Tag: British Columbia

Wildfires in western Canada on near-record pace

More than 1 million acres burned so far

On July 11, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of wildfire smoke filling valleys in southern British Columbia. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red. Hundreds of wildfires were burning in the province on that day, according to the British Columbia Wildfire Service.

Staff Report

Canada is on track for a near-record wildfire season this year. So far, there have been more than 500 fires just in British Columbia, burning across more than 1 million acres. Firefighting costs have already reached more than $172 million, and weeks of warm and dry weather will keep the fire danger high.

Most of the fires have been in three main areas, according to NASA, which has been tracking the burned areas via satellites. Most affected are the  Frasier Plateau  north of Vancouver, the Thomas Plateau, east of Whistler, and the region east of Kamloops. Continue reading “Wildfires in western Canada on near-record pace”

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Forests: Tracing the cause of yellow-cedar mortality

Widespread yellow cedar mortality in Alaska has been atrributed to root-freeze. PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS.

Low-snow freezes blamed for killing vast stands of culturally and economically important trees in Alaska

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Forest Service scientists say huge Alaska tracts of yellow-cedar trees have been dying because their roots are freezing during cold weather in late winter and early spring, when there’s no snow to protect the roots.

Most climate models suggest that coastal Alaska will less snow but a persistence of periodic cold weather events in the future.

Yellow-cedar is a culturally and economically valuable tree in southeastern Alaska and adjacent parts of British Columbia. The slow-growing trees can reach 700 to 1,200 years in age. The tree has long been culturally significant to Native Alaskans who use it to make paddles, masks, dishes, and woven items. The wood is also very valuable commercially (for home and boat building) because of its straight grain, durability, and resistance to insects. Continue reading “Forests: Tracing the cause of yellow-cedar mortality”