated by just a handful of corporations, despite the importance of forests to the Indigenous Nations they rightfully belong to, the communities and industry workers they sustain, and all citizens of B.C. These companies close mills, curtail operations and slash jobs for the exact same reasons they liquidate coastal old-growth forests, clear-cut drinking watersheds and destroy endangered species’ habitat: their profits are their top priority and they’ve logged at unsustainable rates for decades.

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Kalesnikoff CFO recognized as lumber industry leader

By Betsy Kline
Nelson Star
October 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Krystle Seed & Chris Kalesnikoff

A local powerhouse in the lumber industry has been recognized for her forward thinking and financial acumen by Canadian Forest Industries magazine. Krystle Seed was recognized as one of the 10 men and women under 40 who exemplify the best of Canada’s forest industry. Seed and her brother Chris Kalesnikoff are the fourth generation to run family-owned Kalesnikoff Lumber in Tarrys. She is the company’s chief financial officer and sits on its board of directors. Seed didn’t even know she had been nominated for the recognition until the winners were announced. “I felt pretty humbled by it,” Seed said. “If you take a look at some of the other people on the list, there is a real diverse group of people from across Canada.”

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BC Forests Minister Takes Issue With Accusations From Liberals

By Brendan Pawliw
My Bulk
October 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson

Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson says it’s just factually wrong and incorrect to say that he has done nothing since meeting with the members of the convoy that travelled to Vancouver. “As a result of that meeting, my senior staff executives had a meeting last week with the Interior Logging Association members to discuss a number of supports and discussed a number of their suggestions and ideas. We’re going to be rolling out the 15-million dollar part of the 69-million dollars worker support program that’s targeted towards contractors, our focus is on getting contractors back to work in the bush and we know how dire a situation many of them are facing.” Donaldson says they are looking into other suggestions that were made as well. He also disagrees with altering the stumpage rate right now.

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J.D. Irving announces closure of Baker Brook sawmill, loss of 65 jobs

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

An Irving-owned sawmill in northwestern New Brunswick will close on Nov. 1, resulting in the loss of 65 jobs. A lack of cedar within a “reasonable distance” of the Baker Brook plant and weak markets for byproducts such as wood chips, shavings and sawdust are to blame, according to a statement issued by J.D. Irving Ltd. The company plans to consolidate its operations and will try to find placements for the affected employees at some of its other locations across the province, it said. The sawmill, operated by JDI since 2006, produced cedar boards, primarily for fencing. “The decision to close a mill is never an easy one,” Jerome Pelletier, vice-president of the sawmill division, said in the statement. “The people we work with in Baker Brook are also our [neighbours].” The village near Edmundston has a population of about 564, according to 2016 census data.

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Wood Component Manufacturer’s Association elects new board

By Karen Koenig
The Woodworking Network
October 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

NEW ORLEANS – Members of the Wood Component Manufacturers Association’s Board of Directors were recently elected at the group’s annual Fall Meeting & Plant Tour event, held Sept. 22-25 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The WCMA Executive Committee includes: Leon Osborne, Osborne Wood Products, president; Frank Fitts, Fitts Industries Inc., vice president; Mark Elliott, Elliott Woodworking, treasurer; and Steve Mashl, Valley Custom Door, immediate past president. Directors are: Mark Paisley, Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers, Tim Becker, A Cut Above Wood Components/5-Acre Mill, Todd Breitenfeldt, Kretz Lumber Co., Manoo Mahmoodi, Art for Everyday, and Phil Menzner, Menzner Lumber & Supply Co. Kirk Spillman, Eagle Machinery & Supply, is the ex-officio Technology Partner on the board. 

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Leadership award honors AWP co-founder

The Preston County News & Journal
October 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Patricia Crites

KINGWOOD — The National Hardwood Lumber Association is now recognizing women in leadership within the industry and gave its first-ever “Women in Leadership” award to a West Virginia businesswoman.Patricia Crites, co-founder of Allegheny Wood Products Inc., received the posthumous honor at the NHLA’s recent national conference in New Orleans. Nearly 50 years ago, Patricia. Crites and her husband, John, co-founded Allegheny Wood Products Inc., which has grown to be one of the largest hardwood lumber companies in the world with exports entailing 30 countries worldwide. …Like many women senior executives, Crites set a standard for Allegheny Wood’s family business culture and women in the hardwood lumber industry that still exists today.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood pulp, steel cables: Scientists study how to make ice roads last longer

