Accounting for climate change impacts in the design of resource road crossings. Scaling IDF curves to account for climate change in resource road stream crossing, an approach for estimating future extreme rainfall, Webinar No. 8
A Webinar presented in association with the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC), FPInnovations and the BC Ministry of Forests, Land, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development presented on March 10, 2022
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Forest fuel reductions treatments are conducted at a stand level in the wildland–urban interface to reduce the potential for catastrophic loss caused by wildfire. Given the considerable expense of conducting these fuel treatments, fuels managers want to better understand the productivity and cost of commonly applied fuel treatments in order to prescribe cost-effective treatment techniques. Due to the limited data available and the myriad combinations of fuel treatment options and equipment types used in a diverse range of ecosystems, cost projections for fuel treatments are difficult to forecast reliably.
This document provides background on and fundamental principles of productivity studies, and a summary of motor-manual productivity studies that have been conducted in timber silviculture operations, forest fuel reduction treatments, and other manual forestry operations.
Forest fuel treatments are conducted at a stand level in the wildland–urban interface to reduce the potential for catastrophic loss caused by wildfire. Given the considerable expense of conducting motor-manual fuel treatments, fuels managers want to better understand the productivity and cost of commonly applied fuel treatments in order to prescribe cost-effective treatment techniques. Due to the limited data available and the myriad combinations of fuel treatment options and equipment types used in a diverse range of ecosystems, cost projections for fuel treatments are difficult to forecast reliably.
Fuels managers and Wildfire Operations advisory members asked that a simplified data collection protocol be developed to collect more data across a broader range of ecosites. The streamlined and simplified process presented in this document includes a user-friendly format for in-field data collection by field crew supervisors.
A catalogue listing of the various technology transfer opportunities offered by FPInnovations in forest operations for 2022 - 2023. Opportunities for technology transfer in harvesting, transportation, roads, connectivity, mill yards, GHG emissions, biomass, Indigenous forestry, drones as well as workshops, library, and on-line tools are detailed.
In 2021, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Wildfire Management Branch identified an opportunity to evaluate new and emerging technologies to supplement and improve current wildfire response capabilities. A one-year directed research initiative was undertaken with the FPInnovations’ Wildfire Operations group to assess the efficacy of five different technologies and their utility in the wildfire domain. This report summarizes the five projects undertaken in this initiative, highlighting key outcomes and considerations.
Seven vendors participated in a smoke detection exercise conducted in Alberta, Canada from August 23 to 29, 2021. This exercise aimed to understand how well current detection technology uses imagery from existing cameras mounted on towers to detect smoke. All vendors in this exercise use artificial intelligence / machine learning algorithms in their systems. Alberta Wildfire expects to gain a better understanding of these detection systems and how they differ from each other.
Relative humidity (RH) and temperature play a large role in the moisture content of available fuels, affecting the fire weather indices that indicate intensity, ignition, and spread potential of wildfires. However, the magnitude of increase in RH and decrease in temperature necessary to impact intensity and ignition potential is dependent on many additional factors including aspect, altitude, wind speed, atmospheric stability, fuel loading, fuel structure, and moisture content of the fuels.
The Trident mobile high-volume water delivery system is self-contained. The main components of the system are two UTVs, a 200 hp high-volume pump, and 7000 feet (2134 m) of 4-inch hose. It can deliver 500 gpm of water at 190 psi in a wildfire operational situation. Alberta Wildfire asked FPInnovations to document three deployments in 2021 to identify opportunities for using the system and to reduce the knowledge gaps around best practices for deployment.
Debris piles were scattered among a fuel-treated stand at the Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest. The existing trees were deemed as assets worth protecting while the piles required to be burned. To facilitate the protection of the trees surrounding these debris piles, the Calgary Forest Area requested the use of water-enhancer capable fire engines to protect the trees during debris pile burning.
