The clean air initiative led by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment seeks to develop innovative methods to improve community air quality by utilizing harvest residues and minimizing the volume of fibre burned at roadside. Retaining processed tops as roadside oriented piles is proposed as an alternative to burning debris.
These burn trials have demonstrated that in this unique arrangement of fuels and interaction of site-specific variables, particular areas of the piles will be more vulnerable to ignition sources which can lead to sustained burning and high intensity fire behaviour. In addition to the low fuel moisture conditions, other fuel properties, such as the close proximity of piles, high volume of fine fuels (branches and needles) and orientation of piles to road all contributed to enhanced burning at this site.
In October 2018, FPInnovations conducted burn trials to evaluate and compare the ignition potential and potential fire behaviour in two different configurations of piled harvest residuals. Continued collaborations in 2019 with Mosaic Forest Management and British Columbia Wildfire Service identified and developed a potential prescribed fire site that would allow ignition of harvest debris piled in an oriented configuration to evaluate fire behaviour during a period of higher fire hazard conditions.