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.
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.
In May 2017 FPInnovations conducted an initial field assessment of a helicopter on-board system for mixing water-enhancing gel concentrate at Fort Vermillion. For this study, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry contracted a Bell 214B helicopter with on-board gel mixing capability. The helicopter company chose Firewall II gel and an Isolair external tank to meet the contract requirements.
This Info Note presents FPInnovations’ observations of the ability of the on-board mixing system to effectively mix Firewall II gel with water.
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.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AAF) Wildfire Management Branch recently contracted two Sikorsky S-61N heavy helicopters. Both helicopters are equipped with an external tank (max. volume 1000 U.S. gallons) and have on-board injection systems that are capable of mixing class A foams and water-enhancers.
Currently, there is limited data on comparative drop footprints of foam and water-enhancers (suppressants) for these heavy helicopters. To fill this knowledge gap, AAF has asked FPInnovations to conduct drop tests in different wildland fuel environments. This study focuses on mapping the drop footprints of water, foam, and water-enhancers in black spruce stands at specific flight parameters.
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.
Alberta Wildfire Management Aviation and Geomatics Section is interested in researching current infrared (IR) scanner technology and identifying potential next-generation IR scanners. A survey was identified as a tool for understanding the current use of IR scanners among Canadian wildfire agencies, with the intention of leveraging existing expertise. FPInnovations was tasked with conducting this survey.
Nine Canadian wildfire management agencies responded to the survey. The results identified the IR scanners currently in use, their applications, and the pros and cons associated with the respective scanners.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AAF) Wildfire Management Branch has recently contracted two Sikorsky S-61N heavy helicopters. Both helicopters are equipped with an external tank (max. volume 1000 U.S. gallons) and have on-board injection systems that are capable of mixing class A foams and water-enhancers.
Currently, there is limited data on comparative drop footprints of foam and water-enhancers (suppressants) for these heavy helicopters. To fill this knowledge gap, AAF has asked FPInnovations to conduct drop tests in different wildland fuel environments. This study focuses on mapping the drop footprints of water, foam, and water-enhancers in an open field at specific flight parameters.
Forest-fuel reduction treatments have been applied extensively in Canada’s wildland–urban interface to mitigate the risk of wildfire to communities and other values. Motor-manual fuel treatments are labor intensive and time consuming. In the winter of 2016/17, FPInnovations documented the productivity of a fuel treatment conducted by workers using chainsaws and handtools to apply prescribed fuel reduction guidelines in a dense black spruce forest stand. The results and observations from this study will help forest fuels managers to plan and budget for motor-manual fuel treatments and to develop operational best practices.