Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 10, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

BC declares a state of emergency, thousands flee wildfires in California

July 10, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

No let-up in sight as forest fire evacuations and closures abound. Here are the headlines:

  • 3,600 ordered from homes in central BC as wildfire spreads 
  • BC wildfires burn down homes as thousands flee: There was no stopping it [Ashcroft]
  • Wildfires burn across more than 15,680 acres in western Colorado
  • Wildfires send children fleeing from California summer camps
  • ‘Summer of the fire’: Senior climatologist doesn’t see BC wildfires letting up

What’s the cause?

  • Past firefighting efforts have made BC forests more fire-prone: expert
  • Are wildfires worsening due to development, climate change and controversial forest management? (San Diego)
  • Beetle-kill trees fueling Colorado wildfires
  • Forget the wet winter; the West is burning hot and fast

What’s being done about it?

  • Penticton man sets up Facebook group to help fire evacuees
  • Wildfire readiness stepped up as heatwave drags on (Alberta)
  • Increased fines for starting a forest fire (Ontario)
  • Congress should pass Resilient Federal Forests Act to address wildfire threat
  • Clark promises $100 million for fire-ravaged communities to rebuild (BC)
  • Fort McMurray rallies to help BC wildfire evacuees
  • Norbord, Tolko to shut down operations (BC)

A new softwood lumber agreement?

  • Nothing official but Paul Quinn (RBC) reports that “a few believe a deal is imminent”. Having lived through the previous four disputes, Paul describes it as “a low probability” while at the same time recalling the Trudeau-Obama negotiations where the “Canadian side proposed a quota for the first time ever”.
— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Opinion: Future is bright for BC and Canadian economies

July 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

“Hewers of wood and drawers of water” is the well-known summary of our economic origins and early economic history. We did rely heavily on the exploitation of our diversified, natural-resource endowments. Because of the abundance, quality and diversity of these gifts of nature we were able to prosper, whether from our wildlife, fisheries, forests, rivers and lakes, farms or mineral deposits. We earned significant “economic rents” from these resources (i.e. excess returns from the costs of exploiting them). …Economic rents from our resource base diminished considerably by the 1980s. The largest, most-accessible forests and mines had already been developed, the fisheries on both coasts were overfished and went into decline, and both now encounter heightened global competition or trade barriers like the countervailing and anti-dumping duties recently levied by the U.S. government on Canadian softwood imports.

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Revelstoke logging company fined over fatal logging accident

BC Local News
July 5, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Revelstoke logging company was fined by WorkSafeBC in connection with the death a worker in 2015. Canyon Creek Contracting was fined $13,783.82 after it was found to have not done enough to ensure the safety of its workers prior to an incident resulted in the death of Max Stoller on July 27, 2015. Stoller died when he was struck by a tree that slid down a cut block during a harvesting operation near Laforme Creek north of Revelstoke. A report by WorkSafeBC, which was published in the May/June 2017 issue of WorkSafe magazine, says the incident happened during a cable-yarding operation. It says a yarder operator was landing timber onto a road, where a loader was passing it on to a skidder. That’s when they observed a small tree sliding down the slope. An alert was signalled but Stoller, who was standing next to the skidder and facing away from the slope, was struck by the tree and died as a result of his injuries.

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Norbord Reports Fire Near 100 Mile House, British Columbia Mill

By Norbord Inc.
Canada Newswire
July 10, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Norbord Inc. today reported that its OSB mill in 100 Mile House, British Columbia has temporarily suspended production due to the wild fires burning nearby in the region and in order to comply with evacuation orders in the 100 Mile House and surrounding areas. At the time of evacuation, the mill was secure.  At this time, Norbord is assessing the impact to its production schedule. All mill employees have been safely evacuated and no injuries have been reported. The 100 Mile House mill has a stated annual production capacity of 440 million square feet (3/8-inch basis).

