Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: August 2015

Business & Politics

Liberals demand province pursue Domtar for creosote cleanup

Calgary Herald
August 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s Liberal leader says the province needs to go after the former owner of a wood preserving plant to pay for the cleanup of lands west of Calgary’s downtown contaminated with nearly two million litres of toxic creosote. While taxpayers funded a $12.5 million containment wall that was constructed two decades ago to keep the carcinogenic liquid from oozing into the Bow River, David Swann said he’s worried the underground plume remains a threat to the environment and to residents across the river in his Mountainview riding whose groundwater is laced with levels of naphthalene that exceed safe guidelines.

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BRIGHTON: Point Tupper plant can’t meet targets

Chronicle Herald
August 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia Power Inc.’s under-performing biomass plant in Point Tupper will save ratepayers more than $9 million in annual fuel costs, starting in 2016, because it is incapable of meeting its output targets. The plant is operating at about 70 per cent of its gross capacity of 63.8 megawatts. At its best, it can produce 80 per cent of the power originally required under renewable energy regulations, according to recent evidence on fuel costs prepared by the utility for a forthcoming hearing on fuel costs. Plant maintenance and moisture levels in the fuel stock have reduced the output of the plant, according to the utility.

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Lawmakers get update on logging industry

Mathis, Vidak tour local mill
Porterville Recorder
August 31, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

State Assemblyman Devon Mathis and state Sen. Andy Vidak got a look Friday at the last large lumber mill south of Sonora, including the state of Arizona… It was Mathis’ first tour of the mill that today is overrun with logs. That is not always the case, pointed out Larry Duysen, one of the mill owners. In some years, the mill struggles to bring in enough logs to keep one shift busy. That is because timber harvesting on the national forests has been greatly reduced. Mathis represents the 23rd Assembly District, which includes Terra Bella and Porterville.

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Weyerhaeuser announces dividend increase

Business Examiner
August 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Federal Way-based Weyerhaeuser Company has increased its dividend yet again. The timber giant announced a dividend of $0.31 per share, reflecting a 6.9 percent increase from the previous quarterly dividend of $0.29 per share. With the increase, the company has grown its dividend by 107 percent since 2011, the company stated. In addition, the board has authorized a new share repurchase program of up to $500 million of the company’s common shares, which will commence upon completion of the existing $700 million share repurchase program authorized in 2014. (So far, the company has repurchased $610 million of that amount.)

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Marathon hardwood plant expands in Kentucky

WSAU-Wheeler News
August 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MARATHON CITY, Wis – A hardwood molding company near Wausau plans to expand in Kentucky. Governor Steve Beshear says Menzner Lumber-and-Supply will spend $2.6-million and create 90 jobs at a former lumber plant in Somerset Kentucky. The Bluegrass State has given preliminary approval of a million dollars in tax incentives for the project. Menzner Hardwoods is based in Marathon City, west of Wausau. Beshear says the company has production contraints at its main plant, and the Kentucky location will allow the business to grow. The site has four buildings totaling 195,000 square feet. Menzner currently has about 350 employees in Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Mississippi.

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Forest contractors may face bankruptcy over Gunns liquidators legal action

ABC News, Australia
August 31, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

There are fears forest contractors in Tasmania and interstate face potential bankruptcy because of new legal action being taken by Gunns Limited liquidators. Gunns went into voluntary administration in 2012, after a reporting a loss of close to $1 billion for the previous financial year. It owed millions of dollars to hundreds of people, businesses and government departments. The Forest Contractors Association said the Gunns liquidators, PPB Advisory, were taking legal action to recoup millions of dollars for creditors.

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Vienna International wood products & market Conference

International Wood Markets Group
August 31, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

During WOOD MARKETS’ inaugural Vienna International Wood Products & Markets Conference, the atmosphere was mixed, and in fact was rather similar to that noted in our Vancouver conference in May: concern about the oversupplied commodities lumber market was apparent, but there was also considerable optimism about the future of engineered wood products. With the U.S. and Chinese markets bottoming out, Europe is still generally stuck in neutral, but with a few notable gains being achieved… Total European demand for sawn softwood was stable in 2014, with a 7% increase in production (attributable mainly to Sweden, Finland and Poland) driven by a rise in overseas exports. Germany has been the most important market for sawn softwood products, with consumption of 18.4 million m³ (29.6% of the total) in 2014, followed somewhat distantly by the U.K. at 8.8 million m³ (14.5%), with France in third at 12.8%. 

