Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 14, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Is a quota-based softwood deal possible next month?

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 14, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Is a quota-based softwood deal possible next month? Hamir Patel (CIBC World Markets) believes there is a “greater than 50 percent probability of a softwood agreement by the end of August”. The quota-based deal being rumored would “reduce Canada’s share of the US market to 27 or 28 per cent over several years from 32 last year”. Although Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland declined to comment, RBC’s Paul Quinn suggests “it’s all just talk until you get a deal.

Today’s headlines on the wildfire situation include:

  • BC urged to establish fire protection zones around vulnerable communities
  • We created BC’s wildfire problem – and we can fix it 
  • BC wildfires could get even worse this weekend
  • Where will the next wildfire hit? No matter where, we’re not prepared
  • Arizona wildfire season gets dampening relief from monsoon 

In wood products news, two stories on why the increased interest in cross-laminated timber (CLT). The Daily Commercial News suggests it’s “the drive for sustainability in tall buildings”, while a two-part King 5 News feature, suggests CLT “could be the ultimate bridge between rural and urban Washington”. In a related story, Washington’s Wildland Fire Advisory Committee chair, Gary Berndt says “Washington needs more lumber mills to restore millions of acres of forestland currently in poor health”.

Finally, Americo Amorim, Portugal’s wealthiest man and the King of Cork for building his fortune on wine cork stoppers, died Thursday. He was 82.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Forestry analyst says quota-based softwood deal possible next month

By Ross Marowits
Canadian Press in 570 News
July 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – The framework for a 10-year softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the U.S. could be reached in the coming weeks, says an industry analyst, citing discussions with unnamed trade contacts. In a report released Thursday, Hamir Patel of CIBC World Markets said a deal setting quotas on Canadian softwood exports could be acceptable to the U.S. lumber industry if Canada drops several demands. That would include withdrawing a request that New Brunswick be excluded from any softwood agreement restrictions, Patel said. “We now believe there is a greater than 50 per cent probability that the two sides could announce an agreed-upon framework by the end of August,” he wrote. …Paul Quinn of RBC Capital Markets said information that there was a deal in the works is credible, based on his discussions with contacts in the sector. “But until you get a deal it’s all just talk,” Quinn said from Vancouver.

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The Softwood Lumber Dispute: 455,000 Canadian Woodlot Owners Urgently Seek an Exemption for their Roundwood

The Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners
July 11, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Longueuil – Although a negotiated agreement could bring an end to the softwood lumber dispute in the coming months, the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners (CFWO) would like to remind everyone that it is imperative that an exemption for roundwood from private forests be included in any future softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United States. According to the CFWO President, Peter deMarsh, “The management of private forests in Canada is absolutely not at issue in the softwood lumber dispute between the U.S. and Canada and should not be the cause of any grumbling. Indeed, our management model is very close to the one in the United States and embodies the very essence of U.S. demands and aspirations, although, paradoxically, Canadian woodlot owners are suffering collateral damage in the conflict in the form of reduced sales and lower prices. Our proposed solution is cogent and coherent: the model that we live by is the same one found in the United States.”

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Worker injured in accident

By Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
July 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafe BC is investigating an accident at a Port Mellon log sorting operation. The WorkSafe inspection report says a worker was struck by a log chunk that fell off a bundle of logs at the Avalon Dryland Sort on June 30. The employee, whose name is not being released, suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to hospital in Vancouver. The WorkSafe report also says the company, Molehill Mountain Ventures of Kamloops, voluntarily shut down log handling operations at the site until July 4. [End of story]

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Neucel plans to pay reduced taxes

By Tyson Whitney
North Island Gazette
July 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With tax season on the horizon, Neucel Specialty Cellulose is a hot topic of debate on the North Island. Will the Port Alice pulp mill be paying it’s 25 per cent reduced property taxes this year, which totals $674,435? According to Warren Beatty, Neucel’s Vice-President of Human Resources, he hasn’t heard anything from the company that would suggest it isn’t going to pay. …He added the company is currently “negotiating with several potential investors and is trying very hard to re-start the mill.” Beatty confirmed Neucel does have plans in place, “and there’s always a chance we will begin some work this year to prepare the mill for a possible re-start, but until our owners secure financing and get approval for the plan going forward, I can’t say for certain we will be doing anything in 2017.”

