To the Northwest Territory

Made it to Canada! I arrived in Calgary, Alberta at - unbeknownst to me- the height of their Stampede Festival. I was not prepared. The festival is essentially the rodeo of all rodeos and no expense is sparred. With extreme effort, I managed to avoid getting run over by a chuckwagon or die of acute coronary syndrome (everything is fried).

On the project side of things, tomorrow marks my first real assignment: I am heading up to Fort Providence in the Northwest Territory with a team from Forest Product Innovations. We will be heading to a wildfire experimental site, where research is being conducted on the effectiveness of various fuel management treatments in boreal forests.  In greater detail, the site encompasses numerous plots with a control section (normal boreal forest type) and a treated section (manipulated vegetation - mulched, pruned, thinned, etc). The plot is then set on fire in the control section, which will have intense crown fire activity, and then observed as fire enters the control section, where the fire behavior may change due to the manipulation.

The applied use of this research is for community protection against wildfires. If researchers can deduce which fuel treatments reduce fire behavior the most, they can recommend communities conduct these treatments in their surrounding forests. Additional research has been conducted at the site for evaluation and testing of protective fire shelters, airborne sampling of smoke, and assessments of structure protection techniques (the effectiveness of sprinklers against high intensity crown fires).

The site is way up there. Planning to be camping and working up there for the 10 days or so. Excited to observe some extreme fire behavior.

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