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New growth for Grayling: Former lumber boomtown looks back to forestry industry for economic future

By Lindsay Vanhulle
Crain’s Detroit Business
July 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

GRAYLING — Once the playground of lumber barons, Grayling is probably more familiar to travelers as a freeway exit on the way to someplace else. That’s changing. A Chilean forestry company’s $400 million particleboard factory just south of town is poised to transform the area’s economy. And its arrival may offer lessons for other Michigan towns on how to revive their financial fortunes. A year from now, Arauco promises, its plant, now under construction near Interstate 75, will provide upwards of 200 jobs for a city and a region sorely in need of an economic jolt. Up to 1,000 additional workers will be hired in the shorter term to build the 820,000-square-foot factory, roughly the size of Buckingham Palace.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

176 homes evacuated after fire destroys condo building under construction in Kelowna, BC

CBC News
July 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hundreds of people have been ordered out of their homes in Kelowna, B.C., on Saturday after a six-storey condo development under construction caught fire and collapsed.  The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre said the large fire swept through the downtown structure at Truswell and Capozzi roads late Saturday morning and spread to nearby buildings earlier in the afternoon. The fire quickly engulfed the building, leading it to partially collapse. It then spread to the roof of the nearby Waters Edge and the Walnut Grove Motel. 

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Interior design: why timber ceilings are making a comeback

By Karen McCartney
The Sydney Morning Herald
July 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

My house was built in the 1960s, and had a modest build budget by the standards of the time. In 2017, builders suck their teeth, look at our ceiling of western red cedar, and tell us how much that would cost these days. Prohibitive, they say. Yet the timber ceiling looks to be making a comeback in residential architectural projects, in both Sydney and Melbourne. …”The weight and tactile quality of timber gives a sense of shelter and security,” he says Sydney architect Nick Kent. “As a natural material, it presents a subtle variation of texture and colour that changes over time.”

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Forestry

No butts about it, cigarette-flickers burn us all

By Jack Knox
Victoria Times Colonist
July 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

For a brief moment in 2015, Mike Morris was my hero. “Should we ban those who break campfire bans from using our provincial parks?” the Liberal politician, tasked with revamping B.C.’s wildfire laws, asked. “Should we impound the vehicles of those who flick lit cigarette butts from their car windows?” Yes, I responded, yes we should. Also, while we’re at it, how about kneecapping the bastards? …In the end the provincial government did what it always does when trying to send a message that it’s serious about a problem: In April 2016, it raised the fines. In the case of cigarette butt-chuckers, the penalty rose to $575. Given the tantalizing alternative of auto impoundment, this seemed light. I fumed and smouldered, just like the discarded cigarettes. …As for butt-chuckers, press them into service fighting forest fires.

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Wildlife may survive these wildfires, if they’re fast

By Andrea Demeer
Comox Valley Record
July 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

People and pets first. Property second. Then there are all those wild animals to worry about. There are many unknowns when assessing the impact of a forest fire on wildlife, Helen Schwantje, the BC government’s top wildlife veterinarian told The Spotlight in a telephone interview Sunday morning. “We may never know what animals were killed and what happened,” she said. “Mother Nature is pretty resilient, but this is a pretty nasty situation…there is nothing that wildlife managers can do to assist the animals until things are safe for people to go in and look.”

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Clark promises $100 million for fire-ravaged communities to rebuild

Prince George Citizen
July 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – British Columbia is making $100 million available to communities and residents affected by wildfires to help them rebuild. Outgoing Premier Christy Clark announced the fund today during a visit to Kamloops, where she met with emergency officials and families impacted by scores of out-of-control fires. Clark says $600 will be made immediately available by electronic transfer through the Red Cross to people who have registered after being forced from their homes. She says the transition team for premier-designate John Horgan’s incoming government has been briefed on the establishment of the fund. Horgan was to meet with evacuees in Kamloops and visit emergency operations centres that are dealing with what his team called the “worsening wildfire crisis.”

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Past firefighting efforts have made B.C. forests more fire-prone: expert

Canadian Press in the National Post
July 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — British Columbia has been so successful at putting out wildfires in recent decades that it has actually created a situation where its forests are more prone to flames, says an expert. Lori Daniels, an associate professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia, said firefighting efforts over the last 60 to 100 years have allowed for denser forests with a lot of dead material on the ground. Now, when the province has hot, dry weather and lightning strikes or there is a human ignition, the fires are much more severe and fast-moving, she said. “The irony is we tried to protect our forests from fire and we created a situation where they’re much more susceptible and the fires are more damaging,” she said. The province declared a state of emergency on Friday after about 140 new fires broke out. By Sunday, crews were battling 220 blazes.

