Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 24, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

BC wildfires are making lumber harder to find for US home builders

Tree Frog Forestry News
July 24, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC wildfires are making lumber harder to find for US home builders, “leaving many US wholesalers shorthanded”. Tolko industries curtailed its Quest Wood operation effective today, which produces 210 million board feet annually. Paul Harder, a timber trader at wholesaler Dakeryn Industries, which sells to US lumber yards, says “little lumber is being offered out there.

Although delighted to be returning to their homes, residents of Princeton and throughout the Cariboo Regional District are still seeing red – but this time it’s from the fire retardant dropped by air tankers. Environmental experts “fear the rising use of chemical fire retardants may put wild fish at risk”. As we struggle with a predicted increase in wildfire activity some are questioning the US national standard that “every forest fire was supposed to be out by 10 am the day after it started”.
 
It looks like Tembec may have finally closed their deal after Rayonier raised its bid by 17 percent and in the BC pellet sector, the Japanese company Sumitomo Corporation now owns 48 percent of Pacific Bioenergy in Prince George. 

Finally, a massive fire destroyed a luxury apartment complex under construction in Waltham, the second Boston-area blaze in a month to ravage a new project built with an increasingly popular method — using almost entirely wood. 

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Australian delegation tours wood buildings in Portland and British Columbia

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
July 24, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

A delegation of Australian architects, engineers, code experts and wood suppliers are investigating building practices and innovation in Oregon and BC—two leaders in mass timber and mid-rise timber frame design and construction. Australia recently changed their building code to allow wood-frame construction up to eight stories and the tour represents a unique opportunity to learn while sharing their challenges and opportunities. Last week the tour visited sixteen buildings in Portland and Vancouver including the 85-foot tall Carbon 12 timber-framed residential project—the tallest wood building in America—and the 18 storey Brock Commons mass timber residence—the tallest wood building in the world. This week the delegation is in the BC Interior touring the StructureLam CLT plant before returning to the BC Coast for more tours and an in-depth discussion with BC fire, building and building code experts on July 25. See more pictures here (more to come too).

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Business & Politics

FUTURES FILE: Canadian fires fuel wood lumber markets

By Walt and Alex Breitinger
Rapid City Journal
July 23, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The lumber market roared near a three-month high this week as wildfires threatened forests and sawmills in British Columbia. There are nearly 400 wildfires ablaze in the Canadian province, which is one of the world’s largest exporters of softwood lumber. Lumber futures, traded in Chicago, neared $395 per thousand board feet, the highest price since late April, when the market exploded on threats of a trade war between Canada and the United States. At present, the fires are expanding, resulting in evacuations of nearly 40,000 residents and closures of sawmills in the area.

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Canadian Wildfires Choke Lumber Supply to U.S. Home Builders

By Benjamin Parkin and David George-Cosh
Wall Street Journal
July 23, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

[to read this full story you must have a WSJ subscription] Wildfires in Canada are making lumber harder to find for US home builders. Lumber futures have soared in July as blazes spread across the province of British Columbia, leaving many US wholesalers shorthanded. Lumber dealers ran down their inventories this year as a trade spat between the administration of President Donald Trump and Canadian officials sparked wild price swings. Then Canada’s wildfires, a threat every summer, turned out to be the hardest on the lumber industry in more than a decade. Now home builders in the US, which gets around a third of its lumber from Canada, fear prices might climb even higher as wholesalers try to restock amid the price surge. British Columbia produces nearly half of all Canadian lumber, according to Statistics Canada. “People need wood now,” said Paul Harder, a timber trader at wholesaler Dakeryn Industries in North Vancouver, which sells to US lumber yards. “Little lumber is being offered out there.”

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Tolko Quesnel operations curtailed due to log supply shortage

Tolko
July 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Due to fire activity in the Cariboo, Tolko Industries Ltd. will be curtailing its Quest Wood operation in Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada, as of Monday, July 24th. The mill employs approximately 200 people and produces 210 million board feet of dimension lumber on an annual basis, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. “With wildfires burning and the fire risk still at extreme levels, we are unable to conduct logging activities,” said Troy Connolly, Senior General Manager, Lumber. …Randy Chadney, General Manager for Cariboo Lumber said: “We will return to operations as soon as our log supply is replenished and we can sustain the mill for the foreseeable future. We have notified our employees of the situation and are working with the local union to ensure they can access financial supports moving forward. Employees can also use our Employee and Family Assistance Program to help them with family and financial planning.”

