Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: July 2018

Today’s Takeaway

A new kind of seismic surveying offers promise for exploration without seismic lines

The Tree Frog Forestry News
July 27, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

A new kind of seismic surveying offers promise for Alberta’s oil sands exploration without seismic lines, which is good news for the caribou. In other Forestry news: the USFS Chief plans to make it easier for all kinds of businesses to work with and on National Forests; the US debate over the size of its National Monuments is back in court; a Montana judge ruled against logging in threatened grizzly bear habitat; and the McBride Community Forest in BC is in trouble for logging part of a riparian reserve.

In other news: the US trade truce with Europe puts the focus back on NAFTA, as Mexico and Canada put up a united front for a three-way deal with no sunset clause. 

Finally, there aren’t enough trees in Phoenix to offset the “urban heat island” phenomenon, where temperatures rise due to heat-retaining asphalt and concrete.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Mexico, Canada stress common front on three-way NAFTA deal with no sunset clause

The Associated Press in The National Post
July 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

MEXICO CITY — Mexican and Canadian officials said Wednesday that talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement will remain a three-way negotiation, despite suggestions by U.S. President Donald Trump that he might pursue separate trade deals with both countries. Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray says “Canada and Mexico not only share geography, history and friendship, but also principles and common goals, and we are a team and act as a team.” Visiting Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland “Canada very much believes in NAFTA as a trilateral agreement.” …Freeland said Canada also opposes a “sunset” clause proposed by Trump that would allow countries to opt out of the pact every five years.

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Touting trade truce with Europe, U.S. turns attention back to NAFTA, China

Reuters in the Globe and Mail
July 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The United States signalled on Thursday it is set to push ahead on trade talks with Canada and Mexico after agreeing to suspend hostilities over tariffs with Europe in a fragile deal that may clear the way for renewed pressure on China. A surprise deal struck on Wednesday will see Washington suspend the imposition of any new tariffs on the European Union, including a proposed 25 per cent levy on auto imports, and hold talks over tariffs on imports of European steel and aluminum. …One key aspect of the agreement, was that the two sides had agreed to work together to tackle China’s market abuses. …On the North American free-trade agreement talks with Canada and Mexico, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he was “hopeful that we’ll have an agreement in principal in the near future.”

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Unifor members ratify new contract with Canadian Kraft

By Unifor
Cision Newswire
July 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Pas, Manitoba – Members of Unifor Local 1403 have voted to ratify a new three-year collective agreement with the employer, Canadian Kraft Paper (CKP). “Thanks to the hard work of Unifor members, the CKP mill is successful and critical to the economy of this region,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “CKP is a great example of how unions, employers, and government can work together to help rural economies thrive.” Local 1403 represents 200 workers at the mill. After three months of talks, the bargaining committee secured a contract that improves wages and working conditions as well as providing stability to the mill and town. In the fall of 2016 Tolko announced it was closing the mill in December when it could not find a buyer. A U.S.-based company approached the former owners and the union and bought the mill on condition workers take a 10% wage rollback. 

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Province moves to protect pension money at Catalyst Paper

By Lindsay Kines
Victoria Times Colonist
July 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

The B.C. government moved Friday to protect pension benefits of salaried retirees and workers at Catalyst Paper in case the company is forced to take drastic action in the face of steep U.S. tariffs. The government has changed pension-relief regulations so that Catalyst would be required to immediately cover any pension shortfall if the company closes or sells mills at Port Alberni, Crofton and Powell River. Premier John Horgan said in an interview that the province began looking for ways to safeguard about 1,500 workers and nearly 1,000 pensioners after Catalyst sold off its U.S. assets in June. “We passed an order in council [Friday] morning that would ensure that pensioners — current and future — were not put at the bottom of the list … but were in fact a high priority in any sale or restructuring,” he said.

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Trump’s tariffs stifling Montana metal manufacturers, farmers; boosting lumber mills

By David Erickson
The Helene Independent Record
July 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

From soda cans to spring wheat to solar panels, all sectors of the U.S. economy have been affected by President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported materials and the resulting retaliations by foreign markets. In Montana, the tariffs have caused headaches for grain growers and metal products manufacturers, while the wood products industry has seen a resurgence. …One industry in Montana is thriving in part due to a 20 percent tariff on imported Canadian softwood lumber imposed by the Trump administration last November. The Montana wood products industry is doing better than it was in the last few years, according to Chuck Roady, the vice president of F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber in Columbia Falls and a board member of the Montana Wood Products Association.

