Alberta Agriculture and Forestry asked FPInnovations to evaluate the patented Trident Pump System developed by Younkers Wielding for the system's suitability for wildfire operations. This report summarizes the author's observations and thoughts.
The goal of the project was to develop a new wildland fire sprinkler capable of stream-height adjustment. A Fire Cobra prototype was built base on a design from a team of University of Alberta Mechanical Engineering students. Through field tests, the prototype was inferior and would require additional modifications to become functional.
A modified rainbird sprinkler was tested and it produced 8 m semi-vertical stream. The conclusions reached from the testing included that is possible to use an attachment kit to modify an existing kit sprinkler and farther engineering would be required to provide for a more streamlined kit design capable of sustaining the desired pressure ranges.
Over the course of the project a new industrial sprinkler called the FireBozz was identified in the market place. The legs of FireBozz can be adjusted to change the stream angle height.
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.
Alberta helitorch has been in service for over 20 years, and based on helitorch life expectancy and the advancements in technology, Alberta wildfire management staff decided to explore design improvements and construction of a replacement helitorch prototype.
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.
Innovation in hotspot target equipment used for Infrared (IR) testing reduces risks and logistical challenges. This InfoNote describes the development of a new hotspot prototype for use at the IR grid in Hinton, Alberta.
Class A foam “lowers water’s surface tension making it more effective in suppressing fire in Class A combustibles (wood, vegetation, paper and cotton products and rubber)” (ICL Performance Products LP, n.d.). Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has used class A liquid foam and liquid foam inductor kits in wildfire suppression since the 1980s. Although class A liquid foam has proven to be an effective tool, promoting the consistent use of it in Alberta has been a challenge since its introduction. Firefighter reluctance to use class A foam is often linked to reasons such as set-up time, working with the foam solution, system awkwardness, and anecdotal comparisons to straight water.
Alberta’s Provincial Warehouse and Service Centre (PWSC) was approached by ICL Performance Products LP (ICL) regarding a new class A foam system, the Phos-Chek SOLID Foam Stick and Scotty Foam-Fast Applicator. The foam stick and applicator were promoted by ICL as a simple and effective way of producing low-expansion class A foam using minimal equipment. Following an ICL presentation to Alberta’s PWSC and Fireline Equipment Working Group (FEWG), a decision was made to pursue field trials before considering a large-scale purchase.
To facilitate field trials, the PWSC purchased several applicators and a supply of foam sticks with the intent of having their firefighters assess the system. Further discussion by the group identified a lack of consistent evaluation criteria and a need for documented, fact-based test results. In follow-up, the PWSC requested assistance from Alberta’s Wildfire Management Science and Technology (WMST) program to engage a research provider, and in March of 2015, they asked FPInnovations to conduct an evaluation of the Phos-Chek SOLID Foam Stick (formulation ID #049-019F) and the Scotty Foam-Fast Applicator (model 4010-50).
FPInnovations worked with the WMST program working group, PWSC manager, and designated FEWG members to review research questions, project needs and develop the following project objectives.