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Tolko helps displaced workers

Vernon Morning Star
July 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vernon-based Tolko Industries is coming to the aid of its workers displaced by Cariboo wildfires. Tolko announced Thursday it will provide all active hourly employees (regular and spareboard), from both its Lakeview and Soda Creek divisions, with a one-time $1,000 lump sum payment to help them during this challenging time. The company suspended operations earlier this week in the face of the wildfires surrounding the area near Williams Lake. This payment will be distributed to all 326 hourly employees from both mills and represents an overall contribution of $326,000.

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Lumber prices see ‘big jump’ after wildfires in British Columbia

By Aleksandra Sagan
Canadian Press in CTV News
July 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — The wildfires in the B.C. Interior that have forced some sawmills to halt operations have resulted in a boost in lumber prices at a time when forestry companies have been squeezed by softwood duties on exports to the U.S. By Wednesday, the benchmark price of Western spruce-pine-fir lumber had risen by 5.5 per cent to US$400 per thousand board feet from US$379 last Friday, according to figures from Random Lengths, which tracks lumber and panel prices. “It’s a big jump,” said Shawn Church, Random Lengths editor. Ketan Mamtora, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, said he expects prices will rise between six and eight per cent over the next couple of weeks, partly due to a limited supply.

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Ontario Securities Commission rules Sino-Forest defrauded investors, misled investigators

Canadian Press in the Globe and Mail
July 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario Securities Commission has ruled that Sino-Forest and several of its top executives defrauded investors and misled investigators. The regulator has found that former CEO Allen Chan, Albert Ip, Alfred Hung and George Ho defrauded investors by overstating the company’s assets and revenue. Allegations of fraud against Simon Yeung were dismissed, but the regulator ruled he misled staff during their investigation. Sino-Forest, which was established in 1994, was once the most valuable forestry company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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Rayonier Advanced Materials and Tembec Announce Clearance from Germany’s Federal Cartel Office

By Tembec Inc.
Canada Newswire
July 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

JACKSONVILLE, FL and MONTREAL, QC,  – Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. and Tembec Inc. announced today that they have received notification of clearance from Germany’s Federal Cartel Office in connection with the previously announced proposed statutory arrangement under Section 192 of the Canada Business Corporations Act involving the acquisition by Rayonier AM of all of the outstanding shares of Tembec. Subject to obtaining the approvals of the holders of Tembec Shares and the Québec Superior Court and other necessary approvals and clearances, as well as the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions to the Transaction, it is expected that the Transaction will be completed by the end of 2017.

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Sawmill to bring 90 jobs to Bonfield

North Bay Nugget
July 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new multi-million-dollar sawmill facility planned for Bonfield is expected to create 90 jobs. Officials announced Thursday that International Wood Industries (IWI) is planning to invest approximately $140 million in the operation, to be located on a 212-acre site on Highway 17 and Trout Pond Road. IWI President Gary Medwid said the state-of-the-art facility will process both softwood and hardwood, producing lumber as well as value-added products such as tongue-and-groove decking, hardwood flooring and pre-packaged log homes. In addition, wood waste from the operation will be used on site to create pellets for home heating. “The capital budget for the project is $140 million and our annual payroll will be $4.5 million,” said Medwid, noting the firm has conditionally purchased the property and is now undertaking all the due diligence required to make the facility a reality.

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Washington Forestland Needs Greater Mill Infrastructure, Says Wildfire Committee

By TJ Martinell
Lens
July 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Washington needs more lumber mills to restore millions of acres of forestland currently in poor health. It’s an argument made by conservationists and the logging industry, and now the state’s Wildland Fire Advisory Committee (WFAC) is adding its voice to that group. The committee advises the commissioner of public lands on statewide wildland firefighting and fire matters, including possible funding requests from the state legislature. …National Association of State Forester’s Wildfire Deputy Supervisor Gerry Day, WFAC Chair Gary Berndt wrote that forest health continues to deteriorate, though new bills approved by the state legislature would have the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reverse that trend. Although “the cause and effect between forest health and wildfires is not clearly understood,” Berndt wrote that “the loss of milling infrastructure has affected the ability of landowners to address the forest health issues that are a factor in increasing the size, intensity, and costs of wildfires.”

