Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 22, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Tony Tooke selected as new US Forest Service Chief

Tree Frog Forestry News
August 22, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced “Tony Tooke to be the new Chief of the US Forest Service“, replacing Tom Tidwell. Currently the Regional Forester for the Southern Region, Mr. Tooke was previously the Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System.

The increasing frequency of record-breaking fire seasons playing out in BC is “sowing the seeds for severe fire seasons to come“, according to a study by David Galvez. In other fire news:

In business news, “US imports of German softwood up tenfold in wake of duties on Canadian lumber” and two J.D. Irving stories: “Woodlot board’s move to fast-track Irving dispute fails” and “J.D. Irving Is One of the Largest Landowners in the US“.

Finally—never missing an opportunity—the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association disparages wood-frame construction in a no-news press release.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

J.D. Irving, Limited Is One of the Largest Landowners in the U.S.

By Mark Leger
The Daily Huddle
August 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Robert Irving talked about creating a “footprint” in the southern United States during a recent announcement of a $400-million tissue plant Irving Consumer Products plans to build in Georgia. This adds to the already sizeable footprint made by J.D. Irving, Limited in the U.S. as the nation’s sixth largest landowner. In the 2016 Land Report 100 – an annual list compiled by The Land Report: The Magazine of the American Landowner – JDI is reported to own 1.246-million acres of land in Northern Maine. That’s a large number indeed, but it’s still a much smaller footprint than the one they have in the Maritimes.

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US imports of German softwood up tenfold in wake of duties on Canadian lumber

By Mia Rabson
The Canadian Press in Business News Network
August 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — U.S. imports of softwood from Germany have grown tenfold in the first half of the year as punishing duties pushed imports of Canadian softwood down. RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn estimates Canadian lumber producers have plunked down $500 million so far in countervailing and anti-dumping duties since the spring. The U.S. alleges Canada unfairly subsidizes its softwood industry and has slapped on import taxes averaging 26.75 per cent as punishment. Canada disputes the U.S. assessment but cannot officially challenge the U.S. tariffs until after final decisions are made about the level of duties to be imposed some time this fall.

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Worried About Softwood Lumber Investments? Try Hardwood Instead

By Susan Portelance
The Motley Fool Canada
August 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Canadian lumber industry has been in the news this year since the U.S. decided to levy tariffs on Canadian softwood exports. Even though these disputed decisions have typically gone Canada’s way in the past at the World Trade Organization, some investors might shy away from softwood lumber distributors, such as West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. If you want to avoid softwood companies but still like timber, consider investing in a hardwood company instead. Hardwoods Distribution Inc. is a wholesale distributor of hardwood lumber, plywood, particleboard, and other specialty products. The company has eight locations in Canada and 17 in the U.S.

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Revenue growth slower now than in the wake of 2008

By Albert Van Santvoort
Business in Vancouver
August 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s businesses are experiencing significantly less growth than they did 10 years ago, before the 2008 global financial crisis. …B.C.’s fastest-growing businesses are now posting smaller five-year revenue growth than that reported by the top-100 list in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession. Eighty per cent of the companies on Business in Vancouver’s Fastest-Growing Companies list are from two sectors: the technology and service industries. …While forestry and mining companies typically dominate BIV’s list of the top 100 public companies, which is based on revenues earned, their relatively consistent revenue growth diminishes their presence on the fastest-growing list. [Note: Interior is in the top five for overall growth and Canfor is noted for its significant revenue increase]

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Woodlot board’s move to fast-track Irving dispute fails

By Connell Smith
CBC News
August 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A judge in Saint John has dismissed an application by the Southern New Brunswick Forest Products Marking Board and its sister group the SNB Wood Co-operative that could have derailed a legal action by J.D. Irving Ltd. Irving has asked the Court of Queen’s Bench to declare a contract between the marketing board and the wood co-operative unlawful. But earlier this month, the board and co-op applied to Justice William Grant to have the lawsuit converted to a judicial review, a process more akin to an appeal court hearing than a lawsuit. …In his decision on Monday, Justice William Grant said the court hadn’t seen enough documentation of the relationship between the marketing board and the co-operative.

