Fighting fire with fire

22 Feb, 2017 | Working on Fire

Through the centuries man has used fire as a tool – to create warmth and prepare meals, clear land for farming, maintain vegetation and control waste.

As climate change influences become more prevalent, we are noticing an increase in wildfires around the world. Fortunately, another very valuable use for fire, is to help fight fire.

Fire fuels is the one leg of the combustion triangle (heat, air and fuel) that can be influenced before the ignition event, and therefore, the one factor that can be mitigated wherever practically possible.

As a result, prescribed burning is one of the most successful tools to help manage fire fuels – a key factor in uncontrolled wildfires.  Where suitable and appropriate, Working on Fire (WOF) advocates the use of prescribed fire within the IFM system, using both ground and aerial ignition, to reduce fuel loads and the potential of catastrophic wildfires.

Working on Fire (WOF), has done extensive research on how fire can be utilised during fire management operations. WOF advocates full Integrated Fire Management (IFM), which addresses fire reduction, readiness, response, and recovery.

Many other international specialists share WOF’s conviction on the beneficial use of fire, and collaborated at the fourteenth International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and the first ever International Congress on Prescribed fire (ICoPFire) recently held in Barcelona.  These specialists gathered to identify the opportunities and constraints of the use of fire as a land management tool and shared the latest international research and technical expertise.

Working on Fire’s Lynne Trollope, presented: Open Ended Fire Breaks – New Technology for Creating Extensive Fire Breaks in Challenging Landscapes. Winston Trollope discussed Guideline for Prescribed Burning for Range Management for Livestock and Trevor Wilson presented a paper on Practical use of aerial ignition for controlled fires in South Africa on behalf of Bob Connolly.

Working on Fire makes fire their business and, through IFM, their ethos is to save lives and protect properties and the environment from wildfire.

For information, read the ICopFires newsletter here.

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