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The public-private road: logging trucks and road trippers share the Sultan Industrial Road

By Erik White
CBC News
July 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It is the ultimate northern Ontario shortcut. The Sultan Industrial Road is a 115 kilometre ribbon of gravel and dust that runs between the Watershed on Highway 144 and the little community of Sultan, a short drive down a paved road to Highway 129 and Chapleau. It is a logging road, but it is so frequently taken by people wanting to save as much as an hour off an east-west trip, that it feels like a highway. “Yeah, it seems like it should be a regular road that we get to use. I mean, everybody uses it anyway,” says Patricia Malec, one of the 42 people who live in Sultan. . …The province does indeed spend $300,000 a year on maintaining the Sultan Industrial Road. That money is provided to Eacom Timber Corporation, which puts another $500,000 annually into a road that’s become vital to keeping its sawmills supplied with logs.

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Increased Fines for Starting a Forest Fire

By the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Government of Ontario
July 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

With forest fire season well underway in Ontario, the province has increased the maximum fines for individuals and corporations for starting forest fires.  If found responsible, individuals can now be fined up to $25,000 for starting a forest fire, with fines for corporations that start a forest fire going up to $500,000. These increased maximum fines will help deter human-started fires. Approximately half of all forest fires are started by people. Forest fires can cause considerable risk to public safety, can cause expensive property damage and have broader impacts on communities and regional industry.

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Congress should pass Resilient Federal Forests Act to address wildfire threat

By Nick Smith
The Hill
July 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The 2017 wildfire season is reigniting a national discussion on the causes of catastrophic wildfires and the solutions that are needed to protect forests, property and human lives in the future. Fortunately there’s a balanced solution now moving through Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), the only forester in Congress, has introduced the bipartisan Resilient Federal Forests Act (HR 2936) to give the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management the tools and resources they need to better manage our public lands. The legislation has already been approved by the House Natural Resources Committee and could soon receive a vote on the floor of the U.S. House. 

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Logging around Flagstaff ramps up for summer

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
July 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As the summer swings into gear, recreationists heading to the Dry Lake Hills and Mount Elden will notice an increase in logging activities linked to the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. Supported by a voter-approved bond in 2012, the project aims to reduce the risk of wildfire and post-fire flooding in the city’s key watersheds. Since June, crews using chainsaws have thinned 36 acres in several forested areas north of the city. An additional 32 acres were thinned last year in areas that include sections east of Schultz Creek and along the Rocky Ridge Trail. The cut trees will either be offered up for firewood or gathered into big slash piles for later burning. It will likely be September when logging machinery moves into Paradise Valley, the lower Oldham trails, along the base of Mount Elden, along Elden Lookout Road and near the intersection of Mount Elden and Schultz Pass roads.

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Beetle-kill trees fueling Colorado wildfires

By Drew Engelbart
KDVR.com
July 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DENVER — The mountain pine beetle has had a major impact throughout Colorado, killing hundreds of millions of trees. While the epidemic does not increase the risk of wildfires, it certainly impacts the severity of them. The State Forest Service annual report estimates that one in every 14 standing trees in Colorado is dead. That’s 834 million trees, and that number has gone up 30 percent in the last seven years. “The condition of our forests and drought over the last 20 years or so has really allowed it to gain ground and cause a lot of tree mortality in our pine forests,” said Boyd Lebeda, a district forester with the Colorado State Forest Service. Researchers believe that the damage left by the bark beetles has not necessarily increased wildfires, but has increased the severity.

