FPInnovations’ Wildfire Operations Advisory group has asked its researchers to explore a method by which the performance of water-enhancing products can be repeatedly assessed in the laboratory. A new test method, known as the crib test, was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of water-enhancing products on burning woody fuel to simulate direct-attack aerial operations.
This report outlines the methodology for the crib test and describes the findings from performance evaluation tests conducted at the Protective Clothing and Equipment Research Facility (PCERF) at the University of Alberta.
The USDA Forest Service’s Qualified Product List (QPL) provides guidance on the range of permissible mix ratios for water-enhancer products. Due to the proprietary nature of water-enhancer products, there are several unknowns about the rheology of the permissible mix ratios.
This study focused on mapping the viscosity of various suppressant products as a function of their mix ratios. The results revealed a wide range of viscosities across products, with each product showing a different non-linear relationship with different mix ratios.
The results from this study can help understand the optimum viscosity range to achieve desired drop characteristics during aerial operations.
The aim of this study was to capture data on area-based water delivery systems, specifically in the context of logistics, systems differentiation, water delivery, and its localized effects. FPInnovations successfully collaborated with Fire & Flood to obtain this data. A two-day test was executed during which Fire & Flood set up their 4- and 12-inch systems and carried out sprinkler operations.
A methodology was developed to evaluate the performance of different commercially available siding materials when exposed to high and low radiant heat loads. The materials evaluated in this study were engineered wood, fibre cement board, cedar siding, and vinyl siding. The time to ignition of the wall prototypes was used to evaluate the performance of these materials.
The Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AFF) Wildfire Management Branch Ignition Specialists Working Group has endorsed a collaborative project to develop a redesigned helitorch. The goal of this project is to have an acceptable and proven replacement helitorch based on extensive testing.
This presentation discusses services for logging contractors to help develop their skills in their operational and financial performances. Involvement and engagement with First Nations and using DiagFor are two of the topics presented.
Information on the webinar series developed in coordination with and with funding from the British Columbia, Ministry of Frests, Land, Natioanl Resource Operations and Rural Development. Webinar information for January 14, 2021
Evaluation of forest environments to assess fuel loading using conventional inventory methods is labour-intensive, time-consuming, and requires extensive training to be completed correctly. Fuels managers would like to apply simpler, less expensive fuel sampling methods and still maintain acceptable accuracy in fuel load measurements.
FPInnovations has explored different fuel sampling techniques that may be applicable to the forest stands of central British Columbia. The photoload sampling technique was deemed to be a valuable tool that can be enhanced to suitably represent the forest fuels in Interior Douglas-fir environments and can be adapted to other fuel environments with appropriate amendments.
This guide provides guidance for equipment
operators for construction of commonly prescribed
road deactivation structures. Timber sale licence
(TSL) holders and contractors can use this guide as
a reference in achieving conformance to a prepared
Canadian regulators utilize the ESAL concept for vehicle impact evaluations and(or) pavement design. Unfortunately, TAC’s ESAL equations do not account for tire size and, consequently, overestimate steering axle impacts when those axles are equipped with widebase steering tires. Many new vehicles proposed for use in Canada feature tridem-drive tractors and heavily loaded steering axles—these heavy loads necessitate the use of widebase steering tires. In order to optimize high efficiency truck configurations in Canada, therefore, accurate estimates of widebase steering tire ESALs are needed. This work describes a methodology to estimate ESALs for widebase steering tires. These ESAL equations were used to justify an increase in steering axle weights for B.C. 9-axle log B-trains.
Mulching is a common method of fuel treatment. However, it is not currently listed by the U.S. Forest Service as a fuel type in its recommendations for fire retardant coverage levels. FPInnovations researchers set up plots with different coverage levels of retardant on a mulch fuel bed and collected fire behaviour data when a fire interacted with these plots. The results are intended to help wildfire agencies understand the effectiveness of retardant on mulch fuels in developing better suppression plans.
Given the benefits that resource roads provide to economic and social well-being, it is important to understand the impacts of a changing climate on resource roads and infrastructure. As the forest industry and governments move toward creating resource roads that are resilient to climate change, an early step in the adaptive management process is to assess the risks and vulnerabilities of infrastructure to climate change.
