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Fire behaviour and initial-attack crew capabilities in burning harvest debris





Greg Baxter (Lead) / Steven Hvenegaard

Other Collaborator(s):


Alberta Forestry, Parks and Tourism


Wildfire managers are concerned about the potential fire hazard in cutblocks containing scattered woody debris (i.e., slash). Fires in slash, especially recent cuts with good needle retention, tend to be slow moving and intense. Suppressing these fires can be difficult, and out-of-control slash fires can quickly spread to adjacent forests and other values.

In 2012, FPInnovations and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) launched a study to determine what an acceptable fuel load is in cutblocks where harvesters scatter woody debris. The study aims to answer two questions: (1) How much woody debris can be left in cutblock before it becomes an extreme fire hazard? (2) To contain a fire in harvest debris, what resources need to be dispatched given the fuel load and weather conditions.

The project was suspend by the advisory group in 2021. Please contact Greg Baxter for details.

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