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 Oleg Melnik
Wildfire Technologist

Oleg has been a Wildfire Technologist with FPInnovations since 2017. He is involved in research focused on infrastructure and community protection, wood utilization, efficiency of wildfire management, and firefighter safety. His core strengths are in forest management, wildfire operations and management, aviation, wildfire behaviour prediction, and flammability of wildland fuels.

Oleg’s introduction to wildfire came at an early age while assisting with prescribed grass fires and forestry work in Latvia. After graduation from the Ukrainian State University of Forestry and Wood Technology with a BSc in Forestry, Oleg worked in Moldova for the Remote Sensing Laboratory at the Institute of Ecological Genetics researching the use of remote sensing technologies for forest and wildfire management. During that time, he also completed 3 years of graduate studies in Meteorology, Climatology, and Agrometeorology at the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, and earned an Aerial Observer Certificate with the Training Center of Civil Aviation Administration of Moldova.

Between 1991 and 2005, as a State Forest Protection Officer in Belarus, Oleg gained significant operational experience in wildland firefighting and forestry. He directed and supervised wildfire control operations, developed and implemented wildfire prevention, preparedness, fire danger monitoring, and fire detection programs. In the off season, he coordinated and supervised forest management and legislation enforcement programs, and community protection projects.

Since 2005 Oleg lives and works in Canada. In 2016 he earned a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Alberta in Forest Biology and Management. Oleg believes that ensuring the safety of firefighters is of vital importance, and is passionate about improving the accuracy of wildfire behaviour prediction, which is essential to choosing adequate and safe fire control strategies and tactics. Considering that the accuracy of wildfire behaviour prediction is currently limited by the lack of understanding of the flammability of live fuel, the focus of his graduate research was developing a new experimental methodology for assessing and modelling live fuel flammability with the aim to include this important variable into operational wildfire behaviour modelling. Oleg is a participant of the Canadian Partnership for Wildland Fire Science and a member of the Canadian Remote Sensing Society, Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, and International Association of Wildland Fire.

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