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In Northeast, One Company Controls Nearly All Illegal Logging: Report

Khmer Times
August 29, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

PHNOM PENH, – A new report on illegal logging in Cambodia’s northeastern forests portrays a single company with essentially a monopoly on the illicit trade. The report, conducted by a consortium of development and rights NGOs, says the Try Pheap Group controls illegal logging in Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng provinces, forcing illegal loggers to sell to them and quietly consolidating power in the trade since 2013. Try Pheap representatives declined to comment on the report, which gives extensive descriptions of the company’s operations. If loggers are caught trying to move timber without Try Pheap, they will be sent back to the company, which pays about half market price, the report says.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Tall Wood Buildings Not So Great, says Concrete Industry

By Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI)
Woodworking Network
August 31, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA – Quebec Government’s decision to allow the construction of taller wood buildings on the basis of a new wood industry construction guide that is not recognized by the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) circumvents the exceptional building code approval process that exists to ensure the safety of all Canadians, says the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. Why is Quebec Government Allowing Construction of Taller Wood Buildings?

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Forestry

Green surprise: Why the world’s forests are growing back

Globe and Mail
August 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

If the air feels just a bit fresher, it may be because the trees are making a comeback. Despite a lot of bad news on climate, our planet has become measurably greener, as seen from space. And that points to a way out of the climate crisis. A group of scholars at Australian, Chinese, Dutch and Saudi Arabian universities recently published, in the journal Nature Climate Change, a 20-year study measuring the precise quantity of the Earth’s “terrestrial biomass” – that is, the total mass of living organisms, most of which are plants. They used two decades of microwave satellite readings (which are an accurate way to measure biological material) to determine how the world’s stock of living things has changed over time.

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Mayor urges immediate action against pine beetle infestation

Hinton Parklander
August 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mayor Rob Mackin has sent a letter to Minister of Environment, Leona Aglukkaw, urging the Government of Canada, along with Parks Canada, to take an “active role in helping confront the pine beetle situation,” he writes. In the letter, Mackin verbalizes frustrations toward the department for their lack of urgency addressing the issue. “Without proper mitigation efforts within the park (one of the main entry points to Alberta), our region will suffer,” he writes. Local leaders from across the region are being encouraged by Mackin to contact the department to put pressure on Parks Canada.

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Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world’s temperate forests

USDA in Science Daily
August 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world’s temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades. “While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease these conversions,” said Constance Millar, lead author and forest ecologist with the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station.

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FOREST REBIRTH: Southern area plants first to return

UC Davis researchers believe heat-tolerant plants will dominate the new plant life in burned areas. Some experts strongly disagree and call the research boosterism for tree-thinning.
Press Enterprise
August 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Scientists believe greater fire intensity and climate change are reshaping the varieties of plants that return to our woods once the embers cool. “The plants we’re finding underneath our forests are becoming more like those seen in Mexico and Southern California,” said Jens Stevens, a postdoctoral scholar with the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment. The researchers surveyed plants in 12 forested areas of California that burned within a five-year period. Included in the study were plants in the Grass Valley fire area that in 2007 burned 1,247 acres and destroyed 178 structures near Lake Arrowhead.

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Science column: Why forests are dying and what it means

Post Independent
August 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Our forests are dying. The situation seems epidemic, with impacts to our economy and our landscape. What caused it, and can we fix it? ….But it isn’t all bad. Beetle boring activities provide habitat for other animals and fungi that help redistribute nutrients throughout a forest. Thus despite their drastic effects during epidemics, beetles are a vital part of a healthy forest. Their comings and goings lead to forests having canopies of a variety of ages, different densities, and a variety of undergrowth like shrubs, grasses and wildflowers. This variety makes for a more resilient forest long-term.

