Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 12, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Wildfire update – between lightning and humans there’s no end in sight

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 12, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Wildfire update – between lightning and humans there’s no end in sight

  • BC wildfires: The damage so far, and how you can help (Globe & Mail)
  • Seven days is a “Disneyland suggestion” for returning home (100 Mile Free Press)
  • UBC forest researcher posts video of harrowing wildfire escape (Vancouver Sun)
  • South-central Oregon wildfire grows to 6200 acres; firefighters battling blazes across the West (The Oregonian)
  • California battling several large wildfires that forced out residents (Reuters)

Causes and implications?

  • Lightning sparks numerous wildfires in southeast BC (Globe & Mail)
  • Canada wood prices to rise as western wildfire interrupts logging (Reuters)
  • BC wildfires put dent in interior resource industries with mill closures, mine slowdowns (Vancouver Sun)
  • President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to fighting wildfires could be deadly for the Western US (New York Daily News)

What is or can be done about it? 

  • Burning BC: Time to fight fire with fire, says expert (CBC News)
  • Wildfire preparation and response inadequate (Clearwater Times)
  • Local collaboration key to preventing large wildfires (Cranbrook Townsman)
  • Flush With Timber Money, Congressman Works to Loosen Forest Protections (Pacific Standard)

In other news, Bruce King has a new book coming out in the fall, called “The New Carbon Architecture“, which of course means use more wood. Related stories include a University of California test to “see how wood structures fair in quakes” and a Michigan State University study on “how wood from abandoned buildings can be reused.”

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

ECO Canada’s Internship Program Awarded $8.9M to Help Grow Green Jobs

By ECO Canada
Canada Newswire
July 12, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

ECO Canada’s Internship Program received substantial funding that provides up to 50% in salary for environmental jobs in Natural Resource Sectors. The program will result in the fulfillment or creation of 650 environmentally focused career opportunities for new graduates and corporations.  “Canadian youth have the talent and drive to succeed in the labour market”, says the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. “To help them make the transition from school to work and get a strong start in their careers, the Government of Canada continues to invest in the Youth Employment Strategy, a government-wide initiative to help support Canada’s newest workers”. Funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Jobs – Science and Technology Internship Program (STIP), eligible employers who work in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) can receive up to $15,000 to onboard new environmental positions.

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Citizens, small companies need forest resource access

Letter by Stan Kania
Smithers Interior News
July 12, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the Canada-US softwood lumber agreement up for renegotiation, ever increasing U.S. protectionism, fewer but larger timber processing facilities, dwindling timber supplies, raw log exports and governments at all levels talking about innovation and creating jobs, it’s time to think outside the box, as they say. The main concern of the forest companies as they are today is to get the raw material (logs) to their milling facilities as economically as possible. Nothing wrong with that, it’s good business sense. The problem is, proper forest management takes a back seat! The people (foresters, biologists, technicians, etc.) employed by these forest companies to manage their forest tenures ultimately take their marching orders from the head office, be it in Montreal, Vancouver, New York or Rio de Janeiro.

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Former U.S. president touts Habitat for Humanity as model for governments

The Canadian Press in the Chronicle Herald
July 11, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA — Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter says that Canadian governments should consider emulating the non-profit he has promoted for years as a means of alleviating an affordable housing crunch in this country. Carter has been a longtime volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, which helps low-income families buy a house through affordable payment schedules and getting the families involved in building their homes. The former president is getting a chance to push the message this week as part of a Habitat for Humanity project to build 150 homes across Canada for the country’s sesquicentennial, first in Edmonton where the federal infrastructure minister joined the work site and then Wednesday in Winnipeg.

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Canada wood prices to rise as western wildfire interrupts logging

By Ethan Lou
Reuters
July 11, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY, Alberta – Rapidly spreading wildfires in British Columbia are set to tighten the supply of wood products and raise prices as they disrupt timber operations during the year’s peak building season, industry and analysts said on Tuesday. …Wood prices can rise as high as 6 percent if operations remain shut for weeks, but the higher cost, a small part of construction budgets, will be absorbed by builders and is unlikely to affect home buyers, Bank of Montreal analyst Ketan Mamtora said in an interview. Walter ?Bramsleven, an official of the BC Log and Timber Building Industry Association?, said he expects higher prices, but said the fires could also represent an opportunity if the province grants access to the burned wood in the region before it starts rotting. …Mamtora said prices could increase up to 14 percent if the sites remain shut for months.