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Forestry company says it won’t do harm to trout fishing paradise

By Lindsay VanHulle
Bridge Michigan
July 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

GRAYLING — Arauco North America says it wants to be a good environmental citizen when its forestry products plant opens near Grayling next year. So far, that sits well with conservation groups in Michigan’s scenic River Country. “We’re just being watchful,” said Tom Baird, president of Anglers of the Au Sable, an environmental group dedicated to protecting the river system. Baird said Arauco executives were willing to quickly meet with several conservation groups, including Anglers as well as Trout Unlimited, to share ideas for setbacks from rivers and streams that feed into the Au Sable system. …Baird said fishermen don’t want to stand in the way of a plan to create hundreds of jobs in the region.

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China breaks ground on 12-mile treetop walkway in Fuzhou forest

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
July 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

China’s magnificent new walkway is giving people a treetop experience of Fuzhou’s sub-tropical forests unlike any before. Singapore-based LOOK Architects recently completed the first phase of the Fuzhou Forest Walkway, a snaking treetop walkway that will span over 19 kilometers (nearly 12 miles) at completion. The elevated pedestrian pathway looks like a dragon’s back threading down the lush Jinniushan mountain and offers urban dwellers the chance to reconnect with nature and brings attention to one of the city’s quickly diminishing green lungs.

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Future legend takes out top forestry award

New Zealand Herald
July 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

He leads by example to “the highest of standards’ and now Shayne Maxwell has been crowned the Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year. Mr Maxwell, who works as a health and safety manager and company trainer at Kohurau Contracting, took out the top award at last night’s Northland Forestry Awards at Forum North in front of 500 of his peers. He was awarded the prestigious trophy by Government Minister Louise Upston after being nominated in three categories – health and safety, felling and harvesting. Mr Maxwell also took out the Individual Harvesting Excellence award and was joint winner, with Rosewarne Cable Logging, of the Outstanding Health and Safety Management Award.

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Hydrowood rescues timber lost to Tasmania’s flooded forests

By Matthew Denholm
The Australian
July 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Beneath the dark, frigid waters of Tasmania’s hydro-electric lakes lies a vast, lost treasure. The island’s hydro schemes — constructed throughout the 20th century — dragged its economy into the industrial age. They also flooded large tracts of old-growth forests; a massive loss of now highly prized and increasingly rare timber. However, this forsaken ­resource — including distinctive and valuable timbers such as celery top and Huon pine, sassafras, myrtle and blackwood — is lost no more. Two local entrepreneurs have mastered a means of harvesting the still-standing drowned forests from the bottom of hydro lakes. The Weekend Australian can reveal not only the success of Australia’s first underwater logging operation, but that it is now estimated the resource can last for many decades.

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Forest Fires

Thousands flee wildfires burning in California and Canada

Associated Press in the Washington Post
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, United States

OROVILLE, Calif. — Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western United States and Canada, destroying a smattering of homes, forcing thousands to flee and temporarily trapping children and counselors at a California campground. In California, two major wildfires have sent nearly 8,000 people fleeing to safety. About 4,000 people evacuated and 7,400 others were told to prepare to leave their homes as fire swept through grassy foothills in the Sierra Nevada, about 60 miles north of Sacramento, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Sunday. …In British Columbia, firefighters were contending with more than 200 wildfires that had destroyed dozens of buildings, including several homes and two airport hangars. The three biggest fires, which ranged in size from five to eight square miles, forced thousands of people to flee.

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Penticton man sets up Facebook group to help fire evacuees

BC Local News
July 8, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Penticton man is heading up a grassroots effort to provide aid for those displaced by the seemingly endless list of wildfires ravaging the province. Initially set up for the Ashcroft and Cache Creek evacuees, Allan Love said the Facebook group is there to provide help to anybody who may have lost a home or who otherwise needs help due to the fires. “I’m an old forestry firefighter, myself, so I know the hardships that the people will be going through, as I’ve been on the fighting end of it,” Love said. “I know how much it could actually suck. I just want to give anyone who needs help as much help as I can possibly give them whether it’s through myself or through proxy.” If Love isn’t able to provide the help that an evacuee is needing, he said hopefully one of the 112 — and growing — members of his group will be able to.

