Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 29, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Six storey wood-frame construction not popular with fire fighters

Tree Frog Forestry News
June 29, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

A six-alarm wood-frame fire in Boston is bad news for the “sort of housing that many in Boston’s development community say the city needs”, as concerns grow about fires during construction before sprinklers and other safety systems are fully operational. Boston fire Commissioner said “it’s lightweight construction, which makes it very dangerous for us”. Residents were due to move in July 15.

A Vermont lumber company is expressing concern about softwood duties because “25 percent of their white pine production is sold to Canadian firms“—which convert it into window frames, molding and door jams—prior to being “re-sold to American wholesalers“. Company General Manager Jeff Hardy describes the 30 percent change of price as “a real wet blanket on anybody’s business.

And finally, some condo owners in Vancouver will have to fork over $35,000 each to replace a large tree on the top of their building. Put in place in 1987—the architect apparently skipped Forestry 101 and failed to consider the “city’s watering restrictions or provide adequate root space for what the tree would ultimately need“. 

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Condo tree shows Vancouver’s green virtue signaling

By Ada Slivinski
24 Hours
June 28, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

This fall, condo owners at Vancouver’s Eugenia Place will have to fork over $35,000 each to replace a tree on the top of their building. The 37-foot high pin oak on top of the tower was part of the requirement for a city building permit put in place in 1987. Last summer, water restrictions in the city are what – according to condo owners – left the tree without adequate aqua for three months. This on top of inadequate root space meant the tree was dying and needed to be removed. The building’s original architect, Richard Henriquez… talked a lot about the tree’s poetic justice and the symbolism for old-growth forests, but admitted he didn’t think about the care required or how much space the roots would need.

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Business & Politics

Federal, Provincial Ministers Discuss U.S. Anti-Dumping Announcement

By Alexandre Deslongchamps
Natural Resources Canada
June 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, and his provincial counterparts today reiterated their commitment to stand firmly behind the Canadian forest industry and vigorously defend its interests. The members of the Federal-Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber held a teleconference in response to the announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce this week imposing preliminary anti-dumping duties on imports of certain Canadian softwood lumber products into the U.S. and the announcement of consultations on excluding three provinces from duties. Minister Carr and his provincial counterparts discussed the importance of Canada’s softwood lumber industry.

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Annual General Meeting of FSC Canada Builds Consensus to Raise Forest Sustainability to a New Level

Forest Stewardship Council
June 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – The annual general meeting of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® ) Canada, is being held in Montreal June 28-29 to finalize its new forest management standard to ensure Canada’s forests meet all future needs. FSC certification provides solutions for those involved in forest management in Canada by validating the social licence of certificate holders with various groups, including Indigenous Peoples, environmental groups, unions and consumers. Products bearing the FSC logo inspire confidence in consumers around the world by guaranteeing that those products come from well-managed, sustainable forests and supply chains. “Our annual general meeting brings together representatives from our four chambers – economic, social, environmental and Aboriginal – who together reach consensus on the standard and actions needed to ensure both the sustainability of our forests and their ability to meet our different needs as a society,” said François Dufresne, President of FSC Canada.

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Tolko plans re-opening in early 2018

By Richard Froese
South Peace News
June 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries Ltd. has announced it will re-open its oriented strand board mill in High Prairie in early 2018. Production is expected to start in the first quarter of 2018 as markets improve and optimism that housing starts will maintain upward momentum, says a news release from Tolko dated June 20. …An exact re-opening date was not confirmed. When fully operational, the mill will employ about 175 people directly, support a contractor logging work- force and generate many indirect employment opportunities in the community.

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Concerns growing over mounting lumber tariffs

By Erica Fisher
My Grande Prairie Now
June 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The United States’ new anti-dumping duties on softwood lumber has industry experts concerned. Co-chair of the Alberta Softwood Lumber Trade Council Paul Whittaker says they’re profoundly disappointed by the latest action, which adds another 6.76 to 7.72 per cent tax on Alberta producers. “This is the fifth time since 1982 that the US has claimed unfair trading practices by Canadian producers, and each time our practices have been found by independent tribunals to be fair. We will continue to work closely with the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta to defend industry and government practices and oppose these duties. Unfortunately, it is likely to be a lengthy and costly process, but we are confident that we will be vindicated.” …Grande Prairie – Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin is again being vocal with his criticism of the federal government for not being able to negotiate a new softwood lumber agreement.