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Customs: Beetle at Norfolk port first to be found in US

Associated Press in St. Louis Post Dispatch
August 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

NORFOLK, Va. — Federal authorities say a wood-boring beetle in a cargo container at the Port of Norfolk is the first of its kind to be found in the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says agriculture specialists discovered the beetle among untreated wooden pallets from Poland. The pest is a type of bark beetle that lives and feeds in and under the bark of trees. Its scientific name is Pityophthorus glabratus Eichhoff. Multiple media outlets report that the agency announced the beetle’s discovery in a statement issued Friday.

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Asheville’s last urban forest in danger

A mother-daughter team hopes to facilitate a land swap to enable the preservation of the South Slope copse.
Asheville Citizen-Times
August 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ASHEVILLE – Years from now, if their idea pans out, Inge and Imke Durre could be remembered by the Asheville community as the mother-daughter team who saved downtown’s only forest from being razed. The Durres are working to persuade city officials, and the developer who owns a copse of trees at 11 Collier Ave. in the South Slope neighborhood, to preserve the woodland. “This is a unique property,” said Inge Durre, 72, who owns Braille et cetera, an Asheville company that provides products, services and consulting for the blind and visually impaired.

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Logging standard is cost effective

By Adam Beaumont, ?Forest Stewardship Council Australia, Melbourne, Vic
Australian Financial Review
August 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Contrary to claims by senator David Leyonhjelm, (“Illegal logging shows how activists can harness state power” AFR August 27) Australia’s 16,000 timber importers will make a significant difference in the global effort to end illegal logging and his head-in-the-sand mentality is the exact attitude the government’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Act has been introduced to combat. His concerns about the financial and regulatory cost of compliance with the 102-page act have already been addressed by the Department of Agriculture’s 25th August 2015 endorsement of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification, which provides a simple, cost-effective and independent standard for minimising supply-chain risks with forest products around the world… In fact, the Australian forestry industry are key members and supporters of the FSC and labelling the organisation as anything other than a democratic is simply untrue. 

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Solomons government cancels 30+ agro-forestry permits

Radio New Zealand News
August 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Solomons government has revoked more than 30 agro-forestry permits of companies as part of its reforms to ensure stricter logging practices. The government says the revocation came because it understands exemption orders allowing companies to fell timber for uses other than the export of round logs were being abused. The government says agencies have been mobilised to ensure the revocation of the permits is adhered to. One of the areas where the issue has impacted negatively is on Mono in Shortland Islands. Ongoing tensions between landowners and logging companies have resulted in armed conflict that the government says has divided communities and become a national security issue.

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People power ‘needed to sustain forests’

The Nation
August 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Asia has a unique opportunity to fight climate change and lift many more people out of poverty if it invests more in the communities living in its forests, experts said. More than 450 million people in the region rely on forests for income and food, but forest dwellers often struggle to make a living as rural poverty, deforestation and climate change threaten their livelihoods. “If we truly want to sustain Asia’s forests, we need to address inequality and poverty by investing in people living in the forests,” said Tint Lwin Thaung, executive director of the Regional Community Forestry Training Centre for Asia and the Pacific, an international not-for-profit organisation that promotes community forestry.

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Forest Fires

New wildfire policy in the works after Brad Wall’s trip to northern Saskatchewan

Premier Brad Wall made his first northern stop in Prince Albert
CBC News
August 29, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Brad Wall has been making his rounds in northern Saskatchewan this week. On Thursday, Wall made his first northern stop in Prince Albert with Minister of Environment, Herb Cox, to debrief about the summer wildfires that engulfed the province in fire and smoke. According to Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne, the topic of discussion was creating a policy in which fires within 20 kilometres of a community will be fought immediately. However, fires that are not directly threatening a community will be allowed to burn until resources become available. Other issues raised involved better lines of communication and more training for armed forces.