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BC lumber, mining industries hit by wildfires; could lead to higher prices

By Sean Craig
Global News
July 11, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfires in British Columbia are taking a toll on the province’s resource sector, as blazes forced lumber and mining companies to shut down or cut back on operations Tuesday and damaged parts of the provincial hydro utility’s electricity grid. …The fires are set to tighten the supply of wood products and raise prices as they disrupt timber operations during the year’s peak building season, analysts said Tuesday. Wood prices can rise as high as 6 per cent if operations remain shut for weeks but the higher cost, a small part of construction budgets, will be absorbed by builders and is unlikely to affect home buyers, Bank of Montreal analyst Ketan Mamtora said. …West Fraser Timber Co. said it has temporarily suspended operations at its 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Chasm locations… Norbord, the world’s largest producer of oriented strand board, has closed its 100 Mile House mill that has an annual production capacity of 440 million square feet.

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BC wildfires put dent in interior resource industries with mill closures, mine slowdowns

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
July 11, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Logging contractor John McNeil’s crews have been double-shifting since late last week, when they can, cutting fire breaks around the mills and northeast boundary of 100 Mile House, instead of stacking up timber for his employer. “The big thing is to save those two big sawmills, because that’s what our town is,” McNeil said, “and to save the homes in the area, and that’s what the effort has been concentrated on.” His McNeil & Sons Logging is one of dozens of contractors who have stopped logging for big lumber companies and have turned their equipment to help the B.C. Wildfire Service fight the massive interior forest fires that are threatening communities and hurting local industry. …Shutdowns due to forest fires are something that the industry expects, said industry analyst Keta Kosman, but the suddenness of the West Fraser and Tolko actions come at an inopportune time for the North American market.

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Roseburg Forest Products to build engineered wood plant in South Carolina

By Emily Hoard
The News-Review
July 11, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Roseburg Forest Products will build a new engineered wood products plant in Chester, South Carolina, company representatives announced Tuesday at a news conference with South Carolina and Chester County officials. Roseburg began its engineered wood products business in 2001 and manufactures laminated veneer lumber (LVL) at its plant in Riddle. “We’re certainly committed to our Oregon operation, and this is an exciting opportunity for the company to expand in a product line that has more demand than supply,” said Eric Geyer, Roseburg’s manager of business development and external affairs. LVL products can replace headers and beams made of solid lumber, and are largely used in housing construction….The new location will host Roseburg’s second engineered wood plant, which will be slightly larger in capacity and the most technologically advanced plant of its kind in the world, according to Geyer.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Why we should be building out of sunshine

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
July 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Bruce King has written a new book, coming out in the fall, called The New Carbon Architecture, with the subhead Building Out of Sky. By this he means building out of materials that come from the sky; carbon from the CO2 in the air, sunlight and water, which through the process of photosynthesis turns them into plants which we can turn into building materials. We can structure any architectural style with wood, we can insulate with straw and mushrooms… All of these emerging technologies and more arrive in tandem with the growing understanding that the so-called embodied carbon of building materials matters a great deal more than anyone thought in the fight to halt and reverse climate change. The built environment can switch from being a problem to a solution. 

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New layers added to the Cottonwood Market design as stage set for next phase

By Timothy Schafer
The Nelson Daily
July 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Work is evolving on the city’s main market precinct after approval was given to nail down the final details and begin construction of a $30,000 multi-purpose stage and shelter for Cottonwood Park. …Highlights of the stage concept showcase a contemporary design and “mountain peaks” as the predominant aesthetic reference; and wood, in the form of cross-laminated timber (CLT) as the primary structural material. …The design and use of wood as the primary construction material also opens up opportunities for securing one or more Canadian Wood Council awards. The materials and design are also in the spirit of British Columbia’s Wood First initiative that seeks to advance the use of wood building products and raise awareness of the province as a world leader in advanced wood technology and design.