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Weyerhaeuser continues to benefit from high OSB prices

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
July 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

US-American Weyerhaeuser Group increased its OSB sales in the second quarter by 19% year-on-year to US$509m. Average sales prices increased by 24%, exceeding the level achieved in the first quarter by 17%. According to Weyerhaeuser, prices have thus risen continuously by a total of 92% since the second quarter of 2015. Sales volumes declined by 2% in the same period, with deliveries of 754m sqft (3/8” basis) in the second quarter down 1% year-on-year. The sales volume of the MDF/HDF plant at Columbia Falls/Montana fell short of the previous year’s level by 8 %. ….Both prices (+23%) and sales volumes (+4%) for sawnwood increased, resulting in a 27% increase in sales to US$681 (538)m. …Total consolidated sales of the Wood Products Business Group rose 18% to US$1.525bn in the second quarter. 

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Weyco reports 57% increase in profits, record-breaking wood sales figures

By Zack Hale
Longview Daily News
July 28, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Weyerhaeuser Co. reported a second-straight spike in quarterly earnings growth Friday along with record-breaking wood product sales as the U.S. housing sector remained hot.The report coincides with a stalemate in contract talks between the company and its western woodworkers, including about 400 employees based in Longview.The company posted $332 million in second-quarter profits — a 57 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Net earnings were also up 20 percent from $275 million in the first quarter of this year. Net sales in the second quarter were $2.1 billion, up $300 million from a year earlier.And year-to-date monthly housing starts through June averaged approximately 1.3 million, up 8 percent from a year earlier, the company reported.Wood products contributed $349 million to second-quarter sales, a record for Weyerhaeuser and a 40 percent increase compared to a year ago.

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Boise Cascade fire posed challenges to firefighters

By Cherise Kaechele
The La Grande Observer
July 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

ISLAND CITY —A fire that caused damage to the Boise Cascade particleboard plant in Island City on Wednesday could have been much worse. La Grande Fire Department Chief Les Thomas said a report came in early Wednesday morning of a fire in a Boise Cascade storage facility. The La Grande Rural Fire Department had originally been the only department called to the scene. Thomas said the LGFD had been out on a medical call when it was requested for assistance. According to scanner traffic, there was not a rush to get to the scene. Conditions with the fire escalated, though. The storage facility is about three to four stories tall, Thomas said. The fire was located within the wall at one end of the warehouse behind a large sawdust pile. 

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First-ever NAWLA Regional Meeting in Minneapolis

North American Wholesale Lumber Association
July 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Next month, you can participate in valuable networking opportunities & set the stage for new business at the first-ever Minneapolis Regional Meeting. Join NAWLA members & colleagues on Thursday, Aug. 23 for education and networking. The featured speaker is Dr. Jim Bowyer, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. This presentation will outline the essential nature of life cycle assessment, examine its application to evaluation of construction materials, and present the outcome of recent assessments. Part 2 of the event will look at the current political climate and how it affects our segment/marketplace. Discussion will address NAFTA, EU, Canada, Mexico, and tariffs.

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Norbord’s Barton Mill up and running strong

By Wayne Clark
The Valley Times-News
July 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

VALLEY ALABAMA — In addition to being a very good employer for Chambers County, the Norbord Barton Mill in Huguley is a major player in the production of oriented strand board, better known as OSB. … Jon Anderson, the local plant’s human resources director, was the guest speaker at Monday’s meeting of the Valley Lions Club and talked about the local plant and Norbord’s impact in the global wood products industry. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Norbord is the world’s largest producer of OSB. The company has 17 mills in the U.S. and Canada and three in Europe. Anderson posed a question for members of the club: “Why are we in Alabama?” There’s a simple answer – the abundance of Southern yellow pine. Of course, there’s also a good climate, a good workforce to recruit from, low taxes and regulations, and a good quality of life.

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New Zealand log market getting ‘nervy’ over US-China trade stoush

By Tina Morrison
Scoop Independent News
July 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand’s booming export log market is starting to catch the jitters as concerns mount about the impact of US President Donald Trump’s trade war. Demand for New Zealand logs has been strong over recent years as local sawmills compete with the export market to source logs for local construction, at a time when demand in China has stepped up after Asia’s largest economy clamped down on the harvesting of its own forests and reduced tariffs on imported logs to meet demand in its local market. However, trade tensions between the US and China are creating nervousness in the market, as traders fear tariffs will hurt economic growth and dampen demand. “Positivity has permeated the industry, at least for those selling logs, for upwards of two-years,” AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick said in his latest monthly report on the forestry market.