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Softwood lumber exemption a breather for Nova Scotia

By the Editorial Board
Chronicle Herald
June 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

There are times when exclusion can be a relief. And Monday was one those times for Nova Scotia’s lumber producers and, indeed, the whole provincial economy. For both, exclusion was a sweet word to hear from U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Mills, who announced a preliminary decision to maintain the traditional exemption of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador from U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber. …This region’s producers won exclusion from such duties 30 years ago because Washington, and even U.S. producers, accepted most lumber here is harvested from private land and Crown-land fees reflect market rates. Why we were dragged into the renewed war isn’t clear. Perhaps the Americans were exerting maximum effort to get a new political deal before NAFTA is re-opened and lumber becomes only one chip among many.

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Ontario announces $85M to clean up mercury near Grassy Narrows, Wabaseemoong First Nations

By Jody Porter
CBC News
June 27, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario will spend $85 million to clean up industrial mercury contamination that is poisoning the people at Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nations in northwestern Ontario, Environment Minister Glen Murray announced on Tuesday. The mercury was dumped into the river by Reed Paper, upstream of the First Nations in Dryden, Ont., in the 1960s and early 1970s. It has never been cleaned up. That has resulted in more than 90 per cent of the population in the communities showing signs of mercury poisoning, according to research released in September 2016 by Japanese experts who have been studying the health of people there for decades. …Preparation work on the river will be completed this summer with remediation starting in early 2018, Murray said. The work will follow the course set by scientist John Rudd and be done in partnership with both First Nations, he said.

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Forestry consortium combats criticism from private woodlot owners

By Emma Smith
CBC News
June 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The manager of a consortium of forestry companies that log on western Nova Scotia Crown land says his group isn’t to blame for the struggles of private woodlot owners who say they can’t find buyers. The 13 companies that make up WestFor are taking heat from some private woodlot owners who say the consortium is flooding the market. Marcus Zwicker, the general manager of WestFor Management Inc, which is licensed by the province to operate on western Crown land, admits forestry is experiencing “a serious contraction” because of fewer buyers. But he said the problem isn’t an oversupply of lumber for mills. He said the companies within WestFor produce 90 per cent saw material, and only a small amount of low-grade pulpwood, which is used for heating or electricity. Zwicker said it’s the low-grade market that’s facing a glut.

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Available building, southern pine, tax breaks all helped lure new business to Dothan

By Kendall Clinton
Dothan Eagle
June 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A high tech wood products industry that will take over the former General Electric building in south Dothan will initially create 60 new jobs at the plant and is projected to result in 200 jobs combined throughout the area. Details of the $19.6 million project by Sarasota, Florida-based International Beams were unveiled Wednesday morning during a press conference at Landmark Park. Company CEO Bruno Lebel said there are only two other manufacturers of cross laminated timber (CLT) panels in the United States, but Dothan will be the biggest when the plant here begins production in the first quarter of 2018. The plant will also produce a glue laminated timber product as well. …While International Beams will be creating 60 jobs initially, working two shifts, another 25 jobs and a third shift could be added within the next five years.

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As US Increases Tariffs On Canadian Lumber, Vermont Companies Wait For Fallout

By Howard Weiss-Tisman
Vermont Public Radio
June 28, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The U.S. Commerce Department this week slapped a new round of tariffs on Canadian lumber coming into the states, and companies in Vermont are anxious to see how it could affect business. …At Cersosimo Lumber in Brattleboro, general manager Jeff Hardy says about 25 percent of the company’s white pine goes into Canada. Cersosimo sends rough sections of white pine up north where it’s made into window frames, molding and door jams. Then American wholesalers buy that finished product back from Canadian companies. And so Hardy says when the U.S. government slaps an extra tariff on the wood that comes into this country, it complicates the whole process… “It’s very hard to buy and sell lumber if you don’t know what the true cost is,” says Hardy. “…when you have to buy something to keep your facility going, you may have agreed on a price, but there may be a 30 percent change of price that you’re responsible for. That’s a real wet blanket on anybody’s business.”

