Canadian Forest Service Publications

The impact of fuel treatments on wildfire behavior in North American boreal fuels: a simulation study using FIRETEC. 2020. Marshall, G.; Thompson, D.K.; Anderson, K.; Simpson, B.; Linn, R.; Schroeder, D. Fire 3(2):18.

Year: 2020

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40139

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.3390/fire3020018

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Abstract

Current methods of predicting fire spread in Canadian forests are suited to large wildfires that spread through natural forests. Recently, the use of mechanical and thinning treatments of forests in the wildland-urban interface of Canada has increased. To assist in community wildfire protection planning in forests not covered by existing operational fire spread models, we use FIRETEC to simulate fire spread in lowland black spruce fuel structures, the most common tree stand in Canada. The simulated treatments included the mechanical mulching of strips, and larger, irregularly shaped areas. In all cases, the removal of fuel by mulch strips broke up the fuels, but also caused wind speed increases, so little decrease in fire spread rate was modelled. For large irregular clearings, the fire spread slowly through the mulched wood chips, and large decreases in fire spread and intensity were simulated. Furthermore, some treatments in the black spruce forest were found to be effective in decreasing the distance and/or density of firebrands. The simulations conducted can be used alongside experimental fires and documented wildfires to examine the effectiveness of differing fuel treatment options to alter multiple components of fire behavior.