Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 13, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Saying goodbye to a stalwart in the coastal forest industry

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Today’s headlines continue to carry tremors from yesterday’s announcement that W.D. Moore Logging is shutting down. Although the forest sector has many factors that impact the business of logging, Kevin Mason at ERA Forest Products Research suggests that an imbalance of  profits in the supply chain is to blame. Graham Lasure and his family will be missed by the community. Described by journalist Andrew Duffy as “a stalwart of the forest industry on Vancouver Island”, this third-generation company is an important anchor in Winter Harbour and it won’t just be loggers who feel the loss when they close—Greg Vance who owns the general store says the closure “will have a major impact” on his business as well.  

The bulk of today’s forestry stories are focused on how communities and the forest sector are/should/will deal with the aftermath of vast swaths of charred forestland. In Oregon, Senator DeBoer says wildfire management and stewardship is an “inclusive process” that  should emphasize  collaboration at all levels. Professor John Bailey at Oregon State agrees that “it’s time to revisit the way we are managing our forests”  suggesting a focus on turning and prescribed burns. In the Columbia River Gorge, US congressman Walden is looking at salvage logging, but not everyone agrees. At the same time, the US Forest Service is asking grassroots groups to hold off on replanting efforts for fear they will do more harm than good.

Finally, our apologies for the late delivery of today’s news. Our Internet provider is not providing very well and we had to cobble the news together on a cell phone. Suffice to say, we are checking out the competition!

– Sandy, Tree Frog Editor

Read More

Business & Politics

Canada Receives Visit From Treasury’s Mnuchin In The Middle Of Tensions

By John Colley Loum
HIBusiness
September 12, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary of the United States, will visit Ottawa, Canada on Friday morning for a tryst with Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau. This is the maiden move by a U.S Treasury Secretary, to visit the Canadian capital in a decade. This also comes at a period when the two countries are undergoing some tension over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and squabbles over dairy and lumber products. …In spite of that, new trade disagreements have ensued due to import of the U.S. dairy products and import of Canadian soft lumber. The U.S. is also in the middle of a 90-day discussion process, a preparation for the renegotiation of NAFTA with Canada. When asked about the timing, the senior Treasury official said “I think we would accede to the U.S. Commerce Department and USTR for timing of negotiations.”

Read More

NAFTA: Top U.S. lawmakers express optimism, shrug off talk of early bumps

The Canadian Press the Chronicle Herald
September 12, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Senator Ron Wyden

WASHINGTON — Top U.S. lawmakers tasked with an oversight role in the NAFTA negotiations are expressing confidence in the state of the discussions, downplaying talk of a halting start to the process. The two highest-ranking members of the U.S. Senate finance committee legally designated with monitoring the negotiations have brushed aside reports of early bumps. …There was some early turbulence in the first two rounds, according to some sources. …The top Democrat on the committee chalked it up to early negotiating games. ”It strikes me as the sparring still (being) in the early stages,” said Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. The softwood lumber hardliner, however, cautioned that he would oppose an agreement if it includes some kind of softwood settlement that hurts his state’s industry.

Read More

Catalyst Applauds Government’s Decision to

Catalyst Paper Corporation
September 12, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond, BC – Catalyst applauds  the government’s commitment to eliminate the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) on electricity for commercial and industrial users in its 2017 budget update, which will assist in protecting jobs in British Columbia’s pulp and paper sector, says Len Posyniak, Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Corporate Services. Effective this fall, the PST on electricity for commercial and industrial users will be reduced from 7% to 3.5%. On April 1, 2019, electricity for commercial and industrial users will be fully exempt from the PST.