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Pennsylvania lumber fire took 1.5 million gallons to douse

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
August 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

LEBANON, Pa. A fire chief says a Pennsylvania lumber mill fire took 1.5 million gallons of water to douse, though no workers were hurt in the blaze and only one firefighter suffered a minor injury. Lawn Volunteer Fire Chief Daniel Braden says the blaze at Weaber Lumber in South Annville Township depleted most of the yard’s 1.2-million gallon (4.54-million liter) emergency pond. Water was drawn from other sites when firefighters from 36 different companies used about 60 vehicles to fight the blaze which began shortly before midnight Saturday and was out by Sunday morning. The fire started in a kiln that was packed with lumber. The kiln measures about 50 feet (15.2 meters) by 150 feet (45.7 meters).

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Loggers say biomass firm Stored Solar hasn’t paid them in weeks

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
August 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Hancock logger George Moon had the first bad feeling in February. Months into supplying Stored Solar, the new operator of wood-to-energy plants in Jonesboro and West Enfield, bills went unpaid. “We were just giving them a chance to work the bugs out,” Moon said. A few more payments came through before the money stopped again in late spring, he said. “I couldn’t tell you when the last time was.” Moon alleges Stored Solar owes his three-person operation $50,000 for deliveries dating back 150 days. …Stored Solar has generated enough power to collect about $1 million in state subsidies but has missed out on about $1.3 million in subsidies intended to make their way to employees of the facilities and, primarily, back into the woods to support loggers hit hard by the decline of Maine’s paper industry.

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Forestry Corporation defends stance on koala protection

By Bill North
Clarence Valley Daily Examiner
August 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

THE Forestry Corporation of NSW has hit out at claims it has failed to protect koala habitats from logging operations. The North East Forest Alliance stepped up calls for Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton to intervene due to alleged breaches in Gladstone State Forest near Bellingen. …Forestry Corporation of NSW’s senior planning manager Dean Kearney said every hectare of compart- ment 231 of Gladstone State Forest had been searched and assessed by experienced ecologists and field technicians to identify and protect habitat for koalas and threatened species. “Harvesting will not take place in just under half of the compartment which has been set aside and managed for conservation to protect wildlife and other environmental features such as steep slopes, waterways and streams,” Mr Kearney said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Build with Strength Welcomes Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice to National Coalition

By The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
For Construction Pros
August 21, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association comprised of fire service professionals, architects, engineers, industry experts and organizations committed to enacting safer and more sustainable building standards in cities across the country such as Los Angeles, is pleased to welcome Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) as a new coalition member. …At a time of heightened visibility on the use of combustible construction materials following a string of large, wood-frame apartment complex fires nationally, including the Da Vinci apartment complex in Los Angeles, Build with Strength is working with government officials, firefighters and building trades union leaders across the country to address potential causes of these fires relating to building safety standards.  

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Forestry

Making the grade in sustainable forestry

By The Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Treehugger
August 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A&A Trading Ltd. (A&A), a family-owned, forest company with operations on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, is working with local hikers to change the way people think about the forest industry. With operations that include logging, reforestation, and forest product marketing, A&A believes that responsibly managed forests are a renewable resource that can provide for our needs now and the needs of future generations. …The woodland operations of A&A are certified to the independent standards of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), ISO 14001:2004, and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

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Wildfires hamper getting inventory to local mills

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
August 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dave Walgren

Getting inventory to mills in Williams Lake continues to be a concern for local companies as the wildfire season unfolds. Since July 7, logging operations have been shut down in the Cariboo-Chilcotin due to the fire danger risk, but before that, said Williams Lake Plywood Plant manager Dave Walgren, inventory was already low, something that is normal during the summer months. …“The advantage of being a larger company is that it can we can rely on companies in the north and south of Williams Lake. It is a concern, but guys are working hard to make sure there’s enough wood to run the plant.” Tolko’s Soda Creek division plant manager Mike Dextrase said the company has a few days of logs in the bush, but has lost many cubic metres of decked wood to the fires.

