WFORG Fall Advisory Committee Meeting

October 7, 2004

CFS Pine Room, Edmonton


Ted Szabo Jim Letersky Marty Alexander
Vince Eggleston Tanya Letcher Doug Higgens
Jim Dunlop Larry Pahl Colin Cameron
Bruce Noble Terry Dixon Wally McCulloch
Terry Kennedy Alex Sinclair Pierre Giguere
Brent Schleppe Gary Dakin Lou Foley
Rory Thompson Ken Colbert Jen Beverly
Klaus Berth Lou Gildemeister Peter De Bruijn
Greg Baxter Mark Campbell Rex Hsieh
Ray Ault Dave Schroeder  

Marv Clark called the meeting to order at 0845 with introductions and general building information

Spring Minutes were approved. Moved by Brent Schleppe.

  1. Saskatchewan Update. Marty Alexander presented an overview of the work Kris Johnson is involved in Saskatchewan with. This focused on:
  1. Lost Creek Community Protection Project – Update Ray Ault

As a result of the 2003 fire, Provincial funds were put forward for research. FERIC submitted a proposal that was well received, but the community became nervous over the burning involved. Proposal included thinning and structure protection. This project did not go forward, but the same work may be done elsewhere. Two potential sites are:

These sites will include treatments and structure protection.

  1. Linear Disturbance – Update Greg Baxter
  1. Thinning Projects: Dave Schroeder

Q) Any treatments with surface burning? Yes, it is the least costly, but mortality may be a problem.

  1. Cost of Fuel Treatments: Rory Thompson
  1. Smoke Detection: Dave Schroeder

Future Work – ForestWatch is in operational mode. Will investigate visible areas; lower satellite transmission costs, look out versus communication tower comparison images.

  1. Debris Management: Greg Baxter

Q) Are you looking at mulched piles? Yes – with DMI. Will include burning some piles.

  1. Sprinklers: Gary Dakin
  1. Ignition of Coke: Ray Ault
  1. Firefighter Fatigue: Ray Ault

Q) Where to from here? If HR increases then what – how do you apply?

  1. Mechanization on the Fireline: Ray Ault

Q) Minutes from Spring meeting said a Workshop will be held – where is it? Objective of workshop is to look at new applications of harvest equipment or opportunities to use equipment more effectively. Nothing new at Missoula workshop. Suggest FERIC incorporate a demonstration with a comparison of mulchers, dozers and bunchers – if this proposal is given a priority by the advisory.

Q) Will this move forward? What if not voted in as a project? Need production rates and best combination of equipment based on terrain and tree species.

Comment – need to include ‘urgency’ of fireguard included in project. Lots of dozers in Province.

Comment – Have had changes in logging equipment – none in fire therefore a Workshop is required. Need the Tech Transfer on this subject. A workshop will be held in Spring of 2005.

  1. NWT Community Fire Protection: Dave Schroeder
  1. Infrared Scanning: Ray Ault

Q) How do you apply this? Set-up test spot where aircraft are tested pre-season.

FW missed all targets in BC; RW found some, but had other problems.

Q) Does smoke cause interference? This is not an issue.

The group then watched a number of video clips of burns conducted in the NWT. There are 50 hours of video from the NWT – what should be done with that? Develop a library of what’s on them and put this list on web – people can then scan and request what they want.

Marv Clark – explains ranking system. High x 1 + Med x 2 + Low x3/ number of votes = score – lower the score, the higher priority.

Lunch – back at 12:45.

Project Proposals and Rankings

1. Integrating FireSmart with Industry Management

Comments – wildlife should be included; overall forest health as well. Should aim to increase wood supply.

Would there be a conflict as currently Fire/Silviculture/Industry sometimes at odds. May not see ‘Big’ picture i.e., industry quotas not met. 10 km area around settlements will affect AAC – nothing incorporated for industry. Need all players at table. SRD needed to oversee Treatments and effects with Policy. This will be a ‘Landscape’ level project.

Score: 1.83 (Table 1)

2. Fireguard Construction Productivity Rates and Costs

Comments – will include 12-hour periods and overnight. This is expensive, but hope to get community involvement.

Need to evaluate best tool by timber type and terrain. Develop a matrix for productivity – may use combinations of equipment.

Realistic opportunities need to be evaluated i.e., availability of equipment. Workshop may identify new equipment. This may increase certain types of equipment.

Score: 2.25 (Table 1)

3. Airborne Thermal Imaging Performance Criteria

Comments: Build grid and evaluate companies. FERIC would set this up and perform independent testing.

Is there a Revenue Generating opportunity here? YES.

Score:  1.69 (Table 1)

4. Review of Fire Regime Models

Not very well explained by input agency. Some confusion on project.

Score:  3.0 (Table 1)

5. Log Deck Protection

Comments: Take out ‘remote’ as this can apply to remote or in-yard decks. Water exists within yard, but is required in remote locations.

Score:  1.75 (Table 1)

6. Fuel Load Methods for Prescribed Burns

Comments: Don’t limit this to Alberta – all provinces. There will be a large increase in the number of Prescribed Burns in Alberta thus a need for a quick fuel loading technique. Parks (NP) should be involved.

Score:  1.92 (Table 1)

7. Initial Product Evaluation for retardants and suppressants

Comments: USFS approval required on products. Need method to evaluate the Potential or NO Potential on new products.

Would there be a conflict of interest potential to endorse or not?

There is NO USDA requirement (Document Feb 17 2004).

SEBA Act different than EPA in US.

Operational Testing (burn chambers, etc.)

Don’t want something overly simplistic.

This would give small companies chance to get out product by evaluating against a standard – then can go ahead with testing. This will be a screening process.

Not necessary to go to US.
Independent Agency for operational research for standards is ok.

Don’t want USDA to dictate Canadian products.

·        What goes into specs. Co’s review.

·        Performance criteria. US specs may not apply.

Go-NO-Go screening. Environmental issues (as in YT) very important.

Legalities? Not approving – just sending on in process. Want a quick and dirty test to allow product to go on for testing or not.

Present data – not recommendations.

Steering Committee required – too big a topic. Wait for aircraft person to be hired and they then do some investigation on the subject. Then get together.

Not voted on Now.

8. Initial Attack Performance Criteria

Comments: just Alberta, but methodology applicable elsewhere.

Monitor fireline activity. Also include air-attack.

Would AB supply RW? Need to be removed from tactics. SRD would provide logistics.

Everyone interested in efficiency. Need to start with IA and go from there.

Score: 1.82 (Table 1)

9. Firefighter Fatigue

Comments: focus of WFORG was for on-the-ground firefighter.

Any other options – data heavy, need to compare to an unbiased assessment.

Looked at a number of fatigue indicators, but most are expensive. Required a less expensive first look at problem.

Physical vs. Mental – start simple with physical.

Score:  2.27 (Table 1)

Other Proposals

Next Meeting:  March 31, 2005.

Project updates that were missed at the Advisory  meeting:

Table 1. Rankings of the proposed projects.

New Projects Proposed for 2005






Establish test grids for aerial thermal imaging assessment





Investigate fire protection for log yards





A field evaluation of initial attack crew performance in Alberta





Integrating FireSmart with forest management practices





Fuel load assessment methods for prescribed burns





Comparison of fireguard construction machines





Monitoring the resting heart rate in wildland firefighters over a fire season





Review fire regime models





Investigate different retardants and suppressants





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