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Using forest fires to prevent forest fires

Public Radio International
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States

The United States has a basic and intuitive policy when it comes to forest fires: put them out, and put them out as quickly as possible. This policy of fire suppression is one the US has followed for over a century. Some scientists, however, are beginning to question this strategy. There is a growing consensus of researchers who believe suppressing forest fires might actually be causing more severe fires, and worsening climate change long-term. “Continued fire suppression costs us,” says Scott Stephens, professor of fire science at UC Berkeley, “More and more areas being lost, structures lost. So the equivalent is we continue to do this forever or look for different means, a different trajectory.”

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B.C. fires: evacuation order lifted for Oliver properties

CBC News
August 30, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: US West, Canada West

A handful of people living near Oliver in British Columbia’s South Okanagan can return to their homes now that an evacuation order has been lifted for 27 properties. The order forced residents near Upper Fairview Road out of their homes Sunday because of the 4,000 hectare Testalinden wildfire, but weather and the shifting path of the blaze have allowed changes. …Evacuation alerts were lifted earlier today for more than thousand residents in Grand Forks and Christina Lake, which are near a raging wildfire across the border in Washington State. A storm sweeping through the province has brought rain to the area, with more precipitation forecast for the next few days.

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Cooler weather helps firefighters across Oregon, but winds remain a threat

The Oregonian
August 29, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Crews battling wildfires across Oregon were optimistic about weekend forecasts that called for cooler temperatures and possible rain. But high winds have kept many areas on alert. The Canyon Creek Complex of fires forced the evacuation of even more homes Saturday morning as it edged closer to the eastern Oregon community of Prairie City. Strong winds pressed the fire north and east toward the town. Firefighters are now focused on holding the northern line. The lightning-sparked blaze has burned more than 87,000 acres and destroyed 40 homes since it started Aug. 12. Fifty more houses have been damaged, and dozens of others remain in the fire’s potential path. A shelter is now open in nearby Mt. Vernon.

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Fire sends Heart Butte families scrambling for shelter

Great Falls Tribune
August 31, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

BROWNING – Friday night in Heart Butte was unlike anything Clarence Comes At Night had ever seen. Law enforcement descended as flames occasionally ascended into view as Spotted Eagle and the Family Peak Complex fire crowned in trees just miles away from the community of around 1,000 people on the southern end of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The message from the law was simple: Get out. It was not a request and there was little to no time to gather anything, even pets.

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Better weather dampens some western Montana wildfires

Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
August 30, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Light rain dampened some wildfires in far western Montana on Sunday, while other fires closer to the central part of the state continued to spread and threaten rural residences. After most fires grew on Saturday because of warm, windy conditions, Sunday’s weather brought at least cooler temperatures across the state. “We were hoping that today would not be so active and that’s the way things have been working out,” Brad Purdy, spokesman for a complex of fires burning in the Kootenai National Forest near the Idaho border, said Sunday afternoon.

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Wyden seeks change in Forest Service wildfire budgeting

A “terrible trifecta” of drought, heat and fuel build-up set the stage for the West’s wildfires, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden said. A change in the federal budget would provide funds for fighting fires without depleting the Forest Service’s other functions.
The Capital Press
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND — Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden said freeing up federal natural disaster money to fight fires, rather than dipping into the U.S. Forest Service’s operating budget, is the primary thing he wants to accomplish when Congress reconvenes in September. Speaking during a briefing at the Northwest Coordination Center, which coordinates the air and ground response to wildfires in Oregon and Washington, Wyden said there is bi-partisan support in the Senate for the idea. “We can’t have business as usual any longer,” Wyden said. “The business as usual has been that fire prevention always gets shortchanged.

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Crews from Marion County head to Canyon Creek Complex fire

Statesman Journal
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A 12-person crew of firefighters from Marion County Fire District No. 1, Turner Fire District, Hubbard Fire District and Mount Angel Fire District have traveled to eastern Oregon to offer aid at the Canyon Creek Fire burning south of John Day. Fire Chief Terry Riley of Marion County Fire District No. 1 said the task force was made up of a battalion chief, deputy fire chief and a volunteer lieutenant from Marion County as well as 9 other firefighters from the other departments. A total of three grass fire trucks were dispatched from Marion County, Hubbard and Mount Angel as well as one water tender from Turner.

