Conventional fuel treatments in the wildland-urban interface are commonly applied with personnel using motorized hand tools to achieve FireSmart objectives. The cost of these forest fuel treatments is highly variable and dependent on stand conditions and the treatment prescription. Fuels managers would like to have reliable data and tools that would aid them in estimating the cost of a fuel treatment.
FPInnovations has documented two motor-manual fuel treatments in black spruce fuels at the Pelican Mountain FireSmart Fuel Management Research Site. Rigorous productivity trials can be time-consuming and case studies are limited. Advisory members have requested that a simplified data collection protocol be developed to collect more productivity data across a broader range of ecosites. A project plan has been developed to outline in-field processes that can be used by fuel treatment crews to document basic data essential to determine productivity metrics.