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Global appetite for French timber

Timber Trades Journal
July 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

For the past year, the French economy has finally been sharing in the worldwide recovery and benefiting from trends that seeded first in the US before spreading globally. Consequently confidence has returned to French consumers and industry alike. But what has been driving the French lumber business has been first and foremost external factors. On the softwood side, France remains a net importer. Higher prices in the US and China, together with improved demand in the Netherlands and Germany have shifted many usual trade flows to new markets. So supply for once drifted lower than demand on the French market, allowing French sawmills to increase prices on January 1 and again in June. Demand remains especially strong in the packaging sector, where prices are almost at framework lumber price levels.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

100 Best Wood Architecture Projects in the US

Arch Daily
July 25, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Considered one of the noblest building materials – and also a favorite of many global architects – wood delivers aesthetic, structural, and practical value in the most versatile of ways. Through different techniques, such as crafted or prefabricated wood, wooden construction remains relevant not only in the history but also in the forefront of architecture and design (thanks to new technologies that have expanded its possibilities). From temporary pavilions to single-family homes and multi-story, large-scale institutions, wood has shown its value at the same level as many other structural materials such as steel, brick, or even concrete. This is especially prominent in the United States, where renowned architects are using new techniques to advance the solutions that this material can provide. Also, new regulations are allowing architects to further explore the diversity and possibilities of building with wood. With the help of ThinkWood, we’ve gathered 100 examples of the best wood structures in the United States.

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Bottleneck in site safety approvals

By Corin Williams
Materials Recycling World
July 30, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The UK is heading for something of a boom time for domestic consumption. But wood recyclers are again facing difficulties in getting their stacking arrangements approved by the Environ­ment Agency (EA) as they look to store larger amounts of material during the summer months. Although the Wood Recyclers Asso­ciation (WRA) said the EA has made progress in approving bespoke storage plans at individual sites, more needed to be done. …WRA executive director Julia Turner told MRW that “major growth” was expected in the sector, meaning it would soon require more waste wood than can be found in the UK. …A survey of WRA members found that, in 2017, around five million tonnes of waste wood was generated in the UK. Of this, around 3.7 million tonnes was recycled or reprocessed: 1.7 million tonnes to domestic biomass plants and the rest used for animal bedding, panel­board feedstock, landscaping and equestrian surfaces, among other things.

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Forestry

Consultants facing shorter leashes

By Les Leyne
The Prince George Citizen
July 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Anyone hoping that the “professional reliance” model in the resource-development sphere would be junked will probably be disappointed with the direction the NDP government is taking.  The practice of letting companies hire their own consultants to oversee compliance with regulations will likely carry on. Oversight is going to be beefed up. Standards will be more stringent. But there’s no expressed thought at this point of government taking back that big, costly responsibility. If you were comforted by the thought the woods would soon be crawling with new government inspectors, you’ll be disappointed with the recommendations from a recent review of the issue. On the other hand, some in the business and resource sectors are unhappy even with a review, and insist there is no problem.

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Quesnel council wants money to advance forestry think tank

By George Henderson
My Cariboo Now
July 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Simpson

Quesnel City Council has endorsed an application to the BC Rural Dividend Fund for a quarter of a million dollars to further advance the work coming out of this year’s Forestry Think Tank in Quesnel. Mayor Bob Simpson says the money would be used to pay for two people. “So they’re re-thinking forest management, landscape level planning, coordinating all of the research activities necessary around that. That is in full flight, that project is advancing.” Simpson says all of that work is being done off the side of a desk right now. He says they need someone to own this project to make sure that everybody is delivering on what they need to deliver on, that meetings are facilitated and research is coordinated. Simpson says the second person would focus on the re-inventing of the forest sector to match the changing fibre coming off of the landbase.

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Community Forest infractions “embarrassing”

By Andru McCracken
The Rocky Mountain Goat
July 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The McBride Community Forest Corporation is in trouble again for logging practices done in 2015. “We got another charge from government for inappropriate activities,” said current MCFC manager Gene Runtz. “The community forest had cut in a riparian reserve.” …Runtz said the offence happened in 2015, under the jurisdiction of a previous Community Forest Manager and was reported to the authorities by the community forest. …“They logged just a small piece, under one tenth of a hectare,” said Runtz. “They didn’t realize it was in a reserve. It hadn’t been identified properly. It should have been identified.” …District Manager Huybers said the main thing is to prevent environmental damage and inform management practices so the offence doesn’t reoccur. …“Mistakes happen in the forest; some can be prevented. Others are more challenging to prevent 100% of the time,” said Huybers.