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Canadian Forces remain ‘last resort’ for BC wildfire response: province

BC Local News
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Forces are en route to Kelowna to help fight the estimated 230 wildfires burning across B.C. However, the BC Wildfire Service said Sunday that the military isn’t likely to help with direct, on-the-ground firefighting. Instead, the personnel will provide logistical support. “We have Canadian Forces assets that are leaning forward and pre-position to help with supporting provincial efforts,” said chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek. “There should be three Griffin helicopters into Kelowna today and there should be some larger fixed-wing aircraft in the next few days.” Skrepnek said that the province will look to firefighting support from Alberta and Ontario, as well as from other provinces, before asking the Canadian Forces to help with firefighting operations.

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B.C. declares state of emergency, 180-plus wildfires burning

By Geordon Omand
Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
July 8, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Fire crews worked to save buildings and protect transportation routes Saturday after thousands of people were chased from their homes by wildfires that raged out of control across British Columbia’s central Interior. More than 180 fires were burning, many considered out of control, as the B.C. government declared a provincewide state of emergency to co-ordinate the crisis response. Officials said buildings have been destroyed, but they did not release numbers. The BC Wildfire Service says over 173 fires were reported on Friday alone as lightning storms rolled over several parts of B.C. Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer for the service, said it was “an extraordinary day in terms of fire activity across the province.” [This article includes earlier stories as well underneath the primary story].

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‘Summer of the fire’: Senior climatologist doesn’t see B.C. wildfires letting up

CTV News
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As more than 1,000 firefighters battle the out-of-control wildfires in British Columbia, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist Dave Phillips spoke to CTV News Channel about what’s causing the hazardous conditions. “It’s been too dry, too hot, for too long,” he said. “It’s like putting a giant dome over Western Canada, particularly in British Columbia and it’s not allowing any weather to come in.” According to Phillips, interior B.C. hasn’t seen rain in 28 days and hasn’t had more than a “thimble-full” in 53 days. The lack of air combined with record-high temperatures, humidity levels comparable to those you see in a desert, and wind gusts mean perfect conditions for wildfires, says Phillips. …As for long-term, Phillips says things will be much of the same. “This will the summer of the fire,” he said. “The rest of July and August will be warmer than normal and drier than normal.”

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B.C. wildfires map 2017: Current location of wildfires around the province

By Amy Judd and Jesse Ferreras
Global News
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crews were battling about 225 wildfires around B.C. as of Monday. The B.C. Wildfire Service has provided a map of where the fires are located (it may not load in high traffic times so you might need to be patient). The map is accurate as of 5 a.m. Monday, July 10, although the wildfire situation may change at any time. The larger flames on the map are considered “wildfires of note.” There were five major wildfires burning in the area of Williams Lake on Saturday. A wildfire in the Wildwood/Williams Lake Airport area, just north of Williams Lake, was estimated at 2,000 hectares on Sunday at 12:16 p.m. It was zero per cent contained as of the latest update; crews managed to anchor the base of the fire into Highway 97, allowing them to build containment lines.

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Towns, homes evacuated in B.C. as wildfires burn out of control

By Maryse Zeidler
CBC News
July 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province of British Columbia has declared a state of emergency, as wildfires burn out of control throughout most of the Interior. “?The extended weather forecast is calling for continued hot, dry weather, with risks of thunderstorms in many parts of the province,” the province said in a written statement Friday. The declaration gives emergency resources special authority to deal with the fires. Wildfires burning out of control across the Interior have prompted the evacuation of at least one airport, two hospitals, an entire town and hundreds more homes throughout the region. The B.C. Wildfire Service said 138 new fires started throughout the province on Friday, many of them started by lightning.

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Wildfire south of Port McNeill has decreased to 10 hectares

By Hanna Petersen
North Island Gazette
July 7, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfire burning south of Port McNeill has decreased to 10 hectares. The fire started Wednesday night north of Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park and is about 12 kilometres south of Port McNeill. Coastal Fire had previously suspected the fire had grown to 20 hectares in size, but this turned out to be not the case. “Yesterday there was a fair amount of smoke – so it’s hard to see what’s fire and what’s not fire,” said Coastal Fire Information Officer Donna McPherson. “They’ve had a good look at it, and it’s looking like it’s at the 10 hectare mark now.” McPherson said the fire is located in an area with a lot of slash, or forestry byproduct, which is why the fire was initially burning quickly. “Once it moves from the slash and into the healthy forest it’s not aggressive at all,” said MacPherson.