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West Fraser Timber’s CEO Edward Seraphim on Q2 2017 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Seeking Alpha
July 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…In our press release yesterday, we highlighted record sales, EBITDA and operating earnings. We also highlighted that we ended the quarter with a net debt to capital ratio of 6%. It was a busy quarter and as a company, we faced a number of challenges that our employees have risen up to. With respect to operations, we continue to make progress in improving performance across the board. The one exception in the second quarter was our NBSK business. Our joint venture, Cariboo pulp mill, had an extended maintenance shutdown and we also experienced a number of operating issues at that mill through the quarter and at our Hinton pulp mill during April and May. 

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Sumitomo Corporation Acquires Stake in Canadian Wood Pellet Manufacturer

WebWire
July 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Kuniharu Nakamura) has acquired 47.6% of the shares of the wood pellet manufacturer Pacific BioEnergy Corporation (Head Office: British Columbia, Canada; CEO: Donald Steele; hereinafter, “PBEC”) and made its entry into the wood pellet manufacturing business in Canada. Wood pellets, a biomass fuel produced by pulverizing and compressing dried wood fibers, have been garnering attention for their low environmental impact and highly efficient calorific value. Demand for biomass power generation is rising not only in EU countries but in Japan and the rest of Asia as well, and demand for wood pellets is also expected to expand. 

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Japanese firm buys stake in Pacific Bioenergy

By Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen
July 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

One of Prince George’s flagship companies in the alternative forestry sector has gotten an international boost. Sumitomo Corporation of Japan has acquired a 48 per cent equity interest in Pacific BioEnergy Corporation (PBEC), one of Canada’s leading producers of wood pellets. It has its head office in Vancouver but its original manufacturing facility is in Prince George on the Willow Cale Forest Service Road, built in 1994 then rebuilt and expanded in 2007. It has timber supply locations in Kitwanga near Terrace and Nazko near Quesnel, plus manufacturing facilities in Quesnel and Fort St. John. Combined, the company produces in excess of 550,000 tonnes per annum of industrial grade pellets that go to market in Asia and Europe. Over the years, PBEC has manufactured more than 3.5 million tonnes of wood pellets sold onto the global market.

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Rayonier ups offer for Tembec, wins support from shareholders who opposed deal

Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
July 24, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. has raised its takeover offer for Tembec Inc. to win the support of two of the forestry company’s largest shareholders who had threatened to block the friendly deal. Rayonier and Tembec said Oaktree Capital Management LP and Restructuring Capital Associates LP have now agreed to support the takeover. The deal requires support from a two-third majority vote at a shareholder meeting Thursday. Oaktree and Restructuring Capital, who had raised concerns the offer was too low, together hold a 37 per cent stake in Tembec, enough to kill the deal.

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Northwest Hardwoods marks 50 years

By Angel Kipfer
Woodworking Network
July 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

TACOMA, Wa. – Arnold Curtis established Northwest Hardwoods (NWH) in 1967 by creating a single alder mill in Arlington, Washington. With his vision, he set out to transform the under-appreciated alder tree into the high quality lumber product that it is today. Along the way, Curtis created a brand with consistent high quality products, industry innovation, and a customer-focused philosophy. The alder tree is understated, fast-growing and resilient which is how Northwest Hardwoods veteran and current hardwood lumber product manager, Dave Bosley, views the company that gave him his start 39 years ago.

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Increasing lumber exports leads to new technology investment

By Forest Industry Engineering Association
Scoop Independent News
July 24, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Signs are good right now for the country’s wood processing industry. A report from Wood Resources International last week said that although over 50% of the wood harvest in New Zealand is being exported as logs, lumber production had picked up by about ten percent over the last three years. Shipments from New Zealand into the US market have in fact gone up 37% over just the past four years and during the first five months of 2017. The U.S. has now overtaken Australia as the number one export destination for pine lumber produced in New Zealand. In terms of value, New Zealand is now the second largest overseas lumber supplier into the US, behind Chile, but still ahead of lumber exporters from Europe.