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Rubicon buys out ArborGen partners for US$29 million

By Paul McBeth
Scoop Independent News
June 29, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Rubicon has taken full ownership of forestry biotech firm ArborGen, buying out its partners for US$29 million, having raised money from a new US investor to help fund the deal. The NZX-listed forestry firm will pay International Paper and WestRock a total of US$14 million today in the first tranche of the deal, followed by a US$5 million payment on Dec. 31 and US$10 million on June 30 next year, it said in a statement. Those second and third tranches are secured against all of Rubicon’s ArborGen shares. Rubicon will partially fund the transaction through a US$12.5 million share placement to US hedge fund Libra Fund and the New Zealand company’s biggest shareholder, Knott Partners.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Officials: Use of laminated lumber caused Ottawa County deck collapse

By Bob Brenzing
Fox17
June 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

WEST OLIVE, Mich. – Officials say that the wrong type of beams were used in the construction of a deck that collapsed and injured several people at Pine Bend Park earlier this month. Ottawa County Parks officials say that GMB Architecture and Engineering concluded that the structural beams of the deck were Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) and that is the “wrong material to use in the outdoor environment of this deck.” They report the LVL wood is “not suitable for the absorption of chemicals in the pressure treatment process”, that is used to make wood appropriate for outdoor use. Officials say that a joint LVL beam sheared at one of the 8×8 treated posts while 20 to 30 people were on the deck and the deck collapsed.  

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Massive fire tears through building under construction in Dorchester

By Justin Bourke
WHDH
June 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

BOSTON — Fire crews are on the scene a six-alarm blaze at an apartment building under construction in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. …Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn said the air conditioning units on the top of the building buckled and collapsed onto the top floor. Finn said the roof and the top floor were completely destroyed by the fire. “It was a very difficult fire to fight,” Finn said. “It’s lightweight construction, which makes it very dangerous for us, which means the components are smaller. (The components) are 2×4, which is what you would see in your own residential home versus a major development like this.”

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Did wooden construction feed Dorchester fire?

By Tim Logan, Travis Andersen and John Ellement
Boston Globe
June 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The $45 million apartment building that was gutted by a six-alarm fire in the Ashmont section of Dorchester on Wednesday is precisely the sort of housing that many in Boston’s development community say the city needs more of: mid-rise, mixed-income, near the T. And built almost entirely out of wood. …At five or six stories of wood framing above a podium of concrete or steel, they’re cheaper to build than high-rises, but allow developers to pack in more units than Boston’s traditional stock of two-families and three-deckers. …As this sort of wood-frame development has become more popular around the country, concerns have grown about fires during construction, before sprinklers and other safety systems are fully operational. Dozens of similar buildings have burned down over the last few years, according to data tracked by a concrete industry trade group pushing for more stringent fire-protection rules. …“Because of the lightweight construction [materials] the building started to collapse,” said Finn, who termed it a “very dangerous building” for firefighters and said more collapses could come Wednesday night.

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Explainer: everything you need to know about mass timber

By Willow Aliento
The Fifth Estate
June 29, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International


Mass timber is currently one of the big trends sweeping through global construction, and while cross-laminated timber (CLT) is the poster child for the tall wood revolution, it’s not the only engineered timber on the market. Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) has been in use in Australian construction since at least 1986, according to Michael Murphy, market manager, LVL, at wood products company Carter Holt Harvey. That’s the year the first LVL beams rolled off the production lines at the company’s plant in South Australia. Production has since moved to New Zealand, where Radiata pine is sourced from FSC and PEFC-certified plantation forests. Of the approximately 100,000 cubic metres of LVL it produces annually, around 80 per cent is sold into the Australian market.

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All-in-One Multipurpose Furniture Unit

Jetson Green
June 28, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Living in small urban apartments can get very cramped very fast. But a lot of people aren’t willing to forgo living in the city center, and that is where clever multipurpose furniture units come in. We’ve seen a lot of them pop up in the last few years, and this one, created by German designer Nils Holger Moormann is one of the best. He designed and built it in collaboration with B&O Group and the prototype shows that it does have lots of potential to free up living space. The unit is basically a cube, which functions as a room within a room. …The cube is built out of wood and designed in a minimalist way so that it will blend seamlessly with practically any décor. It’s also a great way to create a loft in a studio apartment without actually having to go through complicated construction work.

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Forestry

Forests – a Way of Life [Sustainable Forestry Initiative] – 2017 Progress Report

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
June 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. SFI® works at the intersection of sustainable forestry, thriving communities and responsible procurement. …At the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, we believe we all share a fundamental relationship with forests. Forests clean the air we breathe and the water we drink and provide life-sustaining values. As part of a global community committed to sustaining our forests, SFI is committed to ensuring that well-managed forests achieve their full potential to lift people up and improve our shared quality of life. The story of our progress in this report is interwoven with data, people and the accomplishments of the SFI community across North America.

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TimberWest Campsite Photo Contest in Celebration of Canada’s 150th!