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One town’s effort to save Maine’s forest economy reflects a statewide hope

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
July 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Tom Cushman’s not an energy trader. Not exactly. Every morning before heading into the woods, he checks the going rate for electricity, estimating whether the wood-to-energy plants he supplies are going to break even. “If they haven’t got that, then they have to cut back production,” Cushman said. “And that means I’m going to have to cut back my production, which isn’t good.” Cushman’s concerns from his southern Maine operation in Durham echo through places like the Aroostook County town of Ashland, where the same low power prices are dogging standalone wood-to-energy plants. Taxpayers bailed out Maine’s six such biomass facilities last year, offering them $13.4 million in subsidies to maintain employment and in-state wood purchases.

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King of Cork – Americo Amorim, thought to be Portugal’s richest man, dies

By Barry Hatton
Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
July 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

LISBON, PORTUGAL — Americo Amorim, known as the King of Cork for building his fortune on cork stoppers and believed to be Portugal’s wealthiest man, died Thursday, his company said. He was 82. Amorim’s fortune was recently estimated by Forbes at 4.4 billion euros ($5 billion). His company, Corticeira Amorim, is the world leader in cork production. Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer, accounting for about half of global output. With plastic stoppers for wine bottles encroaching on his market, Amorim diversified cork uses into areas such as insulation and furniture.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Construction Corner: Consumer demand driving interest in wood technology

By Korky Koroluk
Daily Commerical News
July 14, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The drive for sustainability in tall buildings has led to increasing interest in the use of timber as a major structural element, even in very tall buildings. Heightened environmental concerns have dovetailed nicely with the development of mass timber construction, much of which uses cross-laminated timber, or CLT. Those concerns have led to an organization called the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat to undertake a global audit of tall buildings that are made mostly of wood, or so-called hybrid buildings that combine timber with steel or concrete. The list is impressive, showing 49 buildings that are completed, under construction or proposed. The list shows nothing of six storeys or less for two reasons. …I’m not sure how developers and architects feel about some of these tall buildings, but the popular press reports on heights as though it were reporting on a horse race

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Timber Town 911: Could wooden skyscrapers spark a revival?

By Lili Tan
King5
July 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Daybreak in Forks begins with the roar of chainsaws bringing down trees with a thunderous crash. On private timberlands about 14 miles from La Push Road, a slow-winding drive down a gravel path reveals a glimpse of why the town, at least at one time, claimed the title “Logging Capital of the World.” …Monohon believes CLT could be the ultimate bridge between rural and urban Washington: using timber harvested from forests surrounding small towns like Forks to build skyscrapers, housing, and schools in cities like Seattle, but building them faster and cheaper.

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Forestry

We created B.C.’s wildfire problem – and we can fix it

By Lori Daniels, UBC; Robert Gray, fire ecologist and David Bowman pyrogeography expert, Australia
The Globe and Mail
July 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfire has become a wicked problem – as witnessed in British Columbia this week as intense and fast-moving wildfires have driven 14,000 people from their homes and prompted a state of emergency. …The common misconceptions that all wildfires are destructive, should be controlled and can be suppressed have created unrealistic expectations and are barriers to meaningful solutions. …Public aversion to all wildfire has been reinforced by a very successful policy of suppressing nearly all wildfires in recent decades. …Innovation such as fighting fire with fire may seem counterintuitive, but is a critical part of the solution to the urgent and growing wildfire problem. In recent years, many wildfires have exceeded modern suppression technology at tremendous economic, social and ecological costs.