By Bob Weber
Canadian Press in The Coast Reporter
October 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The road should have been frozen solid, but it was anything but. When drivers tried to travel the Mackenzie Valley winter road in the Northwest Territories last March, it was an unpassable highway of muck well before its usual closure date. Four communities were left without vehicle access. That’s what Paul Barrette — using everything from steel cables to wood pulp — is working to prevent. “It’s the only time of the year, those two or three months, when northern communities can resupply their needs in fuel, construction material and other bulk goods,” said Barrette, who leads a National Research Council team that is developing ways to keep winter and ice roads passable in a warming climate. “What we’re looking at is to ensure those roads remain operational throughout these warm winters.”

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Tall buildings made with wood help loggers and the climate

By David Brooks
Granite Geek
October 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Tackling the biggest problems of the world today and in the future could benefit from technologies of the past. “This is back to the future,” is how Joe Short, vice president of Northern Forest Center, put it at the start of a conference Friday discussing mass timber, which uses wood to replace steel and concrete in buildings as tall as a dozen stories. …Mass timber is of great interest to the logging industry because it uses a large variety of trees… creating a market that would benefit loggers and forest owners in New Hampshire. …Friday’s two-hour conference at the UNH law school in Concord was held by the Northern Forest Center, UNH Cooperative Extension and the New Hampshire Division of Forests & Lands. …So far, however, New Hampshire has seen no activity.

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Forestry

Replanting badly battered forest landscapes in B.C.

By Jim Hilton
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
October 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An article in the recent Logging and Sawmilling Journal describes how the silviculture services sector is gearing up for replanting areas impacted by beetles and wildfires. Author Jim Stirling summarizes the B.C. Ministry of Forests estimate of how the province has been impacted by the disturbances. One of the challenges brought on by a warming climate is planting the best-suited tree seedlings to begin the repair the loss of trees. A precise determination is difficult because there hasn’t been the time or money allocated to get onto the land to precisely assess the damage. …Concerns were also being expressed about the declining numbers of available tree planters. Like every other forest industry workers sector, recruiting and retaining tree planters is an expanding problem. …Closer to home, the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre is also doing some testing in Alberta. 

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Forestry sector scrambles to recruit tree planters to sow millions – perhaps billions – more seedlings

By Tina Lovgreen
CBC News
October 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lann Dickson

It takes the stamina of an athlete to run up the side of a steep mountain the way Lann Dickson does. “Nothing about it is easy,” said Dickson. “A lot of people quit in the first week or two, it definitely breaks a lot of people.” The veteran tree planter zig-zags across the mountainside in Fraser Canyon near Boston Bar, B.C., dodging stumps and branches, with 300 seedlings tucked into pouches strapped around his waist. …Dickson has been tree planting in B.C. for 24 years, and skilled workers like him are in extremely high demand right now. And that’s before the ambitious campaign promises by federal parties to plant billions more trees across Canada are even factored in. B.C. alone needs to plant an estimated 48 million more trees in 2020 than it did last year in an effort to restore massive areas burned in the province after two record-breaking wildfires, and to promote carbon sequestration.

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Despite Trump campaign pledge, Oregon logging not increasing

By Michael Kohn
Bend Bulletin
October 12, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Donald Trump … promised supporters that if elected president, he’d boost Oregon’s timber industry… What became of Trump’s promise? Was it just Trump being Trump or did he have serious plans to overturn decades-old environmental protections and boost commercial logging in this state’s national forests? A look back shows little has changed since Trump took office. The matter of increased logging in Oregon’s national forests hasn’t surfaced as a serious issue for the White House. The timber harvested from national forests in Oregon is still associated with thinning projects conducted for fuels reduction and wildfire management, as it was under President Barack Obama. …“It is not the case that the Trump administration can simply direct land management agencies to offer more timber for sale and the agencies can snap their fingers and sell more timber,” said James Johnston, at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry.

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Liberty Burn salvage timber sale ecologically destructive

By George Wuerthner
The Missoulian
October 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

George Wuerthner

The Lolo National Forest is proposing to “salvage” log a portion of the 28,000-acre Liberty Burn near Seeley Lake. The Forest Service (FS) approved the logging using a categorical exclusion (CE) process. CEs were initially designed to permit the FS to do minor actions like replace an outhouse in a campground or replace signs or other activities that had a minimal environmental impact. Today the FS is increasingly using CE to circumvent and limit public participation, and ecological review.  The Blackfoot Challenge and Southwestern Crown Collaborative timber advocacy groups, and membership organizations like the Montana Timber Association and Pyramid Lumber. also support the Liberty salvage project and use of CE.  There is almost universal agreement among ecologists that logging burned trees is ecologically destructive to forest ecosystems.

