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.
This study identified footwear appropriate for Alberta wildland firefighters and assessed the need for protective toecaps on their footwear. Hazard and risk of foot injuries were assessed, and recommendations are made.
Wildfire is a natural phenomenon in Canada that threatens to destroy property and endanger lives. Wildfire agencies are tasked with reducing the threat of wildfire in the wildland-urban interface, which becomes a greater issue as more communities locate near or within forests or become more populated.
Forest fuel treatments that reduce or modify forest stands are the most common and effective methods to reduce wildfire danger around communities. However, convincing the public to support forest fuel treatments around their communities can be a challenge for wildfire managers. Understandably, communities want some assurance that what they are committing to will make a difference. One of the many benefits of forest fuel treatments is thought to be an increase in the effectiveness of wildfire operations.
Timber harvest companies are looking for cost-effective methods for harvesting low value fibre. FPInnovations conducted a multi-faceted research project in the Nazko region to compare several operational aspects of two harvest methods: cut-to-length and conventional.
As part of this research project, FPInnovations’ wildfire group measured and assessed the harvest residue resulting from both harvest methods. With this information, we were able to evaluate potential fire behaviour in each of the harvest areas.
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.
FERIC monitored a prototype machine designed to perform simultaneous crushing and scarification for the treatment of burned sites. The prototype was productive, but couldn't always produce an adequate number of plantable microsites, particularly on sites with thick humus.
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.
FPInnovations investigated the effectiveness of mowing grass to reduce potential fire behaviour in corridors in Alberta. Plots of grass mowed in the spring or the previous fall were spring burned alongside plots of standing grass, and fire behaviour was documented. Results showed that mowing does influence fire behaviour in grass, and that season of mowing affects fire intensity. Mowing the grass in spring decreased the fire intensity values by 50% relative to no mowing, and fire intensity values decreased by a further 50% if mowing was completed in the fall.
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.