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New allowable annual cut level set for Tree Farm Licence 18

Government of British Columbia
July 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Effective July 13, 2017, the allowable annual cut for Canadian Forest Products Ltd.’s Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 18, northwest of Clearwater, is 175,000 cubic metres, chief forester Diane Nicholls announced today. After five years, the cut level will decrease to 137,000 cubic metres. While the mountain pine beetle epidemic has subsided and the salvage logging of dead pine has largely been completed in TFL 18, the harvest focus will be on salvaging dead stands and stands infested by other pests–such as spruce bark beetle and western balsam bark beetle. The new cut level is 40% less than the 290,000 cubic metres set in 2006 and reflects a return to lower harvest levels in place before the mountain pine beetle epidemic began.

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City will work on interface fire mitigation

By Elena Rardon
Alberni Valley News
July 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Port Alberni city council agreed on Monday that not enough has been done to prepare for wildfires in the community, and directed staff to work on mitigating interface fires. This discussion was prompted by a letter to council from Peter Finch, who asked for the status of the city’s action plan to reduce interface fire risk, the city’s preparation planning for interface fire events and a residential awareness plan. …“Our greatest danger is from forest fires,” he said [Mayor Mike Ruttan]. “I’m disappointed that we haven’t seen that leadership. I’d like to see the plans and I’d like to see us using our current available resources to address those to help create and address the issue.”

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B.C. urged to establish fire protection zones around vulnerable communities

By Larry Pynn
The Vancouver Sun
July 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government should reopen timber land-use plans in order to create fire protection zones on Crown land around communities that are vulnerable to wildfires, a University of Northern B.C. expert urges. Phil Burton, professor of ecosystem science and management and co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, said the priority in these fire protection zones would be community safety — and not maximizing timber production. Management options could include thinning of forests to reduce fire risk, as well as pruning of lower branches, plus planting deciduous species such as aspen, birch and poplar as alternatives to dense fire-prone stands of lodgepole pine. These interface lands might be more park-like, used for recreation, hunting, wildlife viewing or berry picking, but “not to get the maximum number of cubic metres per hectare,” Burton said in an interview.

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Reductions to forestry allowable cut won’t affect jobs in the region

By Nikki Fredrikcon
Invermere Vally Echo
July 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Changes to the annual allowable cut in the Invermere Timber Supply Area will see a reduction in logging to about 17 per cent less allowance than in 2005. The reduction is coming after the mountain pine beetle epidemic salvage wraps up in the area. …According to Chief Forester Diane Nicholls, under the Forest Act, the chief forester is required to review the allowable annual cut for a timber supply area at least once every 10 years. …“The new allowable annual cut is consistent with recent annual harvest levels so there is not expected to be any impact on jobs,” said Nicholls. The reduction in the allowable cut will help to sustain additional wildlife habitat areas which had previously been reduced by 16 per cent due to timber harvesting according to Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources.

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County council defends Algonquin Park logging

By Sean Chase
Pembroke Daily Observer
July 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Challenged by another group attempting to stop logging in Algonquin Park, the County of Renfrew is enlisting Premier Kathleen Wynne’s support of the besieged industry. County council passed a resolution during their June monthly session requesting a meeting with the minister of natural resources as the region staves off a campaign from the B.C.-based environmentalist group Wilderness Committee, which has delivered a petition, backed by 3,500 letters, to Queen’s Park demanding the end of logging operations in the provincial park. Council strongly defended the sustainable forest management in the park as well as how critical it is to local communities.

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Newly found disease could threaten Southeast Alaska spruce

By Ed Schoenfeld
KTOO Public Media
July 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A fungus that’s damaged trees in Southcentral and Interior Alaska has been discovered for the first time in Southeast. But there’s a chance its spread could be stopped. …The infection was spruce bud blight, which damages or kills the growing tips of branches. It was discovered here in late June, the first reported sighting in the region. The blight could be a problem, because it infects Sitka spruce, one of the most common trees in Southeast Alaska’s rainforest. …The fungus is not easy to spot. It’s black and looks like a dead, crusty coating on the buds. It’s actually a group of small, spherical fruiting structures. If it doesn’t kill a bud, it hampers its growth, leaving another sign, a small, twisted branch with few needles.