Read More

Sawmill failure casts doubt on millions in PEI government loans

By Kerry Campbell
CBC News
September 12, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Millions of dollars’ worth of provincial government loans sit in limbo as a court-appointed receiver prepares to sell off almost 100 different properties connected to a sawmill company from western P.E.I. Arsenault Sawmill Ltd. of Richmond went into receivership almost a year ago owing the P.E.I. government more than $3.7 million. That was after the company had submitted a proposal to creditors which saw it pay off some of its debts, including payments for payroll taxes owed to Revenue Canada and overdue property taxes owed to the province. The P.E.I. government provided the company with $2.8 million in loans back in 2007. According to court documents filed by a trustee with BDO Canada, the company failed because of “financial issues … accumulated over a period of years as a result of the slowdown in the forestry industry.”

Read More

Southern Forest Products Association 2017 Annual Meeting is a GO!

Southern Forest Products Association
September 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The meeting will be held, as planned, October 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort in Bonita Springs, Florida. The resort withstood the wrath of Hurricane Irma over the weekend, as the storm made landfall just a few miles to the south. The property remains structurally sound, though without power, and hopes to reopen within a week. “Our meeting contacts at the Hyatt Regency assured us today that our meeting will proceed as scheduled. We look forward to seeing everyone next month,” noted SFPA Executive Director Tami Kessler.

Read More

SFPA’s 35th Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition 2019 Dates Announced

Southern Forest Products Association
September 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

It’s official: SFPA’s 35th Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition 2019 – will be held June 26-28 at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center.  “Expo 2019 is the best place to be for companies wanting to showcase equipment, products and services for the wood industry,” notes SFPA’s exposition director Eric Gee. “SFPA realizes other venues exist for this show, but after exploring costs and logistics, Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center remains the best option,” he adds. Key contracting partners remain: GES for decorating, drayage and warehousing services, onPeak as the official housing partner, and QMS for the registration system.  Promotion of Expo 2019 will begin soon, with a direct mail campaign to all past exhibitors and prospects, encouraging them to “save the dates”. 

Read More

Heyfield timber mill: Long wait, secrecy frustrating locals

By Kat Sullivan
The Weekly Times, Australia
September 12, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

MORE than 230 days have passed since the owners of Victoria’s largest hardwood timber mill told their 250-plus employees jobs were at risk because the state could not provide enough native timber. The result so far is that 20 workers have left — or are in the process of leaving — the Heyfield timber mill. And, as of yesterday, a fast-tracked review of the Leadbeater Possum’s threatened status has been ordered by Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg in response to the timber industry. …There is no more timber available, and the mill’s owner, Hermal Group, does not want to stick around to flog what it says is a dead horse.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Housing Supply – Panelisation provides paradigm shift

Forest Industry Engineering Association
Scoop Independent News
September 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

John Stulen

Wood panel factories, not on-site workers, is the only way to solve the housing supply crisis, says a Rotorua engineer who is organising a national wood technology conference later this month. John Stulen, from the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) says, “More workers building houses on site is not enough to really lift housing supply. Only new high volume wood panel plants will do that in a big way, which is exactly what New Zealand needs. It simply has to happen as existing capacity like XLAM’s cross-laminated timber (CLT) plant in Nelson and Stanley Group’s modular building factory in Matamata have delivered some added capacity, but there is room for far more supply to meeting demand.”

Read More

Forestry

Three-generation logging contractor closes, putting Vancouver Island community in peril

Truck Loggers Association
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bill Moore

W.D. Moore Logging, founded in 1928, is closing its doors this month putting 25 people out of work in their community of Winter Harbour. …Greg Vance, owner of the general store in Winter Harbour, gave his perspective, “The closing of W.D. Moore Logging will have a major impact on our off-season [October to May] business. The logger related business was enough to justify keeping the lights and heat on and keep limited store hours in winter.” …Kevin Mason from ERA Forest Products Research takes a broader, business perspective on the closure. “There are lots of reasons why an individual business may close down,” said Mason. “However, the reality is that if profits are accruing to only one part of the supply chain—which seems to be the case here—then eventually the entire supply chain will be at risk.”