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Russian pellet production, exports expected to grow

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
July 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Russian Federation recently filed its annual biofuels report with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network, reporting wood pellet production and exports are expected to increase by 10 percent this year, reaching 1.45 million metric tons. The increase is expected to be driven primarily by strong demand from Europe and more interest from Asian markets, along with a soft ruble and increasing local consumption. While Russian pellet production is expected to increase this year, the report indicates a lack of domestic pellet standard, poor transportation infrastructure, a lack of warehouses and the product’s seasonality will work to negatively impact development of the sector.

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NZ export log prices weaken as higher kiwi dollar bites

By Tina Morrison
Scoop Independent News
July 24, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand export log prices generally declined over the past month as a gain in the New Zealand dollar made the country’s products less competitive. Most grades of New Zealand unpruned logs weakened by between $1-to-$3 a tonne, with A-grade logs falling to $124 a tonne, from $127 a tonne the previous month, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. Export pruned logs bucked the trend, edging up to $164 a tonne from $163 a tonne. Nearly all the weakness stemmed from the exchange rate swinging out of exporters’ favour, with the New Zealand dollar firming about 7 percent against the US dollar since mid-May, AgriHQ said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Houston contractor builds her own charred-timber residence designed by Suyama Peterson Deguchi

By James Brillon
Dezeen
July 22, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The owner of a construction company in Houston has collaborated with Seattle architects Suyama Peterson Deguchi to create a Japanese-influenced home that she built for herself. …The house is named after a traditional Japanese technique for weatherproofing wood. The process involves burning and oiling lumber to give it a rich dark colour and render the material more durable. “The wood planks, which came from Seattle, were burned by the owners using an ancient Japanese method called Shou Sugi Ban and used on the exterior and interior,” said the architects.

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Eight-alarm blaze strikes apartment complex in Waltham

By Sara Salinas, Catie Edmondson and Tim Logan
Boston Globe
July 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

WALTHAM — A massive fire that destroyed a luxury apartment complex under construction in downtown Waltham early Sunday morning was the second Boston-area blaze in a month to ravage a new project built with an increasingly popular method — using almost entirely wood. Firefighters from across Greater Boston on Sunday morning battled the eight-alarm inferno at the construction site between Elm and Cooper streets, their efforts hampered by winds. Five buildings in the complex collapsed, explosions ripped the air, and ash and embers rained down on the streets… The Waltham fire comes after a similar apartment building burned in a major fire in the Ashmont section of Dorchester.

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Provocative timber horn explores the hypnotic pull of the unknown

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
July 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Digital fabrication and traditional woodworking fuse together in Y, a modern sculpture with a provocative and pixelated appearance. A team of international architects and carpenters comprising &’ [Emmi Keskisarja & Janne Teräsvirta & Company Architects] collaborated with the Finnish National Museum to create the funnel-shaped art piece in Helsinki’s Seurasaari open-air museum. The intriguing artwork is built from horizontal prefabricated cross-laminated timber elements interlocked by 568 timber wedges.

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Forestry

Red cloud: Environmental experts fear for fish as wildfires drive more fire retardant drops

By Yvette Brend
CBC News
July 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With more than 700 wildfires burning through British Columbia’s forests since this spring, environmental experts fear the rising use of chemical fire retardants may put wild fish at risk. The red plumes of the ammonia compound are a critical tool in aerial fire fighting, and it’s expected to be needed more in coming decades if climate change causes more wildfires, according to B.C.’s Wildfire Management Branch. The B.C. Wildfire Service says air tankers have already dropped eight million litres of retardant. That’s a lot, considering the yearly average in the province is 9.4 million litres over the course of the entire wildfire season. And B.C. pilots say sometimes it’s accidentally dropped into streams and lakes.