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Recycling your home: Can structural wood be reused for the same purpose?

By Lucy Schroeder – third in a series 
Great Lakes Echo
July 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

You may recycle in your home, but did you know the building itself can be recycled? A group of researchers at Michigan State University studying the science of domicology—the term they use to describe the policies, practices and consequences of abandoned structures—are examining how wood from abandoned buildings can be reused. …The lumber in abandoned buildings is a mix of aesthetic wood products such as doors, siding and windows that can be sold as salvage. However most of the wood in homes is structural wood used to construct the frame of a building—the support for the walls and roof. Robert Falk, a scientist with the U.S. Forest Products Lab in Madison, Wisconsin, has tested structural wood to see if it can be safely reused as structural wood in yet another building.

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Test to see how special wood structures fare in quakes

KTVZ
July 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Engineering researchers are putting an innovative two-story structure made of cross-laminated timber panels through a series of seismic tests to determine how it would perform in an earthquake. The tests are being conducted at the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure at University of California San Diego site, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. They will produce data that can be used in the design of a new generation of wood-frame high-rises, such as a four-story parking structure designed for Springfield, Oregon, and a 12-story Framework building in Portland. Scheduled to open in 2018, the 90,000-square-foot Framework structure will be the tallest mass-timber building in the United States.

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Council torches firewise code

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
July 11, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Despite years of debate and repeated fire department pleas, the Payson Town Council last week rejected an overhaul of the building and Firewise codes to reduce the chances the town will burn down if the close approach of a wildfire rains embers down on tree thickets and pine-needle-covered roofs. The council voted 5-1 with Mayor Swartwood absent to shelve the recommendation of the fire department and a citizens committee that Payson adopt an already watered-down set of fire codes. …The fire department had already given up on the kind of comprehensive building code revisions adopted in places like Prescott and Flagstaff after fatal wildfires in those communities.

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Forestry

Courtenay moves on creating urban forest strategy

By Debra Martin
Comox Valley Record
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Courtenay is on its way to having an urban forest strategy. The city will issue a Request for Proposal that will, among other things, create a heritage tree list; establishment of a city-wide tree canopy target; and a better understanding of the distribution and rarity of coastal Douglas fir trees as part of the rare Coastal Douglas fir ecological Biogeoclimatic Zone. The strategy is a tool that outlines the extent and general condition of a community’s tree resources on private and public lands. It identifies target locations for replanting; provides information to the public and council on the value of the urban forest, including economic and green infrastructure value; identify areas of wildfire risk; and tries to engage the public and partner organizations in each contributing to the success of the urban forest.

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Almost half of fires reported in B.C. this year caused by humans: province

By Xiao Xu
The Globe and Mail
July 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As British Columbia struggles to contain hundreds of wildfires that have prompted a provincial state of emergency and forced thousands from their homes, much of the attention is focused on the dangerous combination of hot, dry weather and lightning strikes. But humans have been responsible for almost half of the fires burning across the province – a statistic that has persisted for years despite bans on campfires and other open flames, increased penalties for people who start fires and government education campaigns. Of the 572 fires reported so far this year, about 258 fires were caused by people, according to the BC Wildfire Service. Investigators are still working to determine the cause of several of the largest and most dangerous fires.

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We have a chance for better forest management

By Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island Campaigner, Wilderness Committee.
Victoria Times Colonist
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With the summer has come a new government and a chance for progress when it comes to the environment in British Columbia. … It’s also an opportunity for improvement in a sector that has languished under the previous government: forestry. A protectionist administration in the U.S. has created a climate of uncertainty in the B.C. forest industry. The new government must address this uncertainty while ensuring the respect of Indigenous rights, local production and jobs in our communities, and the protection of all remaining original coastal rainforest. In the past few decades, the mismanagement of coastal forests has led to the loss of dozens of mills and thousands of community-supporting forestry jobs. Rural communities have been left behind, and Indigenous nations haven’t received fair benefits from the forests in their territories.