Read More

Island logging company calls it quits after 3 generations

By Andrew Duffy
Victoria Times Colonist
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Graham Lasure

After nearly 90 years in business, a stalwart of the forest industry on Vancouver Island said it is cutting it losses. Citing a timber tenure system that has handcuffed small contractors, W.D. Moore Logging based in Winter Harbour on the North Island will cease operations this month, lay off 25 staff and sell all its equipment. “It was a difficult decision. My family has run this company for three generations,” said owner Graham Lasure. He said the company used to report revenue between $6 million and $7 million annually. “But, like so many B.C. logging contractors, we just can’t make a reasonable return on our investment within the tenure oligopoly existing in B.C. today. “Geographically, there’s only one company I can work for, which makes meaningful contract negotiation impossible.”

Read More

The Future of Species at Risk Policy is a Question of Credibility

Ontario Forestry Coalition
September 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A coalition of municipal leaders, chambers of commerce, unions, and the forest sector are raising alarm bells that draft provincial species at risk policy will jeopardize jobs in northern and rural Ontario. The Ontario Forestry Coalition has been repeatedly requesting that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) consult with municipalities, Indigenous communities, and industry leaders to address the impact that the proposed species at risk policy will have on the forest sector. “Although NOMA initially graded the government as completely off track with regard to the Endangered Species Act, we sincerely appreciate Minister McGarry’s announcement that the posting of finalized species at risk policy will be suspended. We are now growing more and more concerned that even with the suspension of the policy, plans are in the works that will negatively impact the forest industry and those who rely on a robust sector to provide for their families,” said Wendy Landry, NOMA President and Mayor of Shuniah.

Read More

Canada’s Forest Workers Deserve the Truth

By Anthony Swift
NRDC Blog
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Last week the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) launched a campaign to advocate against protection for the boreal’s threatened woodland caribou, arguing that enforcing existing federal law will come at the expense of Canada’s forest workers. This argument has long been used by segments of the forest industry to pit environmental protections and organizations that advocate for them against forest workers and northern communities. However, a close look at Canadian government employment data and industry reports show this argument is a red herring. In Ontario and Quebec, where most of the logging in Canada’s boreal forest is taking place, Canadian labor statistics show the forest and logging industry reduced its payroll costs by nearly half from 2007 to 2014 with little impact on the volume of wood companies harvested from the forest. 

Read More

Lac Seul Forest makes the grade

Northern Ontario Business
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

More than one million hectares of the Lac Seul Forest now meets the world’s highest standards in sustainable forest management practices. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced Sept. 11 that Obishikokaang Resources Corporation, the Lac Seul Nation-based managers of the northwestern Ontario forest management unit, has met all the requirements of the certification process under the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard. Obishikokaang Resources Corporation is the second SFI certificate holder in Ontario. The corporation has managed the forest for the 800-member First Nation band, located southwest of Sioux Lookout, since 2012.

Read More

Queens County’s Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute hosting workshops

By Kathy Johnson
The Chronicle Herald
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wetlands and Woodlots will be the focus of a free, one-day workshop being held at the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute field station in Kempt, Queens County this Saturday. “The workshop is aimed at providing woodlot owners with the knowledge to make informed decisions when it comes to wetlands and woodlot management,” said Tarissa Holmes, MTRI forestry stewardship intern and research assistant. …The workshop is the first of three being offered by MTRI during September. 

Read More

Zinke directs more aggressive approach to prevent wildfires

By Matthew Daly
Associated Press in the Denver Post
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday directed all land managers and park superintendents to be more aggressive in cutting down small trees and underbrush to prevent wildfires as the smoke-choked West faces one of the worst fire seasons in a decade. In a memo, Zinke said the Trump administration will take a new approach and work proactively to prevent fires “through aggressive and scientific fuels reduction management” to save lives, homes and wildlife habitat. Wildfires are chewing across dried-out Western forests and grassland. To date, 47,700 wildfires have burned more than 8 million acres across the country, with much of the devastation in California, Oregon and Montana, Zinke said. …Zinke’s memo did not call for new spending, but he said federal officials “must be innovative” and use all tools available to prevent and fight fires. 