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Wildfires cause havoc for humans, but not mule deer

By Cali Berry
The Northern View
July 28, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

While fires cause havoc for humans, our wild neighbours adapt easily. Karen Hodge, professor of conservation ecology at UBC Okanagan, said wildfires are a part of any wild, Okanagan animal’s genetic history. “Wildfires are a normal part of forest ecology. They’ve been burning since glaciation. They’re scary for people because we don’t like breathing the smoke and we like to protect our resources and our houses and our roads, but it’s utterly normal that there are fires every year, some are worse than others, and animals will just redistribute to habitats they like best,” she said. It’s normal for animals to migrate away from a wildfire, if possible, and others may die, but overall, she said, they’re “incredibly flexible in their behaviours.”

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Wolverines need the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act

By Mike Garrity, Alliance for the Wild Rockies
Idaho State Journal
July 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wolverines are very reclusive animals, so when a wolverine family was caught on video cajoling in Montana’s Sapphire Mountains this summer it was an opportunity to reflect on what it will take to keep this imperiled native species from going extinct. Like Montana, Idaho is lucky to still have wolverines, as well as most of the species that were here when Lewis and Clark traveled through the area over two hundred years ago. It’s worth noting that the Sapphire Mountains are currently protected as a Wilderness Study Area, which calls into question the recent efforts by the Trump administration and Congress to remove Wilderness Study Areas and open millions of acres of federal lands to industrial development and resource extraction.

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Timber titan John Richards dies at 81

By Maureen Dolan
Coeur d’Alene Press
July 28, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

John Richards

COEUR d’ALENE — John Richards influenced many lives in a profound, positive way. Not because he was a CEO.  Not because he earned his bachelor’s degree at Stanford. Not because he held an MBA from Harvard. “He treated everyone like they were equal or better. I think that’s why he was so loved,” said Joy Richards, John’s wife of 34 years. John, a former chairman of the Potlatch Corp., died Wednesday at Hospice of North Idaho. He was 81. He grew up in Hayden Lake, attended Hayden Lake Elementary and graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School. John came from a family of pioneers in the lumber industry, a family with deep roots in Kootenai County. For decades, Idaho Forest Industries was the Richards family business, until 2000 when IFI’s three North Idaho sawmills and 89,000 acres of timberland were sold to Stimson Lumber Co.

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Court rules against logging project in northwestern Montana

Associated Press in The Missoulian
July 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA — A federal appeals court has ruled against a proposed logging project in Montana’s Kootenai National Forest. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the U.S. Forest Service improperly calculated whether the project would exceed limits set for road construction in threatened grizzly bear habitat. The judges sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, who approved the East Reservoir logging project in 2016. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies sued in 2015 to block the 143-square-mile (370-square-kilometer) project on the east side of Lake Koocanusa. The environmental group argued the logging would harm the habitat of grizzly bears and other threatened species, such as bull trout and lynx.

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Trump administration backing Obama proclamation in Oregon

By Andrew Selsky
Associated Press in The Times and Democrat
July 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM, Ore. — A dispute over acts of Congress in 1906 and 1937 has put the Trump administration in court — and into the unusual position of supporting a proclamation by former President Barack Obama. Contrary to President Donald Trump’s numerous efforts to shred Obama’s legacy, U.S. Justice Department lawyers are in Obama’s corner as they defend his expansion of a national monument in Oregon. That puts the Trump administration in direct opposition with timber interests that Trump vowed to defend in a May 2016 campaign speech in Eugene, 110 miles south of Portland. However, that opposition may be temporary in a case full of ironic twists that centers on a unique habitat where three mountain ranges converge. It is home to more than 200 bird species, the imperiled Oregon spotted frog, deer, elk and many kinds of fish, including the endangered Lost River sucker. 

