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.
Reduced surface evaporation rates are marketed as a competitive advantage by water-enhancer manufacturers. In this report, a new test method is developed and applied to quantify the evaporation rates of various commercially available water-enhancer products in a controlled environment. These quantified evaporation rates were then compared to the evaporation rate of water which served as the benchmark.
The Canadian Boreal Community FireSmart project has been the site of several research projects designed to evaluate the efficacy of fuel treatments in mitigating wildfire. In June 2016, FPInnovations conducted an experimental crown fire which challenged a mulch fuel treatment.
Firebrand transport is a key mechanism for fire spread. Fire and fuels managers apply fuel treatments in the wildland–urban interface based on our best understanding of firebrand transport and spot fire growth. Observations and data collected during this experimental fire can lend to innovations in firebrand transport data collection methods and fuel treatment maintenance practices.
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.
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.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AAF) asked FPInnovations to conduct a field trial of two heavy helicopters that had recently been installed with on-board injection and mixing systems. The study focussed on determining the accuracy and reproducibility of these systems to produce effectively mixed water-enhancers for aerial delivery during wildfire suppression operations.
These field trials were conducted north of Slave Lake, Alta. in June 2020. This report discusses the background, methodology, and outcomes of this equipment validation test.
Northwestern Alberta has been a focal point for agricultural expansion for many years. More recently, accelerated lands sales have led to the clearing of large tracks of land and significant burning projects aimed at preparing the land for agricultural use. Given the requirement for land owners to have burning permits during “Fire Season” (March 1st – October 31st) and the risks involved in large scale burning during fire season, sites are often differed to time frames outside the established fire season. Although windrow burning outside of fire season often poses less fire escape risk, other issues can arise and result in public safety concerns e.g. smoke, which can increase the potential for health issues and traffic accidents. Given these concerns local forestry and municipal authorities have engaged in discussions aimed at identifying potential burning options.