Read More

Senator DeBoer offers “solutions to our smoky skies”

KOBI-TV NBC 5 / KOTI-TV NBC 2
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Senator Alan DeBoer

Ashland, Ore. – Oregon State Senator Alan DeBoer said a model for forest management already at work in the Ashland Watershed can reduce wildfire risk state-wide. “I was fortunate as Mayor of Ashland to implement the first phase of former Mayor Cathy Shaw’s Ashland Forest Resilience Stewardship Project,” wrote the Republican senator. “That inclusive process places an emphasis on collaboration between the community, government officials, non-governmental organizations, scientists and others. DeBoer said the ten-year stewardship project is a partnership between The City of Ashland, the Lomakatsi Restoration Project, the Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. It’s aimed at reducing wildfire risk to the watershed so residents have stable access to drinking water.

Read More

Conservation Groups Raise Gorge Salvage Logging Concerns

By Courtney Flatt
Oregon Public Broadcasting
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As the smoke settles, people are asking how to heal the Northwest’s forests. What’s to be done with the blackened trees, spread across hillsides?  One sore spot for people is the Columbia River Gorge. In an effort to help rehabilitate the land, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has introduced a bill that would expedite a controversial logging practice in the National Scenic Area: salvage logging.  …But environmental groups said there are a lot of problems. …“This is a federal National Scenic Area and the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness Area,” said Michael Lang, conservation director with Friends of the Columbia Gorge. “Both of those federal laws have prohibitions to what Congressman Walden is discussing.” It’s too quick of a decision, Lang said — too much is still unknown about what actually has burned.

Read More

Forest service: Please don’t try to replant the Columbia River Gorge after Eagle Creek Fire

By Keely Chalmers
The Statesman Journal
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

TROUTDALE, Ore. — Organized and well-intentioned efforts to help replant and rebuild the Columbia River Gorge are popping up on social media. But the U.S. Forest Service is warning that those efforts could end up doing more harm than good. Friends of the Columbia Gorge has been getting lots of calls from people wanting to help replant the Gorge. …For people thinking of starting their own replanting efforts, the forest service says the best thing they can do is wait. “There’s a possibility they could be introducing non-native species to the Gorge, they could actually be doing more damage than actually restoring eco-systems in the Gorge,” said Lang. Lang also points out the entire Gorge is not destroyed, because the fire jumped from spot to spot.

Read More

Mitigate massive wildfires danger

By Don Brunell
The Columbian
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Don Brunell

At last count firefighters were battling 82 major wildfires in 10 Western states. The fires have already scorched 2,300 square miles of forests and range lands, dislocated thousands of people, and burned hundreds of homes and buildings. …The cost of fighting fires already broke this year’s U.S. Forest Service budget. It is part of a disturbing trend where combating these infernos jumped from 16 percent of the agency’s budget in 1995 to 52 percent in 2015. …The point is special funding requests for natural disasters will become more difficult to obtain. So, it is time to revisit the way we are managing our forests. John Bailey, a professor of forest management at Oregon State University… believes “part of the solution is thinning forests through logging, prescribed burns and allowing naturally occurring fires to be managed instead of extinguished.”

Read More

Logging trucks to begin hauling along Forest Service Road 141 near Parks

By Wendy Howell
Williams-Grand Canyon News
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Tree removal has begun on a 1,039-acre project on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest associated with the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI). …Harvesting operations recently began in the area and are expected to be completed by the end of this year, depending on weather conditions over the next few months. …The objectives of the Community Tank Timber Sale are to reduce fuel loading and the potential for future high-intensity wildfires and to improve forest health and watershed conditions. The thinning and logging work occurring on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest is associated with 4FRI.

Read More

Colorado State Forest firewood sale offers low-cost wood, reduces fire risk

By Sally Roth
North Forty News
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) is offering firewood from the Colorado State Forest in north-central Colorado for $10 per cord. The CSFS is selling self-serve permits for the low fee to encourage citizens to help remove a buildup of dead wood in the area that inhibits new growth and could fuel an intense wildfire. Removing wood will also help reduce logging debris in the vicinity of main roads and trails, to address public safety concerns and improve aesthetics.

