Evaluation of forest environments to assess fuel loading using conventional inventory methods is labour-intensive, time-consuming, and requires extensive training to be completed correctly. Fuels managers would like to apply simpler, less expensive fuel sampling methods and still maintain acceptable accuracy in fuel load measurements.
FPInnovations has explored different fuel sampling techniques that may be applicable to the forest stands of central British Columbia. The photoload sampling technique was deemed to be a valuable tool that can be enhanced to suitably represent the forest fuels in Interior Douglas-fir environments and can be adapted to other fuel environments with appropriate amendments.
The City of Quesnel has applied an innovative selective harvesting technique in a mature Douglas-fir forest stand with the objectives of maintaining biodiversity and reducing fuel-load buildup and consequent wildfire threat. FPInnovations researchers monitored and documented the harvesting operations and measured machine productivity to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the operation.
To support the assessment of fuel-load reduction, FPInnovations' Wildfire Operations group conducted fuel-sampling activities to produce a pre-harvest forest fuel inventory. The inventory data were converted to formats to be applied in two fuel-management tools: a photo guide of the pre-treatment fuel environment and a dataset that can be input to FuelCalBC