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Bulk of timber exports from Papua New Guinea won’t pass legal test

By Ben Doherty
The Guardian
July 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Millions of tonnes of illegally logged timber, felled from forests across Papua New Guinea, are being exported to China and from there to the world as finished wood products, a new report from Global Witness has revealed. Global Witness’s investigation has found that the majority of logging operations in PNG are underpinned by government-issued permits, which are often illegally “extended” and which fail to enforce laws surrounding logging in prohibited and ecologically sensitive areas. “An assessment of legality risks in most of the world’s timber-producing countries found PNG’s timber to be among the riskiest, with potential illegalities including corruption and bribery in the issuance of permits, failure to follow the logging code of practice, and logging without the consent of indigenous landowners,” the report says. The issue of illegal logging has been consistently exposed in PNG over decades…

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VicForests says experiment ‘very likely’ to kill threatened glider, continues research

By Michael Slezak
ABC News, Australia
July 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A government-owned logging company is conducting a controversial experiment expected to kill native animals that are already heading toward extinction, the ABC can reveal. VicForests is owned by the Victorian Government and logs native forests for profit under exemptions to federal environment law. It is now logging parts of East Gippsland forest at different intensities to measure survival rates of the threatened greater gliders that call it home. VicForests argued the research would assist the conservation of the species, but acknowledged it was likely to kill some of them. In an email seen by the ABC that addressed similar logging nearby, VicForests’ staff acknowledged deaths were likely. “It is unfortunate that some individuals have to die in the process, but we really need to look at the big picture here,” a VicForests ecologist wrote.

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Sweden wildfires spark criticism of forest industry

By Gael Branchereau
The Local
July 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International
Critics are accusing Sweden’s forest industry of having rolled out a “red carpet” for blazes, sacrificing biodiversity for profit. Forests, sacred in ancient Norse mythology, still cover 70 percent of Sweden’s territory. They play an important part in its modern economy by supplying the raw material to make Sweden the world’s third largest exporter of paper, cellulose and wood products while employing 100,000 people. …The possessors of the “green gold” are of high status and powerful: Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf himself is a prosperous forest owner.Controversy spread as fast as the wildfires when industry operators were criticized for their role in the crisis.”Flat landscapes stretching long distances with closely situated pine forests are a red carpet for blazing storms and massive fires,” writer Sven Olov Karlsson noted in a column for the tabloid Expressen.

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Lord of the forest: New Zealand’s most sacred tree is under threat from disease, but response is slow

By Matthew Hall
The Conversation
July 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tāne Mahuta is Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest living being – but the 45m tall, 2,500-year-old kauri tree is under severe threat from a devastating disease. Nearly a decade after the discovery of kauri dieback disease, it is continuing to spread largely unchecked through the northern part of the North Island. Thousands of kauri trees have likely been infected and are now dead or dying. The Waipoua forest, home of Tāne Mahuta and many other majestic kauri, is reported to be one of the worst affected areas. For Māori, who trace their whakapapa (lineage) to the origins of the earth, Tāne Mahuta is kin. The threat of losing this tree should electrify the fight against kauri dieback. …Kauri dieback has been recorded metres from this ancient tree, despite the best efforts of a prevention programme that has been in place since 2009. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Experts Say Urban Sprawl, Climate Change Hike Wildfire Risk

Associated Press in the New York Times
July 28, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

REDDING, Calif. — A fire that started in a rural community in Northern California underscored a new reality in the state when days later it suddenly roared through neighborhoods on the edge of the city of Redding: Urban areas are increasingly vulnerable to wildfires. In the last year, neighborhoods in the Northern California wine country city of Santa Rosa and the Southern California beach city of Ventura have been devastated. Hotter weather attributed to climate change is drying out vegetation, creating more intense fires that spread quickly from rural areas to city subdivisions, climate and fire experts say. But they also blame municipalities that are expanding housing into previously undeveloped areas. …”There are just places were there should not be subdivisions,” said Kurt Henke, a former fire chief in Sacramento …”More people living in high fire risk areas than usual.”

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As Phoenix sizzles, ‘urban island’ phenomenon compounds heat

By Anita Snow
Associated Press in AZ Family
July 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Arizona’s largest city is an “urban heat island,” a phenomenon that pushes up temperatures in areas covered in heat-retaining asphalt and concrete. Phoenix on Wednesday recorded a sweltering 116 degrees (46 Celsius), setting a new high for the date. Phoenix officials say they are tackling urban warming, monitoring downtown temperatures, planting thousands of trees and capturing rainwater to cool off public spaces. …But climate specialists like Brian Stone, who runs the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Urban Climate Lab, said more is needed.  In urban heat islands, solar radiation and hot air from vehicles and buildings get trapped between high-rises. There aren’t enough trees to provide shade and evaporative cooling that can bring down temperatures. “We are working against a pronounced warming trend in large cities, and so it will require a substantial resurfacing of urban environments simply to slow the rate of warming,” Stone said.

