Basic Forest Fire Suppression Course - Online Lessons


5.1 Forest Fire Suppression

Nova Scotia fire suppression activities will almost always involve the use of water during the containment effort. We have an abundant supply of the resource and we will make every effort to utilize it. All crews have undergone pump training, our fleet of helicopters are all equipped with water dropping buckets and large tanker transport is available through local VFD`s. Moving water is crucial to our suppression effort and applying as soon as possible means the difference between a low intensity surface fire and one that will transition into a fire of higher intensity which could possibly escape control.

During suppression activities it is important to know fire terminology and how to communicate specific locations. The back of a fire (lowest intensity levels) is called the Rear and as it moves in a particular direction it creates sides called flanks. The area of a fire where the greatest intensity levels and usually the most rapid spread rates is called the head. If the wind continues from one direction, the head will be found at the front. A finger is a section of fire that made a run in a desirable fuel type which creates the irregular shape or burn pattern on a fire. Rarely will a burn be so complete (not likely in Nova Scotia with the variety of fuels on the ground) that everything is completely burned and the area does not contain some form of irregular shapes. Spots fires can be located outside the main body and are caused by wind conditions that carry burning embers away from the main fire.