Hummingbird Network, a British Columbia company, presented its crowdsourcing wildfire detection concept (the Hummingbird Network Smoke Detection Service) during the 2016 Wildland Fire Canada conference. In January 2017, as a follow-up to the conference, Hummingbird Network provided a live demonstration to AAF, BC Wildfire Service, and FPInnovations in Edmonton, Alberta. After a successful demonstration, and at the request of the wildfire agencies, FPInnovations committed to working with Hummingbird Network to provide an evaluation of its wildfire detection system.
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.
Forest fuel treatments are applied across a broad range of ecosites in Alberta and Canada, with an overarching goal of managing hazardous fuel buildup to mitigate wildfire. These treatments use various manual and mechanical processes to achieve fuel treatment objectives. Planning and application of a specific forest fuel treatment technique is often shaped by several factors, including objectives of the fuel treatment, availability of resources (personnel and equipment), and commitment to using local resources (socio-economics). In addition, site conditions in certain ecosites will favour the application of some treatment techniques over others.
With the broad nature of numerous fuel treatment techniques applied over a wide range of environmental conditions, it is difficult to document all treatments and develop comparative productivity and cost evaluations. This summary of fuel treatment studies accesses current research to present relevant findings and identify knowledge gaps in research on stand-level fuel treatment productivity.
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.
The ongoing evolution of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPASs) with recent advances in micro-sensors and imaging software has the potential to enhance the delivery of infrared imaging services for wildfire operations. Understanding the capabilities and limitations of these aircraft will aid wildfire managers in selecting appropriate RPAS platforms as another "tool in the toolbox" for hotspot detection missions on wildfires.
Modified oxygen consumption calorimetry was used to track the seasonal flammability of black spruce and tamarack. Age class related samples were collected for both species from May to September at research site in central Alberta. These samples were assessed for their differential heat release using test equipment at the Protective Clothing and Equipment Research Facility (PCERF) at the University of Alberta.
The test method was able to successfully quantify the differences in seasonal flammability between black spruce and tamarack. Data showed the age-related flammability differences were less pronounced, with the exception of new growth samples early in the season.
This review explores the benefits, challenges, limitations, logistics, and cost-effectiveness of different management options to convert conifer-dominated stands to aspen-dominated stands. These alternatives can include overstory removal (harvesting, bulldozing, shear blading, prescribed burning) and site preparation (root trenching, drag scarification, broadcast burning) treatments. On sites where parent aspen trees are not present in the original stand, tree planting will be necessary albeit costly in comparison to regeneration by suckering. While extensive literature exists on the regeneration of trembling aspen through suckering, research on artificial establishment with seedlings and its requirements is still in its infancy and rapidly developing.
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.