By Monica Bailey
TimberWest
June 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nanaimo: TimberWest is proud to announce the TimberWest Campsite Photo Contest open to all camping enthusiasts spending time in the great outdoors in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. Individuals are encouraged to share their favourite camping photos by tagging @TimberWestForestCorp on Facebook for a chance to win one of two 14-day camping passes to any of our eight TimberWest camping sites. “Vancouver Island offers some spectacular camping opportunities,” says Jeff Zweig, President and CEO TimberWest. “This photo contest is about celebrating our natural environment, and capturing those images during Canada’s 150th birthday. We have eight public campsites on beautiful lakefronts available for a great vacation with friends and family.”

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Trans Canada Trail announces trail connection on Southern Vancouver Island – Thanks TimberWest for their generous support

TimberWest
June 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Malahat, Vancouver Island, BC: Trans Canada Trail is proud to announce the opening of a vital new trail link on Vancouver Island that connects the Capital Regional District (CRD) Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail to the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) Cowichan Valley Trail. This connection closes a significant gap of The Great Trail’s South Island Connection Plan. “The Great Trail is one of the world’s longest networks of multi-use recreational trails,” explains Valerie Pringle, Chair, Trans Canada Trail Foundation. “Once fully connected, it will stretch nearly 24,000 km from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans, through every province and territory, linking Canadians in nearly 1,000 communities.

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A BC Forester and The BC Bike Race Experience: Sechelt to Langdale and North Vancouver – Video

By BC Bike Race
Pink Bike
June 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Here are two new BCBR Experience edits—Day 4, Sechelt to Langdale and Day 5, North Vancouver. …Giving us the community aspect of this video are Jean-Francois Petit, owner of Spin Cycles in Gibsons, and Warren Hansen, a local Forester and Trail Builder. The Sunshine Coast has worked hard to develop environmental tourism and after years of independent trail building, the community has come together to get organized, to gather funding, and to take control of the world class trails they have to offer! [Move to the 2:23 minute mark in the video to hear what forester Hansen has to say].

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Student voice: Consider giving our trees the same rights as humans

Letter by Jacob, student at Reynolds Secondary
Saanichnews.com
June 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

At the beginning of this school year, I could not have predicted I would find myself, in May, at an Ethnoecology Symposium at the University of Victoria, sitting in the same room as David Suzuki. …Together at the symposium, we learned there is a connection between society and nature, and there are rights that should be shared between them. …We are cutting down forests to put up buildings and eventually we will run out of wildlife to destroy. Though people may think it’s crazy to give a tree the same rights as a human, Te Urewera National Park in New Zealand has been given all the legal rights a human would be given. We should take this precedent into consideration and push for these legal rights for nature in Canada because all living things need each other and the human race is killing what they and other living things need to survive – we need to set legal rights for our ecosystem.

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Ontario Forest Industries Association celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday in new video

By Ontario Forest Industries Association
Wood Business
June 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday and to celebrate Ontario’s sustainable forest products sector, OFIA partnered with Habitat for Humanity GTA as an Official Wood Sponsor at the Pinery Trail site in Toronto. OFIA’s forestry community, including Weston Forest, the Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources, members of provincial and municipal government, Indigenous leaders and the Carpenters’ Union Local 27, rolled up their sleeves to help build 15 homes with Ontario Wood. …Jamie Lim, President & CEO of OFIA, explains, “The whole objective of the event was to celebrate, not only Canada and Ontario’s 150th birthday, but also to celebrate forestry because forestry is older than Canada. This is a sector that’s renewable, like farming – we plant, we cut and we repeat and it is an honour to have OFIA’s member companies here.”

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Timber Management: Which Trees To Cut and Why

By Jean Snedegar
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
June 28, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


In the next part of our occasional series on the timber and forest products industry, we find out how timber cruisers — or procurement foresters — help landowners decide when to harvest trees in a timber stand, which trees to take and which ones to leave behind. Independent producer Jean Snedegar joined Kelly Riddle, of Allegheny Wood Products, in early June at a privately owned forest near Kingwood, in Preston County. “One of the interesting things about being a forester is that not every stand or site is the same,” he said. “You know, you walk to the other side of the hollow or the other side of the ridge, the site conditions change, the species change, the understory changes, and so it’s kind of a new canvas any place that you walk.” Riddle said deciding on which trees to take depends on several factors.