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Wetzin’kwa Community Forest celebrates 10 years

By Josh Casey
Smithers Interior News
July 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation celebrated their 10-year anniversary at the annual cheque distribution. Jay Baker is the contract general manager for Wetzin’kwa. He said over 30 grants were given this year. “This year the community forest was able to grant about $200,000 to 30-plus groups and projects in the Bulkley Valley area ranging from Telkwa, Quick to Moricetown,” he said. “In addition to the community grant program, this is also our 10-year anniversary. Ten years ago the Community Forest signed its license to operate a Community Forest just outside of Smithers.

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Forecasters predicted bad fire season

By Monique Keiran
Victoria Times Colonist
July 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…A decade ago, climate scientists warned us that our world was changing. Summers along the Pacific’s northeastern coast, they said, would get hotter and drier, and winters stormier with more torrential downpours, heavier snowfall, higher winds and bigger waves. In short, we were in for an increasingly extreme weather ride, with Vancouver eventually coming to resemble droughty, hot, fire-plagued southern California. Others plugged those data into other models, and the results indicated that the consistently more extreme weather predicted would lead, in turn, to more extreme local and regional effects. They predicted we would see more local and regional flooding as sudden downpours overwhelmed storm sewers, creeks and river banks in populated areas and destabilized hillsides and banks. Wet, heavy snowfalls would cause more power outages. More frequent drought would lower river levels earlier in the summer, warm river waters and stress fish, contributing to poor salmon reproduction.

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The Land Conservancy of BC celebrates 20 years of conservation

Victoria News
July 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Headquartered in the observatory at the top of Gonzales Hill, The Land Conservancy of BC overlooks Oak Bay – though its efforts stretch far beyond local roots. This year, the conservancy celebrates its 20th anniversary of protecting land with a fundraiser for its covenant program. Donations will yield double the conservational impact, Matched by Frances Sloan Sainas, chair of TLC’s board of directors. …Over the past year, the conservancy has trained 219 volunteers from other land trusts and students from the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University. Volunteers donated 975 hours to protect ecologically important sites, while gaining hands-on monitoring and restoration skills.

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Is the Faculty of Forestry getting chopped?

By Jillian Schuler
University of Toronto’s Varsity Paper
July 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

On March 23, Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr published a memo describing the next step in a discussion on making changes to the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto. A consultation process involving “faculty members and librarians of potentially affected Academic Units” was announced. The memo has spurred dissent amongst members of the Forestry community and highlighted an apparent history of mistrust between the faculty and central university administration. Members of the Forestry community are concerned that the faculty itself could be dissolved. Regehr’s memo details a multi-phased consultation process to help determine the future of the faculty and suggests that official academic restructuring changes could follow.

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Nature is clearing more forest than people can. That may be a good thing

By Ron Dungan
AZ Central
July 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Foresters have struggled for decades to bring fire back to a crowded landscape. The struggle dates to the 1930s, when a new national standard took hold.  Every forest fire was supposed to be out by 10 a.m. the day after it started. The forest would be saved, the thinking went, and the firefighters would be safe. The 10 a.m. rule gave firefighters a clearly defined goal, which made it simple for firefighters. Maybe too simple.  Because it didn’t work.  “Maybe it doesn’t work like that,” said Stephen J. Pyne, a life-sciences professor at Arizona State University. “It’s fine if you’re stocking shelves at Walmart. It doesn’t work when you’re managing nature.”  …Decades of fire suppression, accumulations of logging slash and other factors had covered the forest floor with fuel.

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Federal Emergency Management Agency Awards $7.8M To Oregon For 2015 Stouts Creek Fire Costs

By Alisha Roemeling
Oregon Public Broadcasting
July 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Department of Forestry was awarded a $7.8 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday for costs associated with putting out the 2015 Stouts Creek Fire that destroyed more than 26,000 acres of private, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands near Canyonville, south of Roseburg. The fire started July 30 and went on for more than four weeks as heavy smoke and steep terrain made the human-caused blaze difficult to contain. At the height of the fire, 1,645 personnel were assigned to the blaze with 49 crews, 46 engines, 27 water tenders, 20 bulldozers and 11 helicopters. The fire threatened more than 280 area homes, according to the state Department of Forestry.

