Andrew Stack | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 17/07/2024
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
849 General Services Building (GSB), General Services Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB

Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Final Exam Seminar by Andrew Stack. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.

Zoom link:

MSc with Dr. Jen Beverly.

Thesis Topic: Influence of Airborne Ocularly-Assessed Stand Density on Wildfire Escapes and Containment Challenges


The relationship between increasing forest density and increasing wildfire behaviour is well established.
However, in the unique case of initial attack wildfire operations, traditional data collection methods to
measure forest density are both impractical and unsafe. As an alternative approach, aerial ocular assessment
to rapidly determine forest density and its impacts on wildfire behaviour is examined. Wildfire assessment
photography, taken during the initial action phase of wildfire suppression in pure boreal spruce (Picea
mariana) forests, served as an excellent opportunistic dataset to develop a series of ordinal wildfire
behaviour and forest density metrics for testing. This approach explored two scenarios: 1) the effects of
forest density on containment escapes, where suppression efforts failed to contain a wildfire to less than 2
hectares before being classified as “being held,” and 2) the effects of forest density on wildfire containment
challenges, where crews arrived at an incident where the wildfire had already exceeded 0.5 hectares before
suppression began. 

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