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McMinnville worker, 32, crushed, killed in logging incident

By Allan Brettman
The Oregonian
July 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A 32-year-old McMinnville man was killed Wednesday morning in a logging accident near Tillamook, officials said. Casey Schlundt was killed when logs he apparently was standing on shifted, breaking a cable and dropping the logs and him 45 to 50 feet, according to the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office. The accident, on a logging site about 5.5 miles above Gold Creek Road in Tillamook, was reported at about 8:50 a.m. Hofenbredl Timber of Willamina is logging on the site. Schlundt was pronounced dead at the scene. …In Washington, there have been 22 forestry and logging from 2012 through this year, according to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

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Tree specialists continue work to restore ponderosa pine on North Kaibab

By U.S. Forest Service, Kaibab National Forest
Payson Roundup
July 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Fredonia, Ariz., – Employees on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest have once again partnered with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to plant seedlings in the Warm Fire 2017 planting project at East Lake. This year’s Warm Fire planting project was completed in the spring with the help of a $54,000 grant from the NFF and the combined efforts of both the USDA Forest Service and Oregon-based contractor GE Forestry. Together, this on-the-ground effort yielded a total of 76,000 ponderosa pine seedlings planted in the 350-acre East Lake project area. It also increased the overall grand total for the Warm Fire reforestation to more than 1.8 million trees planted and certified across 6,100 acres of this multi-phased reforestation effort since planting efforts began in 2008.

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Poland glad to face EU court over logging in ancient forest

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
July 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BRUSSELS — Poland said Thursday it was glad it will have a chance to defend its logging in the ancient Bialowieza forest before a European Union court and implied that it knows better about the preservation of nature than western Europe. The EU is taking legal action against Poland for allowing continued and increasing logging in the forest, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site as the last such natural forest on the continent. The European Commission said it is seeking an interim measure from the EU Court of Justice to suspend the cutting down of trees “immediately.” Poland’s environment ministry said Minister Jan Szyszko, who has authorized the increased logging, is ready to face the court and prove that everything is being done in line with EU law.

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Draft plan for special species timber harvesting

By Imogen Elliott
The Advocate
July 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International


A draft management plan would allow special species timber harvesting to occur as soon as possible after proposed legislation is passed, Resources Minister Guy Barnett says. The state government released a draft management plan for the long-term harvesting of Tasmanian special species timbers for public consultation on Friday. Mr Barnett said under current legislation, special species harvesting in forest classified as Future Potential Production Forest could only take place if the timber could not be supplied from Permanent Timber Production Zone land. He said other “roadblocks” included requirements for an application to be assessed against a list of 12 land management objectives, and for the Crown Lands Minister to take advice at several stages from the Resources Minister.

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Forest Fires

Evacuation alert in Williams Lake, B.C. could last for weeks, officials warn

By Mike Laanela
CBC News
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

There are approximately 10,000 people in B.C.’s Cariboo Regional District under evacuation orders, and 10,750 under evacuation alert, including all of Williams Lake. And those alerts and orders may be in place for some time to come. Al Richmond, chair of the Cariboo Regional District, said they could be in place for weeks because of a lack of precipitation in the forecast for B.C.’s Interior, where crews are battling over a dozen large wildfires. “Because of the issues with dryness in the forest, the weather, there’s no significant precipitation projected in seven to 10 days … we have a really dry forest that we’re going to have to live with all summer.”

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EDITORIAL: The risk of wildfires

BCLocalNews
July 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

After a wet spring and flooding along the lakeshore, the region, along with the rest of the province, is dealing with dry conditions and an extreme forest fire risk. The extreme conditions are something few would have predicted a month or two ago, as residents living close to Okanagan Lake were coping with some of the worst lake flooding on record. Fires are burning near Princeton and farther north. Communities have been evacuated because of the danger from wildfires. At present, a province-wide state of emergency has been declared as more than 200 wildfires are burning throughout British Columbia. The last time such a state of emergency was in 2003, during another serious wildfire season.