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BC wildfires: The latest as crews battle dozens of blazes in central Interior

By Patrick Johnston and Cheryl Chan
Vancouver Sun
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Raging wildfires across the B.C. Interior show no sign of abating Sunday, forcing highway closures and chasing more residents out of their homes. Close to 2,000 people who live in the District of 100 Mile House fled their homes late Sunday after mayor Mitch Campsall issued an evacuation order due to the looming threat of a rapidly-moving wildfire.  Another 195 homes north of Princeton were also ordered to leave in a “controlled evacuation” starting at 2 a.m. Monday when temperatures are cooler to allow safe passage from a 1,500-hectare blaze nearby.  With hot, dry weather, strong winds and the risk of dry lightning in the forecast, officials say the situation could get worse.

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Fort McMurray rallies to help B.C. wildfire evacuees

By Cullen Bird
Edmonton Journal
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fort McMurray residents are stepping up to help fire-threatened British Columbians overcome the same fears and struggles they went through just over a year ago. Hundreds of residents are offering their money, time and labour on social media to give their fellow Canadians much-needed supplies and information. Marty Frost spent the weekend with a group of friends building a walled 18-foot trailer and filling it with supplies to bring to fire halls and evacuation centres in B.C. “Canada helped us out last year — it’s time for us to step up to do something,” said Tamara Laverdiere, who volunteered to make the 15-hour supply run to B.C.

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Forest fire near Muskrat Falls now under control

CBC News
July 10, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forest fire that’s been burning in central Labrador for more than a week is now under control, according to provincial officials. The fire in the Edward’s Brook area, near Muskrat Falls, was first reported on June 28. It was being contained by firefighters, but was classified as out of control since then, despite the wet weather in Labrador. As of Monday morning, provincial officials said it has been brought under control.

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July Fire has burned more than 10,000 acres; 45 percent contained

The Billings Gazette
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A fire that threatened the Phillips County community of Landusky has now burned more than 10,000 acres. No homes in Landusky were destroyed, but the blaze damaged five outbuildings or sheds, according to fire officials. A voluntary evacuation order for the town of about 40 residents, in place since Thursday, was lifted Saturday morning. The blaze, dubbed the July Fire, is now 45 percent contained, according to an update at 10 a.m. Sunday. But hot and dry weather is expected to continue and an expected wind shift could push the blaze northwest. Firefighters are focusing on protecting structures in Zortman, mopping up the Landusky area and hemming in the fire to the north. About 420 firefighting personnel are on the fire.

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Wildfires burn across more than 15,680 acres in western Colorado

By Bruce Finley
The Denver Post
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Nine wildfires burned around western Colorado on more than 15,680 acres Sunday, driven by high temperatures, dry wood and wind — prompting federal land managers to deploy aircraft and hundreds of firefighters to try to control flames. The biggest fires were devouring cheat grass, pinon-juniper forest and sagebrush in northwestern Colorado, mostly in areas overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. None hurt people. No evacuations were ordered in Colorado. But wildfires raging in California forced hundreds to leave homes. And the heat spurred more than 180 wildfires in western Canada, where authorities on Sunday declared a state of emergency.

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Crews stop small wildfire near Black Butte

KTVZ
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SISTERS, Ore. – (Update: Adding small fire stopped west of Sisters later Sunday) A small, wind-fanned wildfire spotted early Sunday near Black Butte west of Sisters was stopped at 5 acres by crews working overnight. The fire was spotted shortly before 1 a.m., burning off Forest Service Road 11 (Indian Ford Road), according to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center By mid-morning, the fire had a hose lay and line around it. Crews were still on scene doing mop-up work, with three engines, two crews and two water tenders. Officials said the fire early on was burning actively, including group torching of trees, due to downslope winds.