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Local collaboration key to preventing large wildfires

By Trevor Crawley
Cranbrook Townsman
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An American academic researcher gave a two-hour presentation on the emergence of mega wildfires over the last 30 years and the contributing factors to the phenomenon up at the College of the Rockies. Dr. Paul Hessburg spoke about the dangers of mega wildfires and what people and governments can do to mitigate large-scale fire events, such as what happened in Fort McMurray last year, or what is currently occurring in the BC Interior. …Wildfire threats aren’t a new phenomenon, but it wasn’t until 2003 that the city received a ‘wake-up’ call when wildfires ripped through the Okanagan, according to Wayne Price, the Director of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services. Since then, the city has partnered with the Regional District of East Kootenay to work together through an emergency management system.

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Burning BC: Time to fight fire with fire, says expert

By Yvette Brend
CBC News
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With hundreds of wildfires searing B.C.’s Interior and more unusually hot, dry weather on the horizon, experts warn that this may be the new fire season normal, and the best prevention — is setting preventative fires. The traditional practice of setting preemptive or prescribed burns to get rid of underbrush and create fire stops — scorched ground to stop fire’s spread — has fallen off, and experts say that’s putting people at risk and costing millions. “There’s been a lot of pushback because of the smoke, but there is no ‘no smoke’ option in the Interior,” said fire ecologist Robert Gray, of R.W. Gray Consulting, after fires displaced 14,000 people this week, leaving thousands more at the mercy of the wind. Gray, who works for municipalities to try to fire-proof communities, says B.C. needs to at least double the number of “prescribed burns” to keep communities safer, especially if such hot, dry summers persist.

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Wildfire preparation and response inadequate

By Keith McNeill, editor Clearwater Times
Clearwater Times
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

One of the main complaints heard in the North Thompson Valley during the wildfires of 2003 was that not enough use was made of local resources, especially local loggers. Local people with years of firefighting experience were sitting at home while others with no experience were being brought in from elsewhere. That shortcoming, unfortunately, appears to be being repeated during the wildfires of 2017. We heard during the information meeting held Sunday evening at Clearwater Secondary School that local loggers could not be used because there the BC Wildfire Service did not have enough resources to supervise them. Well, whose fault is that?

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2017 Forest Education Summer Institute

Inside Education
July 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Inside Education thought that Tree Frog News readers might be interested in a great little video slideshow from our just-completed Forest Education Summer Institute.  25 teachers from across Alberta spent 5 days traveling the forested areas of Alberta, visiting with industry, government (including dinner with Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier), academia and NGOs.  Fantastic weather, enthusiastic teachers and an incredible group of experts sharing with the teachers. Ultimately it will be the hundreds of students these teachers impact annually who will benefit. [Click Read More for video link]

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Forest set to sprout at one of Halifax’s busiest intersections

By Moira Donovan
CBC News
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


A patch of underutilized green space between busy roads in Halifax is set to become the newest addition to the city’s urban forest. The area around the Windsor Street Exchange, near the MacKay Bridge, is mostly grass and is maintained by the Halifax Regional Municipality. But researchers at Dalhousie have a plan to turn that area into a stretch of urban Acadian forest. They’ve planted more than 3,000 seedlings at the site, including white, red and black spruce, larch, red maple and yellow birch. . …”We want to focus on the kinds of benefits that come from lots of trees in forest conditions in the city: storing carbon to mitigate climate change; slowing down stormwater in big rain events; and, especially important for this particular area, capturing air pollutants and removing air pollutants from the atmosphere.”

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Earth Rangers and The Forest Products Association of Canada Support Critical Research on the Impacts of Moose Calf Harvest in Ontario

Earth Rangers
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

As part of our Canada 150 initiative, Earth Rangers Members across Canada will learn about the potential threats facing one of our most iconic species- the moose! …To better understand the cause of these declines, Earth Rangers and FPAC are partnering with Dr. Brent Patterson of Trent University to study the impacts of calf harvesting in moose populations in 4 wildlife management units (WMU) surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park.  In 1980, in response to declining moose populations, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (OMNRF) introduced a comprehensive moose management policy. One outcome of the new policy was the introduction of a selective harvest program for moose.