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Firefighters move to protect Essex after town emptied

Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HELENA, Mont. — Firefighters cut down trees and turned on sprinklers Friday after authorities emptied the community of Essex and turned back traffic where a wildfire had spread close to a highway along the southern edge of Glacier National Park. The 1.7-square-mile wildfire crossed a key ridge south of Essex on Thursday, prompting Flathead County authorities to order evacuations and later close an eight-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 2. Of the more than 200 buildings threatened by the fire, 106 were year-round and vacation residences, including the Izaak Walton Inn. A handful of residents chose to ignore the evacuation order and stay with their homes,

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As wildfires rage and budgets dwindle, more federal funds sought for firefighting

Los Angeles Times
August 29, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

he record wildfire season scorching the West is prompting renewed calls for Congress to change how it funds firefighting, a push that comes as the head of the Forest Service said the agency would soon exceed its firefighting budget for the year — again. He noted that the agency received $1.01 billion for firefighting this fiscal year but that its projections for costs ranged from $869 million to $1.53 billion. In his letter Tuesday, Tidwell said the agency had only $174 million remaining, and “we anticipate the current extreme fire activity to continue through the end of the fiscal year,” which ends Sept. 30. In the Northwest, blazes have continued to expand.

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National Creek Fire calming down

Herald and News
August 30, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK — The National Creek Complex fires have grown to be about the same size as Crater Lake. “This is the largest fire in the recorded history of the park. It’s approximately the size of the lake itself,” said Chris Ziegler, public information officer with the National Parks Service. “We’re up to 14,000 acres.” But with that large acreage came some relief Friday and Saturday. Rain and cooler temperatures helped slow and calm the fires. “The weather last night was a welcome relief, short though it may be. We did get some rain on the fire incident which is very welcome,” he said.

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Calmer wind slows spread of Canyon Creek Fire

Some rain Sunday after 3 more homes lost Saturday
KTVZ
August 30, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

JOHN DAY, Ore. –  Strong winds pushed the Canyon Creek Complex Fire near John Day to over 101,000 acres on Saturday as the wildfire consumed three more homes, for a total of 43 lost to the nearly 3-week-old blaze. But officials said Sunday’s calmer winds made for a better day on the fire lines.

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Answering the call: Mutual aid across jurisdictions a foundation for area firefighters

Helena Independent Record
August 29, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Fire has never recognized jurisdictional lines on a map. When a fire breaks out or someone faces a medical emergency in Lewis and Clark, Jefferson or Broadwater counties outside of city limits, it is typically the local volunteer firefighters or EMTs who are first on the scene. As first responders they are often faced with the unknown and must make fast decisions on coordinating resources to potentially save lives and property. The Helena-area volunteer fire setup is typical to most parts of the state and country with departments responsible for districts. What is unique about area departments, including the city of Helena, is just how well everyone works together, said Dave Sammons, East Valley Volunteer Fire Department chief and president of the Lewis and Clark Rural Fire Council.

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Fighting and preventing wildfires in the Western U.S. (2 letters)

Letters by Lynn Goldfarb and Christina Anderson
The Denver Post
August 29, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The smoky haze falling over Denver, coming from the record-breaking West Coast fires is a reminder that climate change is coming for us. Your article says the solution is more fire prevention funding, but when the kind of droughts that have hit the West Coast come here — and they will — no amount of funding will prevent massive forest fires, especially in areas where beetle infestations caused by warmer temperatures have weakened or destroyed large areas of forests. We need to attack the problem of climate change, not forestry budgets.

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Outdated ideas driving wildfire policies

The Missoulian
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Our wildfire policy paradigm needs a dramatic overhaul. Current wildfire policies are driven by outdated ideas about fire behavior as well as the ignoring the important ecological role of wildfire in maintaining healthy forest ecosystems. Wildfires are driven by climate/weather conditions. When the right conditions exist – which includes drought, low humidity, high temperatures and wind – you cannot stop a blaze. It’s critical to understand this simple idea. Climate/weather drives big fires, not fuels.