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Science Says: Record heat, fires worsened by climate change

Associated Press in Vancouver Sun
July 28, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Heat waves are setting all-time temperature records across the globe, again. Europe suffered its deadliest wildfire in more than a century, and one of nearly 90 large fires in the U.S. West burned dozens of homes and forced the evacuation of at least 37,000 people near Redding, California. Flood-inducing downpours have pounded the U.S. East this week. It’s all part of summer — but it’s all being made worse by human-caused climate change, scientists say. “Weirdness abounds,” said Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis. …“We now have very strong evidence that global warming has already put a thumb on the scales, upping the odds of extremes like severe heat and heavy rainfall,” Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh said. …Climate change is making the world warmer because of the build-up of heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil and other human activities. 

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Forest Fires

B.C. wildfires map 2018: Current location of wildfires around the province

By Amy Judd
Global News
July 28, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The wildfire season has kicked off in B.C. and we are tracking the location of the wildfires around the province. As of Saturday, there are five “wildfires of note”, all in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the Okanagan. Smoke is visible in many communities and an air quality advisory has been issued due to the smoke for more than a dozen regions in B.C. The biggest concern right now is the rising heat in the interior. Temperatures are expected to climb way past 30 degrees this weekend. About 300 firefighters are currently working to fight the wildfires of note. The BC Wildfire Service has provided a map of where the fires are located (it may not load in high traffic times so you might need to be patient). The larger icons are the wildfires of note.

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Alberta firefighter dies while battling Ontario wildfires

Canadian Press in CTV News
July 27, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jerry Gadwa

RED LAKE, Ont. — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says an Alberta firefighter has died unexpectedly while he was helping fight wildfires in Ontario. In a statement Friday, Notley said that Jerry Gadwa, a resident of Kehewin Cree First Nation in Alberta, was helping with firefighting efforts near the town of Red Lake, Ont., about 100 km east of the Manitoba boundary, when he died Thursday. “On behalf of the Government of Alberta, I want to offer our deepest condolences and support to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Gadwa,” Notley said. “As Albertans, we know all too well the sacrifices of our firefighters and first responders…. Mr. Gadwa’s brave and selfless actions will be remembered.” Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry confirmed an Alberta wildland firefighter died in northwestern Ontario.

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A dozen fires in northeastern Ont. still out of control

Canadian Press in CTV News
July 29, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources says dozens of forest fires remain out of control, with the largest in the province’s northeast now measuring more than 82 square kilometres. According to the ministry’s website, there were 39 active fires in the northeastern part of the province as of Saturday evening, and 14 of them were out of control. The largest in northeastern Ontario, known as Parry Sound 33 blaze, has been raging for more than a week, and continues to threaten a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway and a Canadian National Railway line.  Ministry spokesman Shayne McCool says ground crews, aided by water bombers and helicopters, attacked the fire’s perimeter on Saturday “with generally good results.” But McCool says if the smoke is heavy enough, police may close a portion of the Trans-Canada, designated Highway 69 in the region.

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Forest fire update: Crews look to gain edge on Parry Sound 33 today

CBC News
July 29, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There were no new fires reported by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on Sunday, but crews continue to battle 39 active forest fires across northeastern Ontario. Twelve of those fires are not yet under control, including Parry Sound 33, which has caused the evacuation of Key Harbour and Henvey Inlet First Nation. Ontario’s forest fire information map showed Sunday morning the fire had grown to about 8,224 hectares in size. In a release, the ministry stated that winds blowing from the southwest will keep crews busy along the portion closest to Highway 69. The ministry said the fire was about seven kilometres from the highway overnight into Sunday. “Priority remains along the northeast side of the fire with fingers extending towards the CN rail line, as minimal movement occurred across the tracks. Minimal growth along the southwest portion of the fire occurred,” the MNRF said.