Read More

Tiny pine beetles a giant scourge on Alabama’s timber industry

Montgomery Advertiser
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

For such a small bug, it’s creating huge problems. The Southern pine beetle is gnawing its way through woodlands in the state, killing trees and profits. Money really does grow on trees in Alabama. Agriculture is the Number One industry in the state, generating a yearly economic impact of $70.4 billion, according to the Alabama Farmers Federation. …Since 85 percent of the state’s timberland is owned by private individuals, it’s easy to see how wide-spread SPB infestations can hit in homes, and bank accounts, across the state. Those pine plantations you drive by are more than trees planted in neat rows.

 

Read More

Protesters fight to save ‘old-growth forest’ marked for logging

By Heather McNeill
WA Today, Australia
September 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A petition signed by thousands opposing the clearing of potentially old growth forest in the state’s south west has been handed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, with protesters vowing to “stop the chainsaws” if logging in the area resumed. More than 100 protesters gathered on the steps of Parliament House on Wednesday to stop the logging of a five kilometre stretch of the Barrabup Forest in Nannup. Clearing of the area by the Forest Product Commission was recently put on hold pending the outcome of an old-growth assessment and Indigenous heritage survey after angry locals noticed trees in the area had been marked for logging and a road cleared.

Read More

Qld’s biggest forest grower steps up vigilance in peak fire conditions

By Kylie Bartholomew and Bruce Atkinson
ABC News, Australia
September 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Queensland’s largest forestry grower says arson accounts for more than half of fires on its Sunshine Coast property. HQ Plantations manages 340,000 hectares of forest nationally, including 25,000 hectares alongside the Bruce Highway between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane. Fire manager Leigh Kleinschmidt said while some fires began by accident, lightning, or mechanical sparks, arson was the company’s biggest threat in the forest. “At the Beerburrum area, we have around 150 fires we respond to on an annual basis and 50 per cent of those relate to arson,” he said. …So how to spot a fire among thousands of hectares of forest? Mr Kleinschmidt said there were numerous lookout vantage points, which doubled as fire towers, as well as fire detection cameras fixed to high mountain points that provided vital vision.

Read More

Forest fires-2017. In Russia hide the truth about the scale of the disaster

The Mice Times of Asia
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Summer of 2017 is not a record number of forest fires, but he still has all chances to be among the leaders for the past 18 years. According to official data, “Avialesookhrana” on 10 September, with the beginning of 2017 in Russia there were 10 475 forest fires with a total area of 4 632 358 hectares. However, experts are independent environmental organisations believe the real figure could be materially different from what we are told of the Ministry, and the silencing of objective information on the extent of forest fires is the main cause of uncontrollable natural disasters.

Read More

Tokyo 2020 rejects NGO claims over timber providers

By Karolos Grohmann
Reuters
September 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LIMA – Organizers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Tuesday rejected allegations by 47 non-governmental organizations that they had used companies with suspect logging track records, saying all material purchased was strictly regulated. In an open letter to the IOC on Monday the NGOs, including Greenpeace, said there was mounting evidence the Tokyo Games were using timber through companies associated with illegal logging and human and labor rights violations. …The spokesman told Reuters previous allegations in April about the use of illegal timber had been taken back by some NGOs after a meeting with Tokyo Games officials.”Tokyo 2020 has published a general sustainable sourcing code and a sustainable sourcing code specifically governing timber”.

Read More

Forest Fires

Water bombers back in the skies fighting ‘Goliath of a fire’ in Waterton Lakes National Park

By Ryan Rumbolt
CBC News
September 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Aerial firefighting crews are once again attacking the Kenow wildfire near the Waterton townsite after poor weather conditions kept aircraft grounded for most of Monday. “Planes were going up and down 400 feet on their own, and when you’re 200 feet off the trees, that’s not good,” said Mark Missal, air attack officer supervising the air tanker operations in Waterton. Missal said winds on Monday were reported at 92 kilometres an hour, gusting to 151 km/h. Winds were so strong on Sunday, Missal said, he hit his head on the roof of an aircraft while wearing four seatbelts. “And everything in the back of the plane is blown all over the place even though it’s strapped down,” he said. “And we’re just going, ‘this is not worth it, someone’s going to get hurt.'”