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Grizzly hunt ban aims at cities

Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
August 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Within hours of announcing their ill-considered “ban” on grizzly bear trophy hunting, the B.C. NDP had a party fundraising pitch out on social media. Taxpayer-funded government ads soon followed. Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson was marched out to make the announcement, repeating a thin list of talking points dictated from Premier John Horgan’s office. …Donaldson insisted that B.C.’s grizzly hunt is not used as a wildlife management tool. It’s not? …Donaldson insisted the lottery grizzly hunt is not used to manage the population, and that the harvest level is based on what is sustainable. I guess he can’t see the contradiction there. …This winter the NDP government will face a decision to continue the wolf kill that is attempting to salvage remnant caribou herds in the Kootenay and Peace regions. Will that also be cancelled to make urban voters feel good?

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Popular Campbell River mountain biking area to see logging, road building

By Alistair Taylor
Campbell River Mirror
August 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Recreation trails in the Snowden Forest north of Campbell River’s John Hart Lake will be affected by logging and road building next spring. BC Timber Sales (BCTS) announced today that it is planning to construct roads in the Snowden Forest to provide access for log transportation. A lot of the harvesting will be done to manage root disease conditions in the area and will remove live infected and dead trees in various locations in the forest. …BCTS says the planning of this project complies with the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Sayward Landscape Unit Plan, the John Hart Lake Community Watershed, and the Identified Recreation Resource Features of the Campbell River Forest District.

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Record fire years sow seeds of severe future fires, scientists say

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
August 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The increasing frequency of record-breaking fire seasons playing out in B.C. is sowing the seeds for severe fire seasons to come, according to the co-author of a recent study. Each successive fire and the carbon released leads to more drought, crippling the ability of forests to absorb and sequester carbon, said David Galvez, a former researcher at the University of B.C. and University of Alberta. This year’s forest inferno is being mirrored on every continent, according to the new study examining the mechanics of tree death. “What we are seeing in B.C. is what you expect in the modelling,” said Galvez, who now works for Abattis Bioceuticals. “Four of the worst fire years in the past 70 years have come in the past seven years and that’s amazing.”

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Secretary Perdue Announces Tony Tooke as New Forest Service Chief

US Department of Agriculture
August 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Tony Tooke

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced Tony Tooke will serve as the new Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Tooke has worked for the Forest Service since age 18 and currently is the Regional Forester for the Southern Region. Following the announcement, Secretary Perdue this statement: “The Forest Service will be in good hands with the U.S. Forest Service’s own Tony Tooke whose knowledge of forestry is unmatched. Tony has been preparing for this role for his whole professional life, and at a time when we face active and growing fires, his transition into leadership will be seamless. …His previous position in Washington, DC was Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System.

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Lake Tahoe Report Highlights Threat of Dying Forests

By Matthew Renda
Courthouse News Service
August 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When the University of California, Davis, released its annual State of the Lake Report this month it broached an unusual topic. The report that delves into the health of Lake Tahoe typically focuses on water quality issues that affect the famed and peerless clarity of the largest alpine lake in North America. But this year, scientists and researchers cast an eye toward the forests that surround Lake Tahoe, noting an increasing presence of brown, desiccated and dying trees. Large swaths of the stately pines of the Lake Tahoe Basin have turned brown. Dying and dead trees intermingle with the otherwise healthy coniferous forest, the signs of enduring years of a sustained and deep drought. “Tree mortality in Tahoe has become evident in the last two or three years, but this year it was through the roof,” said Geoffrey Schladow, director of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

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Sen. Tester advocates for wildfire fund to help offset USFS costs

By Eric Clements
KPAX
August 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FLORENCE – Wildfire continues to ravage thousands of acres of Montana forests, burning not just trees, but millions of dollars of Forest Service funding. That cost comes from crews and equipment. Mike Cole, an information officer on the Lolo Peak Fire, says there are 1,200 hands on that fire alone. …Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) is proposing new legislation to create a wildfire relief fund to help mitigate that cost — similar to relief funds already in place for other natural disasters.

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Wildfires should not be left to burn

Letter by Kate Gervais
Montana Standard
August 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The barn door wasn’t shut fast enough and the horses got out again. Year after year, especially since the year 2000, we have had fires here in Montana at the sign of the first clear day. It doesn’t seem to matter that we had more than enough snow and rain; fires still manage to get started and they aren’t all by lightning. But the most disturbing thing is that over and over, the U.S. Forest Service policy is to “watch” and “monitor” fires. They are monitored until they become raging, dangerous, devastating wildfires, fires that threaten homes, people’s health, our beautiful forests, our wildlife. Is it a continued dumb policy of “let it burn,” started by the Bush administration, or is it a money maker? People need jobs, but not at this terrible expense. Expense to the taxpayers, tourism and gone forever — or not to return in our lifetime — our forests.