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Princeton police get reinforcements

By Andrea Demeer
Pentiction Western News
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

“If you are going to sneak back to your house, please leave the name of your dentist with someone so we can identify what is left of you if something goes wrong.” Twelve additional RCMP officers have been assigned to the Princeton detachment to assist with controlling barricades and patrolling the evacuation areas. …While 350 homes are under evacuation order, Kennedy said some residents have chosen to stay on their properties. Evacuation orders allow for this, he said, however people must agree to remain on their own land. “A lot of them want to protect their own properties and I think some feel that if the fire gets too close they can just leave,” said Kennedy. It is not a decision without risk, he added. …Police are aware that other property owners are “sneaking back” to their homes using logging roads or trails. Those residents are in even more danger, he said, as rescue teams would not know they are there and in need of help.

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Where Will the Next Wildfire Hit? No Matter Where, We’re Not Prepared

By Ed Struzik, author of Firestorm, How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future
The Tyee
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

While doing research for a book I was writing on wildfire, I posed two questions to a number of experts: “Do you think there will be another Fort McMurray-like fire in the future? If so, where do you think it will happen?” Everyone agreed on the first question. Fort McMurray was not an anomaly. It will happen again, sooner rather than later, and likely with deadly consequences. The responses to the second question varied. University of Alberta wildfire scientist Mike Flannigan had many First Nations communities, Prince George in British Columbia and Timmins in northern Ontario high on his list. …But has anyone in government been listening? …As the current situation in B.C. is demonstrating once again, these extreme events are now the new normal. …The blueprint for the future was spelled out in 2005 when Brian Stocks and a veritable who’s who of wildfire experts were asked by the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers to come up with a new wildlands fire strategy. Most of those recommendations have been ignored.

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B.C. Wildfires Could Get Even Worse This Weekend

Canadian Press in the Huffington Post
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

WILLIAMS LAKE — Wildfire conditions in B.C. are expected to worsen over the weekend as officials predict winds to pick up, fanning dozens of flare-ups that have forced more than 16,000 people from their homes. Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service, said Thursday the slight reprieve in weather over the past few days will end with the arrival of a cold front that is expected to bring “significant winds” across most of the southern part of the province. “The big weather concern at the moment is the outlook for this weekend,” he said. “Winds have been a huge factor in terms of fire activity so far over the last few weeks, so that’s definitely a cause for concern.” About 680 blazes have consumed 1,110-square-kilometres of grass, bush, forest and in some

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Princeton fire grows overnight

By Andrea Demeer
Penticton Western News
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The forest fire burning near Princeton grew overnight to 3,000 hectares – or 30 square kilometers – according to BC Wildfire Management. That is up from 2,700 in the past two days. Thirty square km is roughly three-quarters the size of the City of Penticton. Information officer Marg Drysdale said the fire is also 10 per cent contained as of yesterday afternoon. The fire’s size “is due to both some natural growth and crews conducting back burning operations,” she said. Drysdale said a recently updated weather forecast will create some new challenges for the 155 firefighters currently on scene.

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Controlled burn successful

By Max Winkleman
100 Mile House
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

100 Mile House — The large prescribed burn along the southern edge of the Gustafsen fire near 100 Mile House was successful, says Fire Information Officer Heather Rice. “We had almost perfect weather conditions and winds for it,” she says. “It was very successful so we’re pleased that we feel that we’ve protected the north area above the West Fraser and Norbord work sites quite a bit better now. With that large burn we’ve removed quite a bit of unburned fuel within the fire perimeter. …Overnight, she says that crews will work on mop up and wetting down areas to avoid any further flare ups.

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Napanee, Ont., company using corn foam to fight B.C. fires

CBC News
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Napanee, Ont., company is trying to fight fire using a biodegradeable corn-based fire foam, one they hope could reduce the environmental impact of fire suppressants. When mixed with water, FireRein Inc.’s Eco-Gel extinguishes flames and prevents the fire from re-igniting, according to spokesperson Quincy Emmons, himself a firefighter with 19 years experience. Firefighters in the town just west of Kingston, Ont., have been testing out the new product on bales of hay engulfed in flames. They used only water to quench one fire, then tried water with the fire foam. The water-only bale went back up in flames seconds later. “I’ve never seen anything knock down fire as fast as this stuff does,” said Emmons.