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Wildfires send children fleeing from California summer camps

Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
July 8, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A pair of Santa Barbara County wildfires quickly spread Saturday, threatening hundreds of homes and forcing evacuations at a popular lakeside campground and a summer camp where flames temporarily trapped children and counselors, a fire official said. The fire that started in the early afternoon had spread to both sides of Highway 154 and was “completely out of control,” county fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said. About 90 children and 50 counselors were struck at the Circle V Ranch and had to take shelter there until they could be safely evacuated. The fire was one of three in the state that grew quickly as much of California baked in heat that broke records in parts of Southern California. A record that stood 131 years in Los Angeles was snapped when the temperature spiked at 98 degrees downtown. The previous record of 95 degrees was set in 1886, the National Weather Service said.

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Forget the wet winter; the West is burning hot and fast

By Gary Ferguson, Author
Los Angeles Times
July 8, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…From the Rockies to the Pacific, the last 16 years have brought an astonishing 11 summers with more than a dozen so-called mega-fires, defined as a single burn engulfing more than 100,000 acres. More to the point of our anxieties, about 120 million of us are living on some 200 million acres considered to be at high risk of burning. We’re living our lives, as will our children and our grandchildren, in a land of flames. Without a doubt, Westerners will be in the news in the coming weeks — clutching our loved ones and watching our homes go up in smoke. The problem is partly the result of 80 years of over-aggressive fire suppression, beginning in the early 20th century. Because of the arid nature of the West, when trees die, the primary way they decompose is through fire. 

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Fire rages in north China forest

Xinhua
July 9, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

HOHHOT — A lightning-induced fire engulfing 1,500 hectares of forest in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China has been put out, local authorities said. The fire broke out Thursday. About 4,000 firefighters from Inner Mongolia and neighboring Heilongjiang Province, together with a dozen helicopters were dispatched to extinguish the blaze. All open fire had been put out by 8 p.m. Saturday. The firefighters continue to search for smoke points. The forest is part of the Greater Hinggan Mountains in north and northeast China. According to firefighters, the Greater Hinggan Mountains have seen a longer period with high temperatures and severe drought this year, which has made it difficult for preventing and putting out fires. [End of story]

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

BC lags other provinces in reaching greenhouse gas reduction targets

By Gordon Hoekstra
Vancouver Sun
July 9, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Some provinces have already met their target for the 2030 greenhouse gas emission reductions that Canada committed to in the 2016 Paris agreement, an analysis by the National Energy Board shows.  Those provinces are Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, plus the Yukon territory. The two provinces have reduced emissions by 30 per cent by 2015 from 2005 levels, well ahead of the 2030 target date, according to the NEB data. British Columbia lags behind. As of 2015, the province had reduced its carbon emissions by less than five per cent, according to the NEB figures. …“B.C. was once a climate leader, but with a lack of action in the past six, seven years after (former B.C. premier) Gordon Campbell left, there has really been no action to address climate change.”

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Finland’s plan to increase logging is a danger to the climate

By Hanna Aho, climate and forests campaigner at Fern
Climate Home
July 10, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Plans to increase logging in Finnish forests will have dire impacts on the climate; yet the Finnish government is ignoring evidence and denigrating scientists. Meanwhile, as a critical EU decision looms on how to count emissions from forests, the Finns are frantically lobbying to make them as weak as possible. Finland is at the heart of a dispute which will have profound implications for EU Member States’ attempts to reduce their carbon emissions. Over the past two years it has expended vast political capital lobbying the EU to weaken its rules on how members account for emissions from forests and land. …To help achieve this economic salvation, Finland last year announced plans to increase harvesting its forests by 23% between now and 2030.

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A warming Melbourne may need to consider a Sydney tree-change

By Craig Butt
The Sydney Morning Herald
July 8, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

These two thermal images, side by side, show how much trees can help keep the city cool during the sweltering summer months. The first shows a section of Elizabeth Street, opposite the Queen Victoria Market, on a 36.7 degree day in January. But take a look at the second image, taken a short way up the road. The presence of the trees shield the nearby area from the harsh sunlight and also slightly cool their surroundings by drawing in moisture from the ground.

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