Fuel Moisture Changes from Sprinkler-watering Treatments in Interior Alaska Boreal Forests

  • Author / Creator
    Barnes, Devon
  • This thesis studied the efficacy of sprinklers for fuel hazard reduction to prevent wildfires. Fire management’s response capacity to suppress wildfires is increasingly becoming overwhelmed because of climate change and its effects on fire regimes. Sprinkler-watering can change fuel moisture around values at risk to either reduce fire intensity or prevent it entirely. Sprinkler systems have proven to be effective at preventing wildfires, making them worthwhile to research as potential firefighting apparatus. The purpose of this research is to examine the effects of sprinkler-watering on fuel moisture changes in lowland boreal forests floors around interior Alaska. The experiment tested 6 sites, and each site contained 2 sprinkler-watering treatment levels and a control treatment. Treatment units consisted of 4 plots containing 4 temporal samples, which measured the amount of water received from sprinkler-watering and consequential change in fuel moisture content. These moss and upper-duff samples showed that amount of water distributed from sprinkler-watering caused a positive change in fuel moisture. The sprinkler-watering distribution was approximately 10 mm of equivalent rainfall per 3.8 L of gas. This experiment recommends moss and upper-duff receives 10 and 20 mm of equivalent rainfall to raise moisture beyond ignition for this sprinkler system. A wildfire prevention strategy is safer for people and more cost-effective than fire suppression. Indirect response tactics namely fuel management, value engineering, and sprinkler protection could help prepare values for wildfires. Sprinkler protection can occur at the interface, community, and landscape levels to allow wildfires to burn around values at risk to restore ecological resilience.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Protected Areas and Wildlands Management
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Baxter, Greg (FPInnovations)
    • Flannigan, Mike (Renewable Resources)
    • Armstrong, Glen (Renewable Resources)
    • Wotton, Mike (Faculty of Forestry)