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Bedford resident’s forestry work protects homes, businesses from fire

By Margaret Carmel
Lynchburg News and Advance
August 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Instead of running from wildfires, Todd Ramsey travels thousands of miles toward them from his home in Bedford. As a part-time wildland firefighter for the Virginia Department of Forestry, Ramsey is on call to drop everything and travel anywhere in the country to fight wildfires on as little as 24 hours notice. When a fire breaks out and he is able to take time away from running his own small business, the 29-year-old meets up with a team of other part-time firefighters and travels to the site for up to two weeks at a time. While there, he and his fellow team members offer support to “hot shot crews,” highly-trained firefighters who specialize in fighting fires in remote locations full-time. Although part-time firefighters like Ramsey often do not get the spotlight, their work is necessary to keep fires contained.

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Targeted forest regeneration: A blueprint for conserving tropical biological diversity?

By The University of Utah
Phys.org
August 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tropical forests contain more than one-half of all plant and animal species on Earth. Unfortunately, they are disappearing at the highest rate of any forests worldwide. Furthermore, many of the most threatened tropical species are restricted to 20 or so biodiversity hotspots, which are sites that have lost more than 70 percent of their original habitat. Now, a new University of Utah-led study, appearing today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that targeted forest regeneration among the largest and closest forest fragments in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and the Atlantic Forest of Brazil can dramatically reduce extinction rates of bird species over time.

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Govt invites investment in forestry sector

Pakistan Today
August 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LAHORE: The South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) has invited the business community to explore investment opportunities in the forestry sector in south Punjab which offers one of the highest returns to the prospective investors. SPFC Operations Director Hafiz Muhammad Owais, said this while giving a detailed presentation on investment opportunities in afforestation in south Punjab, a statement by ICCI said on Monday. He said that the Punjab government has earmarked over 99,000 acres of land for afforestation and range management in five districts of Punjab which are Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan.

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Forest Fires

New Harrison Lake wildfire grows five-fold in a day

CBC News
August 21, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new wildfire near Harrison Lake has grown overnight, adding to a long list of human-caused fires in the Coastal region this year. The fire was reported around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, 12 kilometres northeast of Harrison Lake. It is separate from the 202-hectare, interface Harrison Lake wildfire that’s been burning since July. Jessica Poustie, information officer at the Coastal Fire Centre, said the new fire was initially estimated to be about six hectares in size. By Sunday morning, it had grown to around 30 hectares. As of 3 p.m., it wasn’t threatening any structures or major roadways. Poustie said the fire is believed to have been sparked by people.

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Wildfires combine to create largest blaze in BC near Quesnel

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
August 21, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS — Over 400 firefighters are working to contain the largest wildfire in British Columbia’s history. Kevin Skrepnek of the B.C. Wildfire Service said 19 fires merged in an area west of Quesnel in the Interior, creating a single fire estimated to be 4,674 square kilometres in size. Co-ordinating a response has been a challenge because the fire measures more than 130 kilometres from one end to the other, he said, adding 25 helicopters and 73 pieces of heavy equipment are being used. “There’s good progress being made out there, but just given the sheer scale of this fire, it is going to be active for some time to come,” Skrepnek said.

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Wildfires in B.C. Cariboo combine to create province’s largest blaze

CBC News
August 21, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A handful of small fires in B.C.’s west Cariboo region have merged to create what is now the largest fire in the province.  The B.C. Wildfire Service says the Plateau wildfire, northwest of Williams Lake, is estimated to be about 438,000 hectares and 130 kilometres from one end to the other.  Fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said the fire hasn’t grown significantly in size, but several wildfires burning since about July 7 have now joined together.  “It is a challenge just logistically and operationally when it’s covering such a huge area,” Skrepnek said. “We’ve got two separate teams now managing it because it’s such a large incident.”