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16 of 49 Ontario forest fires not under control, officials say

CTV News
July 26, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

With the help of Mother Nature and friends as far as Mexico, firefighters in northeast Ontario extinguished seven fires in the area Wednesday. The number of active fires has dropped to 49, with 16 still not under control. “We are getting a little bit of a help from Mother Nature, especially in the northern areas,” said Shayne McCool, a fire information officer for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Late Monday there were 55 active fires in the northeastern portion of the province and 21 were out of control. On Wednesday, two new fires popped up in the area near Hearst, Ont., and another near Longlac, Ont. But firefighters have been able to make progress in preventing further expansion of many of the fires partly in thanks to rain, cloud cover and humid weather, but also with help of more than 500 extra staff from out of the province.

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Death toll rises to 5 in northern California wildfire

Associated Press in CBC News
July 28, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

The death count from a rapidly growing Northern California wildfire rose to five Saturday after two young children and their great-grandmother who had been unaccounted for were confirmed dead. “My babies are dead,” Sherry Bledsoe said through tears after she and family members met with Shasta County sheriff’s deputies. Bledsoe’s two children, James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4, were stranded with her grandmother Melody Bledsoe, 70, when fire swept through the rural area where they were staying Thursday. The three were among more than a dozen people reported missing after the furious wind-driven blaze took residents by surprise and levelled several neighbourhoods. Don Smith, an 81-year-old bulldozer operator from Pollock Pines, was killed when he was overtaken by the blaze while helping to clear vegetation in the wildfire’s path.

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Fatal wildfire rips through California towns; residents flee

By Jonathan J. Cooper and Amanda Lee Myers
Associated Press in the Longview Daily News
July 27, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

REDDING, Calif.  — An explosive wildfire tore through two small Northern California communities Thursday before reaching the city of Redding, killing a bulldozer operator on the fire lines, burning three firefighters, destroying dozens of homes and forcing thousands of terrified residents to flee. Flames swept through the communities of Shasta and Keswick before jumping the Sacramento River and reaching Redding, a city of about 92,000 people and the largest in the region.The so-called Carr Fire is “taking down everything in its path,”  said Scott McLean, a CalFire spokesman for the crews battling the blaze. “It’s just a wall of flames,” he said.Residents of western Redding who hadn’t been under evacuation orders were caught off guard and had to flee with little notice, causing miles-long traffic jams as flames turned the skies orange.

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Southern Oregon wildfires: Growth slows, but temperatures continue to soar

By David Davis and Zach Urness
Statesman Journal
July 25, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A red flag warning has been issued for Southern Oregon, which could mean an active day of wildfires across the region.  Gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidity could bring a difficult day, fire officials said Thursday morning.   Triple digit temperatures and air quality alerts continued across southwestern Oregon Tuesday as nine large wildfires in the region continued to burn. Thick smoke is expected to continue to cloud the Rogue Valley for the rest of the week, bringing hazardous air quality to cities including Ashland, Medford and Grants Pass. Due to deteriorating air quality, officials recommended wearing a mask outdoors and said sensitive populations, such as small children and pregnant women, might consider leaving town. The good news is that crews are making progress in containing the blazes. That’s particularly true of the area’s two most dangerous fires — Taylor Creek near Grants Pass and Grave Creek near Wimer. 

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Death toll from Greek wildfire reaches 91 as village grieves

By Costas Kantouris and Demetris Nellas
Associated Press in the St. Louis Dispatch
July 29, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

MATI, Greece — Fire officials in Greece raised the death toll from a wildfire that raged through a coastal area east of Athens to 91 and reported that 25 people were missing Sunday, six days after Europe’s deadliest forest fire in more than a century. …The fire sped flames through the village of Mati, a popular resort spot, without warning on July 23. A database maintained by the Centre for the Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in Brussels shows it as the deadliest wildfire in Europe since 1900. …Hellenic Fire Service spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri provided a breakdown that illustrated why the death toll continued to expand and the list of people thought to be missing was difficult to draw up with precision.

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Firefighters in Europe face another obstacle as forest fires rage: unexploded WWII ammunition

by Rick Noack
The Washington Post
July 27, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Record heat waves and widespread droughts have left their scars this summer — from massive wildfires across Siberia to devastating blazes in Greece that left more than 85 people dead. In Germany, firefighters are now encountering a new challenge: WWII-era ammunition being set off by the flames.Firefighters used a tank to tackle a blaze near Berlin, as fears over WWII  ammunition explosions mounted. Tens of thousands of unexploded bombs and other types of ammunition are still hidden beneath cities and in forests across the country, which regularly results in evacuations as specialists work to defuse the still-lethal war remnants. Defusing WWII ammunition is not an option when a blaze is raging right around them, however.

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