In March of 2011 FPInnovations staff traveled to Rainbow Lake to create research plots in a prescribed burn unit. Work was conducted using a Gyrotrac GT-18 rotary mulcher, creating three ‘grid-mulched’ plots along with several ‘control’ lines. The grid-mulched areas are to evaluate their effectiveness as fuel reduction treatments, and the control lines were established to monitor their effect on fire behaviour. Work was completed over a three day period.
The objective of this symposium is to make known the situation and the needs of the users of various forestry sectors such as those of nurseries, plantations, seed orchards and natural forest. We also want to make known the work in progress that will lead to the development of tools for integrated pest management. This control strategy aims at combining different control methods, whether biological, biotechnological, physical or chemical control methods. It will thus be possible to maintain the damage caused by pests below an economically acceptable nuisance threshold, while promoting the pests' natural enemies.
Ce colloque a pour objectif de faire connaître la situation et les besoins des usagers de différents secteurs forestiers tels ceux des pépinières, des plantations, des vergers à graines et de la forêt naturelle. Nous voulons aussi faire connaître les travaux en cours qui mèneront au développement d’outils pour la lutte intégrée. Cette stratégie de contrôle vise à combiner différentes méthodes de lutte, qu’elles soient biologiques, biotechnologiques, physiques ou chimiques. Il sera ainsi possible de maintenir les dégâts causés par les ravageurs sous un seuil de nuisance économiquement acceptable, tout en favorisant les ennemis naturels des ravageurs.
The objective of this research is to address a knowledge gap related to fire performance of midply shear walls. Testing has already been done to establish the structural performance of these assemblies. To ensure their safe implementation and their broad acceptance, this project will establish fire resistance ratings for midply shear walls. Fire tests will provide information for the development of design considerations for midply shear walls and confirm that they can achieve at least 1-hour fire-resistance ratings that are required for use in mid-rise buildings.
This research will support greater adoption of mid-rise residential and non-residential wood-frame construction and improve competition with similar buildings of noncombustible construction. This work will also support the development of the APA system report for midply walls, which will be a design guideline for using midply walls in North America.
Event Tacking Systems are marketed as a means to accurately track payload delivery (volumes and delivery points). The question raised in this proposal relates to the accuracy of these tracking systems. How accurate are these devices in terms of payload delivery. What is the error?
Ignition specialists with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) had identified significant operational and reliability issues with the current system and expressed a pressing need for improvement. The Chair of Alberta’s Ignition Working Group asked FPInnovations Wildfire Operations Research to provide a conceptual design for a new aerial-ignition tracking system that addressed the needs and concerns of the ignition specialists.
This project was completed under contract for Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. Please contact Jim Thomasson for more details.
One of the latest technological advancements under development is the aerial intelligence-gathering platform. The platform combines geo-referenced images (infrared and colour) with real-time telemetry. Data can be transferred to a fire centre, an incident command post, and hand-held devices. In 2010, FPInnovations conducted an analysis for the British Columbia Wildfire Management Branch to identify the branch’s data collection needs and priorities that might be addressed by this latest technology. This is a directed research project and the results belong to British Columbia Wildfire Management Branch. Please contact Jim Thomasson for details.
This study was initiated upon the request of Alberta Environmental Protection to investigate the relationship between all terrain vehicle (ATVs) and fire ignition within Alberta’s forests. The report summarizes the use of ATVs in Alberta and the specific causes of wildfires associated with these vehicles, describes fire history from 1990 to 2002, reports on other agencies’ strategies to lower the probability of ATV-caused fires in forested areas, and makes recommendations for Alberta.
All terrain vehicles, ATV, Wildfire, Fire ignition, Wildfire cause, Alberta.
The objective of this fire history study was to investigate whether the current practices are the appropriate strategy in terms of the fire risk created by the top-piles and to provide this information to policy makers to assist in future decisions.
Fuel mastication (mulching) is a widely promoted fuel treatment to mitigate the threat of wildfires in the wildland-urban interface. Mulched fuels produce a different type of fuelbed that may exhibit different fire behaviour when compared to untreated forests. Many have raised the question of whether mulched fuels create more firebrands than untreated forests. Firebrands are burning pieces of wood that are projected beyond the perimeter of a wildfire. When they land they can ignite the fuelbed and create a spot fire. Spot fires advance the spread of forest fires and are a characteristic of extreme fire behaviour, but they are not well studied. To better understand spot fires, we need a better understanding of how firebrands are produced. To research firebrand production, we need to first assess the different methods for collecting firebrands. This study evaluated four methods on a small experimental fire: (1) pans with water, (2) pans with water and with a screen, (3) a tarp and (4) a cloth sheet coated with fire retardant. Our results showed that of the two pan methods, the pan with screen collected fewer firebrands,
but the firebrands were heavier than the firebrands collected in the pans without the screen. The tarp almost entirely melted and was an unsuccessful method. The sheet coated with fire retardant was successful in creating a record of firebrand deposition through the presence of recognizable burn marks. Results from the sheets showed that most burning firebrands are relatively small and that as firebrand size increases the frequency of firebrand deposition decreases. An analysis of the sheets and the video footage revealed that an average of 4% of firebrands collected are burning at the time of collection.The advantages of the pan methods were that they captured the firebrands and kept them intact for analysis. The disadvantages were that they required more time to set-up and they did not allow us to distinguish between burning (or glowing) firebrands and extinguished firebrands. The advantages of the sheets were that they only collected data for burning (or glowing) firebrands
and they were easy to set up. The disadvantage was that the sheets did not preserve the firebrand itself for analysis.
We recommend that future research continue to explore firebrand collection methods as an important step toward understanding firebrand production. Firebrand production is an important area of research to expand the current knowledge base on spot fires. This in turn is beneficial to help create more accurate models of forest fire behaviour, which can help wildfire managers in their decision-making. An understanding of firebrand production in mulched fuels can help evaluate the effectiveness of mulch as a forest fuel treatment.
New short-range fire detection systems have recently emerged that have been designed to detect fire on, or near infrastructure such as timber railway bridges, power substations, resource buildings, and camps. Before organizations and agencies will consider installing such technology, they need some assurances that the systems will do what the developers claim.
Researchers with the FPInnovations Wildfire Operations Research program have developed a standard test procedure intended to measure the capabilities of these short-range systems.