A total of 15 debris piles of varying fuel loads were burned over two days. The use of water-enhancer capable fire engines allowed FPInnovations to document the use of suppressants (water and water-enhancer) to better understand their advantages and limitations. Qualitative observations suggested that water-enhancers were more effective at withstanding radiant heat than water when applied immediately prior to the incident heat. Its efficacy, however, was found to decline with time.
Multiple log-deck fires at mill sites and log yards in Western Canada in the past year resulted in the loss of merchantable timber. These fires showcased how existing equipment and suppression efforts from wildfire agencies are heavily challenged when asked to handle the thermal output from burning log-decks.
In an effort to explore alternate solutions, FPInnovations collaborated with West Fraser and the High Level Forest Management Area to understand the efficacy of high-volume water delivery systems in log-deck fire suppression. Over the course of three days, water-penetration tests as well as suppression tests were carried out to better understand the utility and resource requirements of high-volume water delivery systems.
A human-caused wildfire was started on May 6, 2021 in Parkland County, Alberta near the rural community of Tomahawk. Among several Alberta Wildfire resources deployed to the wildfire, one particular resource was high-volume water delivery systems provided by Fire & Flood Emergency Service Ltd.
Alberta Wildfire asked FPInnovations to document the implementation of high-volume water delivery systems in actioning a peatland wildfire as a case study.
FPInnovations recently tested a data collection system developed by Voice Directed Tally Systems (VDTS). Following an initial virtual demo of the product, FPInnovations agreed that the system might be interesting to FPInnovations’ member companies. This InfoNote presents a summary of in-field testing conducted in March 2021.
The motion of throwing and securing log load wrappers can cause a great amount of stress on drivers’ shoulders and overexertion-related musculoskeletal injuries are quite common among log truck operators. Sections 4.46 to 4.53 of BC’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulations outline the requirements for taking steps to prevent musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace. FPInnovations, in collaboration with the Load Securement Working Group (a subcommittee of the Log Truck Technical Advisory Committee that focuses on initiatives that reduce the risk of injuries to log truck operators), has conducted a literature review and surveyed contractors for ideas on how to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury. The result being simple to complex solutions being investigated that had the potential to reduce or eliminate the injuries related to throwing wrappers. The most promising solutions were shortlisted and will be investigated in further detail as part of project phases 2 and 3.
Twelve SBB (spruce bark beetle killed) grade 2 logs were received by FPInnovations, three were confidently assigned a grade 2, but nine were considered suspicious, as the scalers suspected that some internal defects could not be correctly identified visually. CT (computer tomography) scanning and analysis revealed that decay and checking were more extensive than externally visible defects indicated, which led to downgrading 2 logs to grade 4. Pressure treating one of the apparently good quality logs with water and re-scanning enhanced the visibility of the number and depth of checks in CT images and led to downgrading that log as well. Two of the suspicious logs were warmed for 24 hours at 22 degrees to simulate exposure to one summer day in BC Interior, but unlike typical dry pine logs, the many fine checks around these logs opened evenly, without revealing the true depth of any. Another two suspicious logs with signs of decay were cut to analyse decay extent. The decay was far more extensive than even visible in CT images, leading to downgrade of both logs. Overall, 4 of the nine logs considered suspicious and one of the 3 considered good quality SBB killed grade 2 logs were downgraded due to checks and decay not visible to scalers on the study. Although these results are neither statistically significant nor comprehensive, they point to the challenge of scaling SBB logs correctly, without knowledge of internal defects.
This report summarizes rock breaker technology and its feasibility for use by BC Timber Sales (BCTS) road building operations. An overview of hydraulic ripper, rock hammer, and rock splitting equipment is provided in the context of current resource road construction practices. The feasibility of using rock breakers in BCTS operations is summarized by location through interactive mapping and a comparison of rock hardness and machine productivity. The report also addresses the potential safety benefits of using rock breakers and provides recommendations to BCTS regarding their use.
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.