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Lawsuit filed over Secretary of State’s unprecedented rejection of Oregon forest ballot measures

By Rob Davis
The Oregonian
October 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Backers of spurned ballot measures to tighten Oregon’s forestry laws sued Monday, saying Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno broke with legal precedent and based her rejection on bad advice from political appointees. The lawsuit, filed in Marion County Circuit Court, asks a judge to overturn the rejection and award attorneys’ fees.  The ballot measures — Initiative Petitions 35, 36 and 37 — are each substantially the same. They call for tightening the state’s aerial herbicide spraying laws, which today offer some of the West Coast’s weakest protections for people and fish. They call for more logging restrictions in steep, landslide-prone areas. They would prohibit conflicts of interest for state forestry board appointees, who today can set policies that benefit their own companies. They have been proposed by environmental advocates, including the group Oregon Wild.

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A tiny insect is causing major tree damage in Southeast Alaska. Scientists hope it’s a blip.

By Elizabeth Jenkins
Alaska Public Media News
October 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The hemlock sawfly is native to Southeast Alaska. But for the past few years, the tiny insect has been causing some big problems. Bug scientists think drought conditions played a major role in a recent outbreak. And it’s alarmed some residents who’ve noticed more brown trees in their rainforest backyards. Elizabeth Graham is an entomologist with the U.S. Forest Service. …Graham does this for the public, too: identifying weird insects or insect behavior. And in the summer of 2018, her office received something much more descriptive than a text message: a bag of frass. That’s hemlock sawfly poop. A sandy, green-looking concoction. …Normally, with average rainfall, a type of fungus covers the trees and the sawflies eat the fungus. It can bloom inside them — killing some of the sawflies. “Because of [the recent drought], those sawflies that should have been killed weren’t,” Graham said. “And we just ended up with a huge population.”

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Bitterroot Forest’s largest project in recent memory takes major step forward

By Perry Backus
Ravalli Republic
October 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bitterroot National Forest’s largest timber harvest, forest thinning and prescribed fire project in recent memory took a step forward Friday when it was published in the Federal Register.That move establishes a 30-day time frame before Gold Butterfly Project becomes final with the signature of Bitterroot Forest supervisor Matt Anderson.Located east of Corvallis in the Sapphire Mountains, the proposed project area spans a 10-mile reach between St. Clair Creek on its southern border to Burnt Fork Creek to the north. The project area included 55,147 acres. Of that, the proposal calls for commercial timber harvest on 5,621 acres that would provide an estimated 34 million board-feet to timber. Another 1,766 acres are slated for non-commercial treatment that would include thinning and prescribed fire.The plan calls for splitting the area selected for commercial harvest into three segments. The timber harvest could take up to eight years to complete.

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Groups ask U.S. Forest Service to wait on logging project near Petersburg, Wrangell

By Joe Viechnicki
KFSK
October 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Environmental groups are asking the U.S. Forest Service to shelve a Tongass National Forest timber sale it’s working on, while a legal challenge to a similar project plays out in court. A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against a massive project on Prince of Wales Island last month. The Forest Service is taking a similar approach to its environmental review of the Central Tongass project. It’s a bundle that includes logging, road building and other work near Petersburg and Wrangell.  “Given that similarity, in order to avoid risking, squandering significant agency resources and time on a project that would be challenged in court that they ought to just wait until the lawsuit challenging the Prince of Wales is completed,” said Southeast Alaska Conservation Council attorney Buck Lindekugel.

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California’s clear-cutting project in the Rim fire area is setting up the region for another tragedy

By Chad Hanson, forest ecologist, John Muir Project & James Hansen, directer, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Columbia University.
Los Angeles Times
October 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

During hot, dry and windy conditions last November, the Camp fire devastated the towns of Paradise and Concow in the northern Sierra Nevada, ultimately claiming at least 85 lives and destroying thousands of homes. The tragedy was a wake-up call regarding the increasing risks to vulnerable communities stemming from the human-caused climate crisis.  But forest fire behavior is complex, and multiple factors affect fire severity. In addition to high regional temperatures and aridity, the Camp fire was fueled by persistent forest mismanagement. After the Butte Complex fire of 2008 that burned the forest just east of Paradise, there were years of extensive post-fire clear-cutting and artificial planting of dense tree farms on private and public lands. The Camp fire burned rapidly and intensely through these heavily post-fire logged areas as it spread toward Paradise, consistent with the findings of scientific research establishing that such post-fire management tends to increase future fire intensity. 

