Debris piles were scattered among a fuel-treated stand at the Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest. The existing trees were deemed as assets worth protecting while the piles required to be burned. To facilitate the protection of the trees surrounding these debris piles, the Calgary Forest Area requested the use of water-enhancer capable fire engines to protect the trees during debris pile burning.
A total of 15 debris piles of varying fuel loads were burned over two days. The use of water-enhancer capable fire engines allowed FPInnovations to document the use of suppressants (water and water-enhancer) to better understand their advantages and limitations. Qualitative observations suggested that water-enhancers were more effective at withstanding radiant heat than water when applied immediately prior to the incident heat. Its efficacy, however, was found to decline with time.
Multiple log-deck fires at mill sites and log yards in Western Canada in the past year resulted in the loss of merchantable timber. These fires showcased how existing equipment and suppression efforts from wildfire agencies are heavily challenged when asked to handle the thermal output from burning log-decks.
In an effort to explore alternate solutions, FPInnovations collaborated with West Fraser and the High Level Forest Management Area to understand the efficacy of high-volume water delivery systems in log-deck fire suppression. Over the course of three days, water-penetration tests as well as suppression tests were carried out to better understand the utility and resource requirements of high-volume water delivery systems.
The Trident mobile high-volume water delivery system is self-contained. The main components of the system are two UTVs, a 200 hp high-volume pump, and 7000 feet (2134 m) of 4-inch hose. It can deliver 500 gpm of water at 190 psi in a wildfire operational situation. Alberta Wildfire asked FPInnovations to document three deployments in 2021 to identify opportunities for using the system and to reduce the knowledge gaps around best practices for deployment.
A human-caused wildfire was started on May 6, 2021 in Parkland County, Alberta near the rural community of Tomahawk. Among several Alberta Wildfire resources deployed to the wildfire, one particular resource was high-volume water delivery systems provided by Fire & Flood Emergency Service Ltd.
Alberta Wildfire asked FPInnovations to document the implementation of high-volume water delivery systems in actioning a peatland wildfire as a case study.