Large expanses of black spruce fuels in Canada pose a major wildfire threat to communities and other values at risk. Conventional fuel treatment methods are expensive and fuels managers would like to explore opportunities to mitigate the risk of wildfire through innovations in fuels engineering and prescribed fire. This fuel amendment technique has been applied in a mature lodgepole pine fuel environment where cut stems were piled under the canopy of the adjacent residual forest stand. Prescribed fire was applied in the amended fuels under moderate fire hazard conditions and resulted in fire intensity that was sufficient to scorch aerial fuels and cause stand mortality.
This technique was applied in a dense black spruce forest stand at the Fort Providence Wildfire Experimental Site (FPWES) using chainsaws and brushsaws to cut stems to create fuel amended strips. An experimental burn was conducted in October 2019 to ignite the fuel amended strips and evaluate the consumption of debris and adjacent surface and crown fuels. This project will continue with additional sites prepared for experimental fire at FPWES, Pelican Mountain and Enterprise Wildfire Experimental Site (EWES).