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Ana Fire update as of Thursday afternoon

By Gerry Obrien
Herald and News
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Containment lines will be tested today with wind gusts expected to exceed 20 mph, according to the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP). A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the area south of the fire from 2 to 8 p.m. today, with strong, gusty winds, low relative humidity and high fire danger. YESTERDAY’S OPERATIONS: Fire activity on the perimeter was minimal. Crews continue to patrol the entire fire area, looking for and extinguishing heat sources. Forest Road 2901 was graded and watered, restoring it to pre-incident condition. TODAY’S OPERATIONS: Firefighters continue building a southern containment line across Winter Rim between Hwy. 31 and Forest Road 2901 to protect private property and commercial timber.

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Complete containment could happen soon for July fire

By Mike Kordenbrock
The Billings Gazette
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


The 11,174-acre wildfire that prompted a temporary evacuation order for the town of Landusky last week could be contained by early Saturday morning. Favorable conditions over the last two days have helped firefighters reach 80 percent containment on the July fire, which has burned in Phillips County in areas of the Little Rocky Mountains between the towns of Zortman and Landusky and about six air miles south of the town of Hays on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. The fire, fueled by mixed timber and grass, began July 3. About 357 firefighting personnel have been sent to the area. The National Interagency Coordination Center reports that $5 million has been spent on fighting the fire so far. The National Wildfire Coordinating Group website InciWeb lists July 15 at approximately midnight as the estimated containment date.

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Wildfire Roundup For July 13, 2017

By Eric Whitney
Montana Public Radio
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Weather conditions kept behavior of the Lazier Creek 3 Fire “moderate” yesterday, firefighters report. Today’s estimate of the fire’s size remaines at 1,145 acres, and 30 percent contained, the same as yesterday. There are 176 personnel assigned to the fire. The fire is located south of Highway 2 and west of the Thompson River Road. …Containment on the 78 acre Rogers Mountain Fire bumped up slightly to 49 percent yesterday. There are 77 firefighters assigned to that fire, located three miles Northwest of Happy’s Inn. …The NW Meadow Peak Fire, a few miles east of the Rogers Mountain Fire is also a few percent more contained than yesterday, at 79 percent contained. That 11.5 acre fire has 14 firefighters assigned to it.

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Arizona wildfire season gets dampening relief from monsoon

Associated Press in the Arizona Daily Sun
July 13, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: US East, United States


PHOENIX — Dozens of wildfires are burning across Arizona — but what a difference a week makes. The arrival of monsoon rains has reduced the wildfire threat and helped firefighters contain previously worrisome blazes across the state. Effects have included lifting of evacuation orders, reopening of highways and the firefighters being released for duty elsewhere or newly focusing on post-fire cleanup and flood-prevention work. Also, at least one national forest in the state — Coconino in northern Arizona — has already scaled back its campfire restrictions, effective Thursday. However, an Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management spokeswoman said the state is not out of the woods yet, with 35 wildfires burning Wednesday. “The monsoon effect is obviously helping,” department spokeswoman Tiffany Davila said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Debate brews over biomass bailout’s impact on Maine’s environment

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
July 14, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Maine taxpayers’ support of wood-to-energy facilities around the state has been called both a waste and a lifeline to rural forest economies. With one notable exception, there’s general agreement that Maine lawmakers’ latest support for biomass energy is a subsidy. A report in April panned that latest government support and past efforts for policymakers to help Maine’s biomass industry, an argument that hinges on one contested point: is biomass good or bad for the environment? The Portland-based Biomass Power Association commissioned a case study published in May that concluded harvesting tops and limbs of trees emitted less carbon than a standard natural gas-fired generator in the short-term. In the long-term, it was on par. The study doesn’t contend that biomass is “carbon neutral,” meaning a process that releases no net carbon into the atmosphere.

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