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New online map shows wildfire risk across Newfoundland and Labrador

Canadian Press in the Chronicle Journal
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – As firefighters on Canada’s west coast battle wildfires sweeping through the British Columbia Interior, the country’s eastern-most province is hoping a new tool will help stomp out forest fires before they start. Newfoundland and Labrador released an online forest fire hazard map Tuesday that provides real-time information about the risk of wildfires throughout the province. The risk ratings range from low to extreme, and are colour-coded from blue to red. The provincial map is broken down into 23 fire management zones, which are assessed using data from weather stations. The fire hazard is a relative rating of how easy it is to ignite forest vegetation, how fast a fire may spread and how difficult a fire may be to control. Land Resources Minister Steve Crocker said the online map will make the province’s emergency response teams more efficient.

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Flush With Timber Money, Congressman Works to Loosen Forest Protections

By Jimmy Tobias
Pacific Standard
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Representative Bruce Westerman has received more than $100,000 in timber industry campaign donations. Now, he is pushing a bill that relaxes environmental regulations on the same industry. If you’re puzzled by a prestigious leader’s actions , if you’re struggling to comprehend a high official’s priorities, it always helps to know who’s paying the political bills. Understanding where campaign cash comes from offers instant clarity. Consider Bruce Westerman, a trained forester and engineer who represents Arkansas’ fourth district in the House of Representatives. Last month, Westerman introduced his Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, a lengthy piece of legislation that pertains to forest management, wildfire suppression and timber production on public lands across the nation. Conservationists, however, feel very differently. While Westerman’s legislation does contain a number of public-interest provisions … environmental groups say it would also eviscerate conservation protections and citizen oversight on broad swaths of public forestland across the country.

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President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to fighting wildfires could be deadly for the Western US

By Ariel Scotti
New York Daily News
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California is burning — and President Trump is cutting the firehoses. As smokeaters in the Golden State are battling 14 major wildfires, Congress is debating a White House proposal to cut $300 million from the U.S. Forest Service’s wildfire fighting initiatives and $50 million from its wildfire prevention efforts — all on top of a 23% reduction of federal funding for volunteer fire departments around the nation. Since the beginning of this year, fires have consumed 68,129 acres in California — more than twice as many acres as the same period last year, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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Giant Sequoia National Monument Could Be Reduced To Allow Logging

CBS News
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GIANT SEQUOIA NATIONAL MONUMENT — Majestic trees stand within one of the national monuments that President Donald Trump wants to abolish or dramatically shrink in size. The Giant Sequoia National Monument falls within Tulare, Kern and Fresno counties. It’s one of several California sites in the cross-hairs. Some are on board with the president’s plan, saying it could help reduce fire risk in the area. But a battle brewing far below the majestic tree tops could determine the future of the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Tulare County Supervisor Steve Worthley said, “Locking them up in a monument and doing nothing — which is essentially what the Forest Service has done for the past 20-plus years — is not in their best interest.” The Trump administration is considering a plan to shrink the monument by more than two-thirds, from its current 328,000 acres to roughly 90,000, a plan that’s found some unlikely allies.

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Logging in W.Va.: Finding A Balance Between Preservation and Profits

By Jean Snedegar
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
July 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Halfway between Mill Creek and Helvetia, West Virginia, four miles or so off the main road, Scotty Cook, the owner of a small-scale logging operation in Elkins, trudges along a muddy, deep gullied logging road. Cook has been working in the industry for about 20 years and got started because of his family. “My dad and them, they [were] in it all their lives,” he said. “Tradition I suppose.” Most of the state’s trees are harvested by small-scale logging operations like Cook’s…..Cook said the industry– a muddy one– could pay a lot more, especially when you calculate the cost of taxes and fuel. He is no longer sure it’s a good industry for young people in West Virginia to get into. “All your timber, it’s being cut out,” he said. “You take a lot of people – they’re doing all kind of clear cuts. I suppose they just want the money and need the money so they just cut it.”