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Five new fires in Northwest region

TB Newswatch
August 21, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There were five confirmed new fires by the afternoon of August 20 in the Northwest Region and seven new fires confirmed by day’s end on August 19. There are a total of 149 active fires in the NWR in various states of suppression as of August 20th. Scattered rainfall has assisted with suppression operations; however, fires continue to burn deep and require extensive effort by fire crews to extinguish. …NIP 029, 20 km north of Nibinamik and 30 km East of Wunnumin Lake, is currently at 5998 hectares. Many of the lightning-caused fires are occurring in close proximity to each other in this area, as a result of storm systems. The Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services program has established an incident management team out of Nibinamik First Nation to assist in fire suppression.

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Quebec fire protection service reports decrease in forest fires compared to last decade

By Safia Ahmad
Montreal Gazette
August 21, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

As forest fires continue to ravage British Columbia, Quebec has seen a decrease in the number of forest fires this year compared to the past 10 years, Quebec’s Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) reported. So far this year, SOPFEU said the province has been affected by 238 forest fires that destroyed 6,615 hectares of land. These numbers stand in sharp contrast with the annual average over the last 10 years, which is 432 forest fires that damaged 61,169 hectares of land. Isabelle Gariépy, a SOPFEU prevention and information agent, said the weather as well as prevention campaigns aimed at reducing the number of forest fires caused by human error are some factors that have contributed to this year’s decline in wildfires. “Heat waves were short this summer,” Gariépy said, adding that longer-lasting heat waves increase the risk of forest fires.

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Growing wildfires prompt more evacuations

The Oregonian
August 21, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Growing wildfires prompted several new evacuation orders across the state Monday. Residents in some areas near the 70,000-acre Chetco Bar fire in the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest were told to leave their homes immediately as the fire rapidly spread. …The wildfire spurred new level 3 (Go now) evacuation orders as it continued to grow Monday. Residents in the area between the intersection of Carpenterville Road and U.S. 101, the Pistol River and the Pacific Ocean should leave immediately, officials said. Previously issued level 3 evacuation orders remain in place. …Several fires in the Willamette National Forest have spread across more than 10,500 acres Monday. Crews are mopping up hot spots for the Whitewater fire, which is the largest at nearly 8,000 acres. The Whitewater fire threatens 113 homes. 

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Hotshot crews working to get better control of Lolo Peak Fire before Wednesday

By Maritsa Georgiou
NBC Montana
August 21, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Mont. – Crews on the Lolo Peak Fire are trying to get as much as possible contained before Wednesday’s predicted winds. An NBC Montana crew went to the fire lines near Elk Meadows Monday. Several hotshot crews are working in that area alone, including the Flathead Hotshots. Their goal is to burn through fuels to lessen the chance of fire reaching any more homes. Once that happens, officials say they’ll feel more comfortable letting people back home. For residents along the Highway 12 corridor, information officers say if things go according to plan, there’s more of a chance residents can go home sooner than later. It’s a different story for people living along Highway 93 near Florence. Crews say it’s more dangerous there because the fire has the potential to move in several directions.

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Wildfire in Bastrop County 100 percent contained

KCENTV.com
August 21, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: US East, United States

After two days of firefighting tactics, Fire crews in Bastrop County have contained a wildfire that broke out Saturday afternoon. The Texas A&M Forest Service said at 7 p.m. Monday, the fire was 100 percent contained. Bastrop County Emergency Management said smoke is expected within the area for the next few days, and crews will continue patrolling. The cause has yet to be determined. “We have figured out that it started along 71,” said Bales. “Then very quickly came off of that grass and into this brush. And old decaying lumber.” A mandatory evacuation was issued for residents from the Royal Pines area for a few hours Saturday, but they were allowed to return home by 9 p.m. The Texas A&M Forest Service estimated that 30 homes were threatened, but no losses or injuries were reported.

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Sixth Indonesian province declares emergency as fires spread

Associated Press in the Washington Post
August 22, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency says the number of dry season fires has jumped to more than 500 and a sixth province has declared a state of emergency. Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said Tuesday that satellite images show 538 fires across 23 provinces, up from about 160 early in the month. Plantation companies and villagers often set fires deliberately to clear land for planting. They spread easily because a widespread practice in Indonesia of draining swampy peatlands for palm oil and pulp wood plantations has made swathes of land highly combustible. Nugroho said Central Kalimantan was the latest province to declare a state of emergency.

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