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Feds again bust budget fighting wildfires

USA Today
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


WASHINGTON — The cost of fighting wildfires has again blown past the amount budgeted by Congress, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday, forcing the transfer of funds away from efforts to reduce the number and severity of fires. Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who joined Vilsack in Portland for a news conference on the status of wildfires in the West, vowed to push legislation that would change the funding method for fighting such fires. “It is time to get this fixed,” said Wyden.  He was referring to “fire borrowing,” the practice by the Forest Service
and Interior Department of financing firefighting efforts by tapping
funds normally used to pay for preventative steps such as clearing
debris.

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USFS Spends $10M Per Day On Wildfires In Oregon

Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service is spending $10 million a day fighting wildfires in Oregon, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday during a briefing in Portland. Nationwide, the agency’s spends $150 million per week on fire suppression. The cost of fighting wildfires has soared. It’s now 52 percent of the Forest Service’s budget, Vilsack said. “(It’s) the first time in the history of the Forest Service that we’re spending more money for fire suppression than anything else,” he said. Agency-wide, all non-fire related spending is now frozen, he announced. The Northwest is experiencing an unprecedented wildfire season, with three firefighters killed earlier this month and another hurt badly, and hundreds of square miles burned in Oregon and Washington.

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Oregon Climate Service worries when the wettest forests burn

The Register Guard
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

“When a rain forest is on fire, it’s obvious something extraordinary is happening.” That’s the spooky start of an article by Kathie Dello in this month’s Terra, the Oregon State University magazine. Dello is deputy director of the OSU-based Oregon Climate Service, part of a Legislature-created entity charged with the study of and public education on climate change. Dello pointed to the Paradise Fire this spring in coastal Washington’s Olympic National Park. It’s in the temperate rain forest zone, a strip of ordinarily soggy landscape that runs along the northwest coast from British Columbia to San Francisco, marked by rain, mists, evergreen trees, moss and slugs. “So how did we get to the point where a rain forest in one of the wettest parts of the contiguous United States is able to catch fire?” Dello asks.

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Northwest fire crews hope for a break in the weather

Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
August 28, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore. — Northwest fire officials told U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that incoming cooler weather could help calm the massive blazes that threaten thousands of homes, but wind storms may cause extreme fire behavior in the interim. Vilsack, in Portland Friday for a wildfire briefing, said 14,000 homes in Oregon and Washington are currently at risk and the Forest Service is spending $10 million a day for fire suppression in the region. As the warm weather is being replaced this week by cooler conditions from the Pacific Ocean, the cold front could bring rain to western Oregon this weekend, but the transition to the cold front will also bring strong winds across eastern Washington and northeastern Oregon.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

California’s Long-Term Water Problem to Get Worse, Scientists Warn

Patch
August 29, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The drought cost $2.2 billion and 17,000 jobs last year, and the state needs smarter policies to face coming water shortages, experts say. In an essay published this week, a team of scientists from UC Irvine and elsewhere called for more long-term water conservation strategies that go beyond just addressing the current drought, as rising demand and climate change affect the supply. …Though it is unclear how much climate change is affecting the drought, the scientists predict that future water shortages “will be compounded by more intense heat waves and more wildfires. Soaring temperatures will increase demand for energy just when water for power generation and cooling is in short supply.”

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General

Testalinden Creek fire continues to grow

Penticton Western News
August 30, 2015
Category: Uncategorised

Despite rainfall, the Testalinden Creek wildfire grew to over 4,000 hectares Saturday. According to the BC Wildfire Service, Testalinden, burning approximately seven kilometres south of Oliver, is now estimated at 4295 hectares and is considered 60 per cent contained. Due to movement of the Testalinden Creek fire northwards, the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen expanded the existing evacuation alert on Aug. 28, and later expanded the evacuation order to include recreational areas as well as properties in the Fairview Road area. An evacuation order remains in effect for 27 properties or homes along Fairview Road, Old Golf Course Road and Willowbrook Roads, as well as recreation sites at Burnell (Sawmill), Ripley and Madden Lakes.

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