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Proposed rules for land and forest use would be problematic for Finland

Helsinki Times
July 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The European Parliament is to discuss the draft report in its plenary session in September. “If the future logging volumes exceeded the past logging volumes of a country, they would be classified as emissions. The country in question would then have to compensate by reducing emissions from other sectors or by obtaining emissions rights from the market,” explained Anneli Jäätteenmäki (Centre), a member of the ENVI Committee. She said she voted against adopting the draft report. Finland’s second representative in the committee, Nils Torvalds (SFP), was absent from the vote as he participated in a presidential debate at Suomi Areena, a public debate event organised annually in Pori. He did, however, voice his staunch opposition to the proposal in an interview on YLE TV1 on Tuesday. Ahti Fagerblom, the head of energy and climate policy at Finnish Forest Industries, admitted that the draft report would be problematic for Finland.

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Forest Fires

Martin Mars water bomber not available until August, even if it were to be called out of retirement

By Megan Thomas
CBC News
July 10, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

With wildfires raging in B.C.’s Interior, Wayne Coulson is once again fielding questions about why the iconic Martin Mars water bomber is not taking to the skies to help. Coulson, the owner of Coulson’s Flying Tankers in Port Alberni, B.C., says hundreds of calls came in over the weekend from people who want to see the 70-year-old air tanker pressed into service. “Every time we get into fire season and there are bad fires, there are questions from the community about support,” he said. “If there is any interest from the new government, we would support of course wherever we could.” 

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BC wildfires: The damage so far, and how you can help

The Globe and Mail
July 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. is in a state of emergency as a wave of fires have driven thousands from their homes. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The basics
  • Emergency Information
  • Where are the fires?
  • The relief effort
  • Why is this happening?
  • How bad is it? Some historical context
  • What you can do

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Ashcroft wildfire grows to 6150 hectares: Evacuation orders remain in place

By Amy Judd
Global News
July 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Ashcroft wildfire has grown to 6,150 hectares and numerous evacuation orders remain in place on Tuesday. The B.C. Wildfire Service says structures have been lost due to this fire but it has not been determined how many at this time. One- hundred-twenty firefighters, eight helicopters, heavy equipment and support personnel are on site to fight this blaze. The wildfire has prompted the evacuation of the entire village of Cache Creek, where a local state of emergency has also been declared. [to follow are extensive lists of evacuation orders]

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Behold, a pink horse: mom in B.C. wildfire zone laughs hysterically after son’s paint job

By Jesse Ferreras
Global News
July 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

With wildfires raging around the province, a mother-of-five who lives north of Williams Lake thought British Columbians could use a good laugh right about now. Cindy Roddick lives in Likely, B.C., a small community that’s located about 100 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake. …As part of preparations for any potential evacuation, Roddick asked her other, 15-year-old son Jacob to spray-paint her phone number on the family’s two horses in case they had to release them in the event of an evacuation. It’s common practice for people in rural communities to do this in wildfire situations, Roddick told Global News. …Roddick came out to find Rosie painted pink from head to hoof, with a non-toxic paint that’s used to mark livestock. “What the hell happened to my horse?” she said, laughing as she recounted the story. Jacob explained that he thought she had wanted her horse to be seen in the bush. “I said, not like that!” Roddick recounted, still laughing.

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B.C. wildfire status Wednesday: Williams Lake remains under evacuation alert

By Amy Judd and Paula Baker
Global News
July 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Despite slightly calmer winds, a province-wide state of emergency remains in place Wednesday due to the wildfires burning across B.C. Thousands of people have already been evacuated from their homes, about 14,365 in total, and according to new numbers from the B.C. Wildfire Service, there are 202 fires burning about 70,000 hectares across the province. More than 1,000 firefighters have been employed in the fight against the wildfires with 300 coming from out of province. In addition to firefighters, there are 200 helicopters flying across the province and nearly 40 fixed-wing aircraft including air tankers.

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Lightning sparks numerous wildfires in southeast B.C.

By BC Wildfire Service
Government of British Columbia
July 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Wildfire Service personnel are currently responding to 25 lightning-caused wildfires throughout the Southeast Fire Centre. Although some of these fires are highly visible from surrounding communities, none of them are immediately threatening communities or structures. …The BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to abide by the campfire prohibition that came into effect on July 7, 2017. This restriction on campfires is to help reduce the number of human-caused wildfires, which can divert critical resources from naturally occurring wildfires. The Southeast Fire Centre has responded to a total of 86 fires since April 1, 2017, 28 of which were human-caused and therefore preventable. By comparison, the total number of wildfires as of this date last year was 44.