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Tree thinning project gives Northern Arizona University forestry students real-world experience

Northern Arizona University
July 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Forestry students walked away with real-world experience after being tapped to research and create a prescription to help Northern Arizona University maintain and protect its on-campus ponderosa pine forest while reducing the fire hazard. Next week, the university will put those plans into action. The 17 students, led by professor Kristen Waring, a silviculturist, worked with grounds crews at NAU to determine what they wanted to accomplish with the trees east of the Babbitt Administrative Center and along the Sinclair Wash, where the Flagstaff Urban Trail System runs through campus. They collected data on the understory of the forest, measured the slope and examined the trees before determining which needed to be cut down to improve the long-term health of the forest, reduce fire safety and get rid of any unhealthy trees.

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1 billion black ash trees in peril: Scientists invade Duluth to share emerald ash borer research

By John Myers
The Globe
July 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

DULUTH — Scientists have been studying emerald ash borers since the Chinese insects started killing ash trees near Detroit 15 years ago. They’ve been following the imported insects’ march east, then north and now west and watching the bugs kill nearly every ash tree in their path. But those were mostly green ash, with some white and blue ash, too — the kind of trees that once lined urban avenues, wooded parks and farm woodlots across much of the country. Now, with ash borers expanding their range in Duluth, the critters are on the doorstep of nearly 1 billion black ash across northern Minnesota’s forests, and no one knows what’s going to happen.

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Indonesia environment minister wants permanent ban on licences to use forest land

Reuters in Yahoo News
July 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s environment minister said on Monday she wants to make permanent a moratorium on issuing new licences to use land designated as primary forest and peatland. The moratorium, part of an effort to reduce emissions from fires caused by deforestation, was extended by President Joko Widodo for a third time in May. “So far its only been extended, and extended again. I want a permanent (moratorium),” said Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar. “Our primary forest cannot be cleared out.”

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Exotic pest risk real and rising in Australia – report

Forest & Wood Products Australia
July 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A recently completed analysis of Australia’s national forest industry biosecurity programs has revealed exotic pests are a real and rising risk to Australian plantations and native forests – and that the right investments in prevention and mitigation pay off. The comprehensive study included an analysis of the cost benefit of two actual pest management examples – chysomelid leaf beetles and sirex woodwasp – and modelled potential scenarios for a hypothetical incursion by the pinewood nematode. Co-funded by Forest and Wood Products Australia, the researchers concluded current biosecurity surveillance beyond border control was insufficient, inconsistent and reliant on a cohort of experts nearing retirement.

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Forest Fires

Fires during ban could lead to big fines, campers warned

By Jeff Bell
Victoria Times Colonist
July 23, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sitting around a campfire during a burning ban can carry a heftier price than many people realize. The ticket for “lighting, fuelling or use of a fire against regulations” is $1,150 — and can be applied to everyone in a campfire’s vicinity, said the Coastal Fire Centre’s Donna MacPherson. “The way the legislation is written, it’s whoever is using the campfire,” she said. “So if you’re got five people sitting around it, they can all get tickets. If you’ve got 10 people sitting around it, they can all get tickets.” …“If people continue to break the prohibition that’s in place, the only alternatives are to fine people heavily — and we do have people out doing that — and to start closing recreation sites,” she said. “So we need people to comply or they’re going to have less access to places that they’d like to go.”

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Burning at record pace

By John Rodall
Castanet.net
July 23, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province has lost more timber to wildfires to this point in 2017 than over the previous four years. Since the start of the current fire season, 700 wildfires have been reported across the province. Those fires have resulted in more than 410,000 hectares of timber going up in flames. About half of those were human caused. The only year close was two years ago. In 2015, there were more than 1,250 fires reported, however the amount of forests burned was half of this years total to date. To date, the province has burned through $111.8 million to fight the fires. In 2015, the province had spent $127.7 million.