Read More

9,500 hectares burned

Castanet
September 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Wildfire Service continues to hang back and let the Diamond Creek wildfire burn between Manning and Cathedral Provincial parks. The fire has now scorched an estimated 9,500 hectares of B.C. soil since jumping the border from Washington State on Aug. 29. Across the two countries, the fire has burned around 48,000 hectares of forest. “Right now, besides just monitoring the fire the crews are also assessing and establishing contingency lines that are well ahead of the fire,” fire information officer Max Birkner said.

Read More

Extreme forest fire hazard in Northwest Ontario

By Ryan Forbes
Kenora Online
September 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Even though the summer season is drifting away, residents should still practice fire safety. With high winds in the area recently, the forest fire hazard is high across the region, with a number of areas showing extreme hazards. There were nine new fires confirmed in the region recently, for a total of 59 active fires. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry note that the fires are a mixture of lightning, and human-caused fires. The areas of Kenora, Dryden, Fort Frances, Sioux Lookout, and Red Lake are all dealing with the fires.

Read More

Wildfire in Crazies grows to thousands of acres

By Michael Wright
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
September 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The fire on the east side of the Crazy Mountains just kept growing on Tuesday. Fire spokeswoman Erin Fryer said the Blacktail fire grew to “several thousand acres” by about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, but declined to give a hard number until fire crews use a GPS to establish the fire’s perimeter. The initial estimate for the fire’s size on Tuesday morning was 500 acres, and Fryer said wind and relative humidity kept the blaze moving throughout the day. “It did definitely grow quite a bit,” Fryer said. She said they were hoping to get a GPS reading on Tuesday night.

Read More

Chetco Bar Fire efforts continue

By Scott Graves
The Curry Coastal Pilot
September 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Fire officials Tuesday described the behavior of the Chetco Bar Fire burning near Brookings as “smoldering, backing, and creeping,” but otherwise not threatening any more structures or prompting any evacuations. At the same, time a new wildfire was reported Monday on the northeast border of Curry and Josephine counties. “Firefighters on all sides of the fire have been actively engaged, prioritizing safety and operational effectiveness,” according to an update released Tuesday by Inciweb fire officials. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Chetco Bar Fire had burned about 185,000 acres. There was about 1,500 fire personnel battling the fire.

Read More

Oregon State Government Adapts As Wildfires Take Their Toll

By Chris Lehman
Oregon Public Broadcasting
September 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

When wildfires are burning around the state, it’s hard for the Oregon Department of Forestry to focus on anything else. During a recent meeting of the Oregon Board of Forestry, state forester Peter Daugherty repeatedly explained how the agency has had to put a lot of routine forest management work — including fire prevention — on hold this summer. “Pretty much all my time over the past month has been focused on the fire season,” Daugherty said. It’s not a new problem for the Department of Forestry. An audit by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office last year concluded that the agency is “fighting more severe fires with about the same number of employees it had nearly 20 years ago.” Auditors said that’s left the agency’s employees over-worked and over-stressed.

Read More

Columbia gorge fire now covers almost 35,600 acres; blaze 11% contained

By Jim Ryan
The Oregonian
September 12, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The Eagle Creek fire now covers almost 35,600 acres and is 11 percent contained — a jump in both acreage and containment from last week. The acreage growth is due to natural progression of the blaze, areas consumed by burnout operations and better mapping, fire spokesman Jim Whittington said Tuesday. He said the areas of containment are along the Interstate 84 corridor and on the western tip of the fire, which has been burning since Sept. 2. “Where we designate containment in the future is probably more important than the actual percentage of containment because … we’re not going to reach 100 percent on this fire until we get some significant winter weather event,” he said.

Read More