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BC First Nations community holds on as fire threatens

By Sam Cooper
Vancouver Sun
July 10, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As fast-moving wildfires threaten homes across the Cariboo-Chilcotin, the entire town of 100 Mile House has been ordered evacuated. But on a First Nations reserve, several hundred kilometres west, band members say they are left to fight the fires themselves, and will not follow a general evacuation order. On Sunday, Chief Joe Alphonse announced that members of the Tl’etinqox First Nation community of Anaham Reserve would stay behind in efforts to save their homes. The Gustafsen wildfire is the main blaze threatening the area. On Monday, B.C. fire information office Kevin Skrepnek said the Gustafsen fire is about 5,000 hectares and “hot and dry” conditions are expected to persist in the area. A “complex” of smaller blazes in the Chilcotin region are also a danger to the reserve in wildfire conditions that are “fluid” and “deteriorating,” provincial officials said.

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Seven days is a “Disneyland suggestion” for returning home

By Carmen Weld and Max Winkelman
100 Mile Free Press
July 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

All evacuees, not just those from 100 Mile House are looking at at least seven days before they can return home. “Anybody that is faced with evacuation is looking at seven days minimum at least,” says Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmon “Save a miracle, we’ve still got to remember, they’ve been out of their homes. We’ve got to assess them before they go back in, so far as safety for the roads, the hydro the gas and the other things that have to be looked at. So, there will be a whole re-entry process.” “Everybody is agreeing, seven days is a Disneyland suggestion.”

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South-central Oregon wildfire grows to 6200 acres; firefighters battling blazes across the West

By The Oregonian staff and wire reports
The Oregonian
July 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Wildfires driving people from their homes in California and throughout the west have had help from an unlikely source: the rain. Major winter downpours that pulled the state out of years of drought also brought a layer of grass that early-summer fires are greedily feeding on. “What the heavy rains have done is created a grass crop that we haven’t seen in forever,” said Santa Barbara County fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni, whose department was battling two large wildfires Monday. “That creates faster moving fires, hotter fires, it carries fire much more readily.” Older, dried out trees and vegetation are especially dangerous for wildland blazes, but enough new and drying grass can provide links between such tinderboxes.

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Firefighters make progress on southeast Wyoming wildfire

Associated Press in KULR8
July 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Firefighters have gained 10 percent containment on a fire burning in the Medicine Bow National Forest in southeast Wyoming. Moderate weather conditions and less intense fire behavior over the last couple of days allowed firefighters to extend and improve control lines surrounding the fire. The fire that began last week has burned about 3 square miles (8 square kilometers) of timber. It has forced the evacuation of the small communities of Keystone, Rambler, Lake Creek and Moores Gulch and closed nearby camping areas in the forest.

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Wildfire burns near Oneonta Falls in Columbia River Gorge

By Samantha Matsumoto
The Oregonian
July 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Forest Service crews are fighting a wildfire burning above the Oneonta Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, officials said. The Historic Columbia River Highway is closed between Ainsworth State Park and Multnomah Falls due to the fire, the Oregon Department of Transportation said. The half-acre fire is burning in a cliff area west of Oneonta Gorge, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman said early Wednesday morning. The Corbett fire department initially responded to the fire, officials said on Twitter at about 9:00 p.m. Air support was called for the fire, the fire department said.

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California battling several large wildfires that forced out residents

By Alex Dobuzinskis
Reuters
July 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES – More than 7,000 firefighters battled 13 large wildfires in California on Tuesday as the state entered its peak fire season with hot and dry conditions threatening to spread flames that already have forced thousands of people from their homes. The biggest evacuation was in Northern California’s Butte County, where the 5,800-acre (2,350-hectare) Wall Fire, which began on Friday, displaced about 4,000 people, officials said. “We’re certainly getting to where we’re at the peak of fire season conditions,” Cal-Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said in an interview with Capital Public Radio on Tuesday. In the U.S. West, where more than 50 uncontained large fires are burning, temperatures in many locations will top 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) this week with only scattered showers to possibly quell some flames, said meteorologist Brian Hurley of the National Weather Service.

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