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July 23: Crews continue to make progress on Gustafsen fire

By Tara Sprickerhoff
BC Local News
July 23, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

While the evacuation orders have been rescinded for 100 Mile House and much of the surrounding area, people are reminded that the Gustafsen fire is still an active wildfire. “We are still at 90 per cent contained, but it still is an active wildfire. It means, when it’s got that level of containment, it’s not likely to escape or spread in the area that is 90 per cent contained. We continue to move into the perimeter to get to 100 feet to build that guard all around the fire,” says Fire Information Officer Lynn Daina. “They are making good progress out there, the weather has been nice and co-operative — cool, a little bit of a breeze in terms of the crews getting good work done out in the lines. It’s been very good today.”

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BC Wildfires: More people allowed to head home, but evacuation alerts remain

By Nick Eagland
Vancouver Sun
July 23, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

With wind expected to hit parts of B.C. this weekend and plenty of days left in the fire season, authorities are urging British Columbians to reduce their role in the spread of wildfires, which have so far cost $122 million and burned an area larger than Metro Vancouver. As of Saturday at 1 p.m., there were 161 wildfires burning across the province, including 14 fires that started Friday, information officer Navi Saini of the B.C. Wildfire Service said. …Most mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted for homes in the Princeton area, though Highway 5A in the area remains closed. Local residents north of Summers Creek Road who had clearance letters from the regional district would be allowed to return to their homes, Duffy said. Saturday afternoon, the Cariboo Regional District and District of 100 Mile House emergency-operations centres announced that residents were being allowed to return to an area from the north end of Lac La Hache through to the entirety of the District of 100 Mile House, which were identified as having a reduced fire risk.

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Evacuation order lifted for 100 Mile House and South Cariboo

By Max Winkelman, Ashley Wadhwani and Tara Sprickerhoff
BC Local News in Salmon Arm Observer
July 22, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Effective immediately, most 100 Mile House and South Cariboo residents are allowed to return to their homes. The evacuation orders in the area will be downgraded to alerts, according to a 2 p.m. announcement by 100 Mile Mayor Mitch Campsall and Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond. The announcement comes after B.C. Wildfire Service reports the Gustafsen fire to be 90 per cent contained. Those North of Watson Lake road, on Tatton station road, 103 Mile west, Gustafsen Lake north forest service road, Exeter McKinley road, Williams Lake and 150 Mile House remain under an evacuation order, as well as the area north of Lac la Hache. Security will be in place to enforce orders in the remaining evacuated areas, according to a CRD news release, and everyone returning to the area is asked to exercise caution to ensure their personal safety.

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B.C. wildfires remain relatively stable despite wind, scattered storms

CBC News
July 23, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire flare-ups caused by strong winds and thunderstorms in the forecast largely failed to materialize on Sunday, leaving many British Columbians breathing sighs of relief — but thousands are still out of their homes, and may not return for some time. Environment Canada had forecast winds between 30 and 70 kilometres per hour in the Cariboo and Interior regions and thunderstorms in the Kootenays. Geoff Paynton, with the City of Williams Lake, said the city is still under evacuation order, but today’s weather was “good news.” Still, he said the closest fire is seven kilometres away, and a large gust is all it would take to blow the fire into town. Thousands of people from 100 Mile House, Princeton and surrounding areas were free to go home Saturday as evacuation orders were downgraded to alerts.

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Active Wildfires Cause Intense Feelings for Research Forest Manager

By Ken Day, Manager, Alex Fraser Research Forest
UBC Faculty of Forestry
July 18, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

On Friday afternoon July 7, 2017 I was sitting at my desk, looking at a dark sky with concern. “Looks like a stormy sky” I thought. Returning to my work on the computer screen I didn’t hear a dry lightning storm go through the central Cariboo, touching off numerous wildfires. On my next circuit through the office I looked out the opposite window. What I saw set off a week of intense feelings. …Kiley Green is in the office early Saturday morning and managing logistics for us. Paul Lawson and Jeremy Watkins from Malcolm Knapp Research Forest are on their way with their fire truck. I am appreciating the depth of experience within my staff, with wildfire expertise from BC, Spain and New Mexico. All the experienced staff are taking inexperienced folks under their wings, and providing me helpful advice. …Wherever we choose to work we have fire behind us. There is so much smoke in the air we have a hard time telling what’s burning in the distance.  