As part of FPInnovations’ and BC Forest Safety Council’s ongoing evaluation of fatigue management technology, Seeing Machines’ Guardian Gen 2, an eye-tracking–based driver assistance system that monitors driver fatigue and distraction, was evaluated in Interior B.C. log-hauling operations. In addition, driver fatigue scores based on a wristband technology, Readiband, were correlated with the drivers’ reported scores to verify the fatigue level in the participating fleets. The study findings, participants’ feedback, and onboard device performance are summarized in this report.
Évaluation du Guardian, le système embarqué de surveillance de La Fatigue de 2e génération de Seeing Machines, dans le cadre des activités de transport de billes dans l'intérieur de la Colombie-Britannique
Dans le cadre de l’évaluation en cours des technologies de gestion de la fatigue réalisée par FPInnovations et le Conseil de la sécurité forestière de la C.-B., le Guardian de deuxième génération de Seeing Machines, un système de suivi des mouvements des yeux qui surveille la fatigue et la distraction chez les conducteurs, a fait l’objet d’une évaluation lors des activités de transport de billes dans l’intérieur de la C.-B. De plus, les pointages de la fatigue des conducteurs, établis selon le bracelet Readiband, ont été corrélées avec les pointages déclarés par les conducteurs afin de vérifier le niveau de fatigue chez les conducteurs des flottes prenant part à l’évaluation. Les résultats de l’étude, la rétroaction des participants et le rendement du dispositif embarqué sont résumés dans le présent rapport.
Data was collected within a burned out area on a steep mountain slope as part of FPInnovations’s Survival Zone project. The fire was a prescribed burn carried out by Parks Canada in Jasper National Park. The data collected shows that in this one instance, that temperatures and heat flux values fell within survivable range for firefighters wearing PPE. This report does not condone firefighters above a fire on a steep slope, but rather this PB was used as a data collecting opportunity.
The National Fuels Management Reference Database was designed to collect data on wildland fuel treatment implementation and maintenance. This information is relevant to the Emergency Management Strategy in understanding where fuel treatments are located and how they were applied. FPInnovations reviewed the current status and use of the database and data depositories within wildfire management agencies. Combined with the findings of wildfire risk assessment experts’ data requirements, recommendations were provided for the integration of fuel treatment data into the Canadian Wildland Fire Information Framework.
This study investigated the effects of applying three mulch treatment intensities on fuel bed characteristics and the resultant fire behaviour. This is a companion report to a previously published report titled Mulching productivity in black spruce fuels: Productivity as a function of treatment intensity. The findings of these fire behaviour trials, in conjunction with productivity results, can assist fuel management practitioners in developing appropriate cost-effective mulching prescriptions.
FPInnovations collaborated with BC Timber Sales and Hummingbird Drones, a company with expertise in wildfire hotspot detection, to explore the use of a DJI Inspire 1 Pro remotely piloted aircraft system equipped with a thermal sensor as a hotspot detection tool.
This study focuses on evaluating the relative performance of different commercially available wildland fire chemicals using a custom-built sensible enthalpy rise calorimeter, known as the ‘Thermal Canister.’ Six different fire chemicals were evaluated in this study: Blazetamer 380, AquaGel-K, Firewall II, WD 881C, Thermo-Gel 200 L, and FireIce 561. The evaluation of the relative performance of the fire chemicals was conducted by using the average heat release rate as the primary metric.
It was found that under the test conditions, Thermo-Gel 200L at 3% concentration and FireIce 561 at 1.4% concentration were the most effective at suppressing combustion. The fire chemicals that were least effective at suppressing combustion were Firewall II at 0.25% and 2% concentration and WD 881C at 0.1%, 0.3%, and 1% concentrations. The study also found that certain fire chemicals such as AquaGel-K and FireIce 561 at their highest approved mix ratios were too viscous to be applied and may prove to be challenging to use for firefighting operations.
Data from this study will be used in the Wildfire Chemical Roadmap, where results from multiple tests will help assess the effectiveness and cost of using gels.
A fuel amendment treatment is proposed as a technique that can allow prescribed burning in hazardous fuels during low to moderate fire hazard conditions to minimize the risk of fire escape. In August 2017, a fuel amendment technique was applied at the Fort Providence Wildfire Experimental Site. In October 2019, a burn trial was conducted in a plot treated with the fuel amendment technique and fire spread to adjacent fuels was documented. Future documentation at this site will include assessing crown mortality to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.