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Forest Fires

Prescribed Burn Gone Wrong Cause of Raven Lake Wildfire

By Greg Fry
250 News
June 27, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Williams Lake, B.C. – A prescribed burn gone wrong was behind the cause of the Raven Lake wildfire 55 kilometres west of Williams Lake last night. “Essentially hot, dry and windy conditions caused an increase in fire behaviour on a prescribed burn conducted by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, causing it to spread outside the prescribed burn area,” says Natasha Broznitsky, fire information officer with the Cariboo Fire Centre. In a note to 250News, Ryan Turcot with the BC Wildfire Service says “Over the past five years, about 21 (less than 5%) of the 429 registered prescribed or resource management burns escaped and required suppression action.” A note on their website adds prescribed burns are “one of a number of fuel management tools and techniques that can be used to help reduce the intensity of naturally occurring wildfires while returning an integral process to the ecosystem.”

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Firefighters struggle to control Dew Drop Trail fire west of Kamloops

By Jill Sperling
CFJC Today Kamloops
June 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — The BC Wildfire Service is trying to regain control of a fire in Lac Du Bois Provincial Park. The fire was first discovered as a small wildfire on June 16 and was taken over as a controlled burn. However, Monday’s strong winds spread the fire, which is now estimated to be burning across 260 hectares. Airtankers and more than 60 firefighters continue to attack the blaze today (June 27), hoping to gain the upper hand. Led into the smoke filled air by a bird dog, four skimmers spent the day circling the fire located 12 kilometres west of Kamloops, releasing hundreds of gallons of water over the flames. The fire is located in an area known as the Dewdrop and is currently burning out of control. “On June 16 there was a wildfire that had started in that area,” said fire information officer Justine Hunse.

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As wildfires rage out west, D.C. lawmakers fight over forest policy

By Anshu Siripurapu
McClatchy DC
June 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States

WASHINGTON- With wildfire season raging in western states, Congress is embroiled in a battle over how best to fight the fires. Many Republicans want to help prevent and fight wildfires by giving the agencies that manage the federal forests more money and greater ability to thin out the forests. Most Democrats, as well as environmental groups, say the bill would lead to more logging without first considering potential damage to the forests. …Rep. Raúl Grijalva, the top Democrat on the committee said of the bill, “it’s another precedent being set, slowly but surely, undercutting those benchmark laws and beginning a deregulation process without actually saying so.” Environmental groups blasted the bill. In a statement, Susan Jane Brown of the Western Environmental Law Center called it a “wish list from the timber industry.”

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Arizona crews struggle to curb fast-growing wildfire

By David Schwartz
Reuters
June 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters struggled on Wednesday to slow the advance of a fast-growing wildfire threatening thousands of structures in central Arizona and forcing evacuations of residents from at least a dozen communities, authorities said. The so-called Goodwin Fire, roaring through dense, sun-baked chaparral, has destroyed a number of homes in an area close to where flames erupted on Saturday in the Prescott National Forest, about 70 miles north of Phoenix. But the full extent of property losses has yet to be determined because of continued fierce fire activity in the vicinity, said Tiffany Davila, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Forestry and Fire. “We know there’s losses back in there, but we don’t know how bad it is,” she told Reuters. As of Wednesday, the wind-whipped blaze had charred 21,000 acres, while firefighters have managed to carve containment lines around just 1 percent of the perimeter.

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Here’s the latest on Southern California’s four largest wildfires

By Joseph Serna
Los Angeles Times
June 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters on Wednesday increased containment around four Southern California wildfires that have gutted homes, cars and forced some residents to flee, according to state and federal officials. The blazes started at the tail end of a brutal statewide heat wave that dried out valley grasses and brush-covered hillsides. Officials say California’s wettest winter in more than a decade created a fresh crop of fuel spread across the state that has since dried out in the spring and summer heat. Though temperatures are expected to dip Friday, warm, dry breezes are expected to return over the weekend, the National Weather Service said. In response, the Angeles National Forest expects to raise the fire danger level from high to very high effective Friday, park officials announced.

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Drone impedes Arizona firefighters’ efforts to battle wildfire

By Andrew Craft
Fox News
June 28, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Arizona officials are concerned drones are getting in the way of their ability to fight wildfire. As crews were battling a fire just north of Flagstaff Tuesday, officials say a drone’s presence delayed air crews from putting out the blaze. It was not reported how long teams were delayed because of the drone and ground crews were later sent in. George Jozens, Deputy Public Affairs Officer for the Coconino National Forest said the owner of the drone was not apprehended and the fire was said to have been started due to a campfire left smoldering. The fire was later fully contained that same day coming in around 3 acres in size. …The National Interagency Fire Center reports that there were 41 drone incursions in the U.S. last year while aerial firefighting was underway. Three of those occurred in Arizona.

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