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Crews stop spread of huge California wildfire near Yosemite

Associated Press in the Washington Post
July 23, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES — Crews contending with triple-digit temperatures slowed the spread of an aggressive wildfire that destroyed dozens of homes in a rural area of California near Yosemite National Park, officials said Sunday. The blaze burning for a week has scorched just over 119 square miles (308 square kilometers) of dense brush and dead trees in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Many evacuated residents were allowed to return, but flames continue to threaten about 1,500 homes in Mariposa County. The fire was 45 percent contained, but officials said it could take crews another two weeks to fully surround it. “They are still out in front of an uncontrolled fire, but the fire isn’t moving at 30 mph (48 kph). The fire is crawling along,” fire spokesman Brandon Vaccaro said Saturday. Flames spared Mariposa, a historic Gold Rush-era town, but more than 130 buildings, including 63 homes, were destroyed.

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Terrain challenges firefighters on Rock Creek blazes

The Missoulian
July 22, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Helicopters dropped buckets of water on the Lolo Peak fire Saturday, after a Type 1 Incident Management team took over the previous evening. The lightning-caused fire in high-altitude timber a mile west of Lolo Creek stood at an estimated 249 acres Saturday, according to InciWeb, the national wildfire information system. Hot weather and gusty winds remained a concern Saturday. …The largest Missoula-area blaze, the Little Hogback/Sliderock fire near Rock Creek, was estimated at a combined 2,327 acres Saturday. Each fire grew overnight Friday, from 1,719 to 1,957 acres on the Little Hogback fire, and from 347 to 370 acres for the Sliderock fire, according to InciWeb.

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Fire in south Croatia triggers explosions of war mines

Associated Press in The Washington Post
July 23, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

ZAGREB, Croatia — Emergency officials say a forest fire that has spread to southern Croatia from neighboring Montenegro has triggered 34 explosions, probably from mines left over from the region’s war in the 1990s. The area near the walled Adriatic city of Dubrovnik was a frontline during the conflict that erupted after Croatia declared independence in 1991. Yugoslav army troops bombed Dubrovnik, a UNESCO heritage site. …Thousands of acres of pine forests and shrubbery have been burnt.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Aging Coal Plant Reopens as Biomass Plant

The Korea Bizwire
July 24, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

SEOUL — The aging coal-powered Young Dong Unit 1 power station has been revamped as the country’s largest environment-friendly biomass plant, replacing coal with wood pellet fuel. According to the Yeongdong Eco Power Division of Korea South-East Power (KOSEP), around 96 billion won was invested to renovate the Young Dong Unit 1 power station into a renewable energy plant that generates 125 megawatts by burning wood pellets. Wood pellets are an environment-friendly solid fuel made by processing solid wood, and are still permitted despite a recent shift in the government’s new energy policy towards renewable energy sources.

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Paying people to conserve trees could cut carbon emissions

The Statesman
July 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Paying people to conserve their trees could be a highly cost-effective way to reduce deforestation and carbon emission and should be a key part of the global strategy to fight climate change, scientists say. The study, led by Seema Jayachandran, associate professor at Northwestern University in the US, sought to evaluate how effective “Payments for Ecosystems” (PES) is at reducing deforestation. PES is a programme in which people are given financial rewards for pro-environment behaviours. In the study, people who owned forest in 60 villages in western Uganda were given cash rewards if they kept their forest intact and refrained from deforesting it. Forest owners in another 61 villages in western Uganda received no monetary incentives.

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General

Peachland residents concerned with logging

BC Local News
July 21, 2017
Category: Uncategorised

Peachland residents are concerned with the impact logging will have on the recreational trails near Spring Lake. Twenty-two Peachland residents walked the recreational trails to Spring Lake while listening to Westbank First Nation foresters discuss their logging plans for what longtime residents and outdoor enthusiasts call the park. Concerns expressed by residents included the impact on wildlife habitat that is already in serious decline. The area is home to endangered species including the yellow badger, Lewis’s woodpecker and mountain cottontail, according to a Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance release.

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