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Judge declines to halt Helena-area forestry project

By Tom Kuglin
Helena Independent Record
October 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal judge has denied the request of two environmental groups to temporarily halt logging near Helena as the court considers a lawsuit challenging a major forestry project.U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen denied Wednesday the request from Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council to issue a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Forest Service’s Ten Mile-South Helena Project. The 17,500-acre project’s goals center on wildfire mitigation including fuel breaks where firefighters may be safely inserted if a wildfire were to threaten Helena and houses south and west of the city. Contractors began logging on two federal timber sales this spring as part of the project, and the Forest Service plans to use extensive prescribed burning both in and off of areas of timber harvest.

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Fuels don’t drive wildfires; climate and weather are the dominant factor

By George Wuerthner
Statesman Journal
October 11, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Wildfire Council set up by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has many good recommendations including the need to reduce the flammability of communities, implementation of more effective evacuation routes, and other measures that will undoubtedly contribute to a safer and healthier environment for Oregon citizens. However, the council puts a lot of emphasis on ramping up the logging of our forests as a means of precluding large wildfires. The underlying assumption of the recommendations is that fuels drive wildfires. Yet according to the Oregon Department of Forestry in 2019 only 16,868 acres burned in the state, compared to 846,411 acres burned last year. Why the big difference? Is there that much less fuel? If fuel is the reason, we are seeing large acreages burn, then why so little this past year?

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The sea of pines that is going to be needed to balance the NZ carbon budget

By John McCrone
Scoop Independent News
October 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

With a frown, Canterbury University forestry professor Dr Euan Mason clicks away, looking for the graph he presented at the August conference of the Institute of Forestry. Sure, the Government is promising its One Billion Trees programme is going to be all about “the right tree in the right place”. But is anyone really looking at how much new carbon forest New Zealand is going to need to meet its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and Zero Carbon commitments, Mason asks? Forget the talk about pretty native bush projects – all tui and tōtara. That will be the fringe stuff, he says. Bush is too expensive to plant and too slow-growing. It can’t fulfil the looming 2030 and 2050 carbon targets.

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Health & Safety

Death of worker at Fredericton sawmill under investigation by WorkSafeNB CBC.ca

By Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon
CBC News
October 11, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Troy Lewis Bourque

WorkSafeNB is investigating the death of a worker at a sawmill in Fredericton on Thursday. Police were called to Devon Lumber on the city’s north side around 2:30 p.m., said Fredericton Police Force spokesperson Alycia Bartlett. “Several” officers responded, and the last officer cleared the scene at 200 Gibson St., just before 6 p.m., she said. An obituary posted online Friday identifies the worker as being Troy Lewis Bourque, 50, a married father. “Troy was always willing and able to lend a helping hand anywhere he could,” it states. …WorkSafeNB spokesperson Laragh Dooley declined to disclose any details about the nature of the incident. “The investigation will help us determine how the fatality may have been prevented and whether there were any violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or its regulations,” she said in an emailed statement.

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Forest Fires

Deadly Los Angeles wildfire burns with subdued fury after change in weather

By Steve Gorman
Reuters
October 13, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES – Firefighters have tightened their grip on a deadly Los Angeles wildfire burning with subdued fury on Sunday after extremely dry desert winds that had stoked the flames gave way to moister, gentler breezes blowing in from the Pacific. The so-called Saddleridge fire, which erupted Thursday night and raced across the northern edge of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, had scorched nearly 8,000 acres (3,237 hectares) by Sunday but was mostly confined to foothills and canyons away from populated areas, fire officials said. As of Sunday morning, firefighters had managed to carve containment lines around 41% of the fire’s perimeter, more than double the containment level reported a day earlier as authorities lifted all remaining evacuation notices. At the height of the blaze on Friday, authorities had ordered the evacuation of some 23,000 homes, comprising about 100,000 people, as flames invaded several communities in northern Los Angeles.

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