Canada looks to fight wildfires with night-vision equipped helicopters

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When fire threatened Edson Alberta back in June Crews work to protect the town day and night typically overnight the uh humidity is higher and the temperatur is lower uh thus kind of affecting the fire Behavior keeping it low while Darkness gives firefighters the upper hand it also often keeps aircraft on the ground

Helicopters and water bombers unable to see the situation properly at night but not anymore back in 2018 Vancouver’s Talon helicopters bought a dolphin Airbus Chopper the type used by the US Coast Guard and made it night vision ready all the lighting in the interior and all that was changed so it’s um it’s

Compliance with using night vision goggles um at at at the time over the last several years it’s been used at Night by BC search and rescue and BC ambulance it was also piloted by BC wildfire in 2020 things went well with that um but uh nothing nothing came of

It over the next uh next couple years BC Wildfire says it hasn’t had enough time to integrate the technology into its Fleet but one province’s loss has been another’s gain Last Summer the helicopter spent 115 nighttime hours fighting wildfires across Alberta typically we would go out um kind of

Just before dusk uh get good situational Awareness on a wildfire and then fly through the night till about 300 or 4 in the morning Alberta Wildfire says the helicopter was an invaluable tool through the record-breaking Fire season of this past year but while Canada saw more than 18 million hectares burn so

Far Alberta is the only Canadian jurisdiction using the air support able to fly at night Heather urix West Global News Calgary

After last year’s record-breaking wildfire season, crews across western Canada are looking to new technology to help in future fights.

As temperatures typically climb throughout the day, night time offers a special opportunity for firefighters to gain the upper hand.

It’s why Alberta has added a new tool capable of tackling wildfires from the air — in the dark.

Heather Yourex-West reports.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Are these "wildfires" natural occurrences of climate change or from Chinese ?? arson?
    – Why did they only happen in democratic places like Hawaii, Canada ??, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Portugal, California, and other parts of Europe,
    but never China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea?

  2. I was one of those people who got evacuated from where I was. Flee from wherever to reach safety. I have an opinion about that.
    Maybe we should not be sending 9 billion dollars( at last estimate about a month ago) to an illegitimate fascist regime in Ukraine. Maybe our government should be spending that money at home, where communities could use it to keep themselves alive.
    Buy more caterpillars, buy more trucks, buy more water bombers. I can't see any reason that we could send that money overseas when we are desperately in need of it where I live.
    Yeah, get proactive and make the fire cuts before the fire arrive.
    It already happened twice in my community, so there is no reason I can trust the government on this.

  3. Have suggested numerous times you take a C-5 Galaxy out of retirement. Plumb the length of the fuselage with 6" dia pipe. Put 5 bladders with 10,000 gallons of water each inside, making sure the bladders empty at the same rate so as not to throw off the balance of the aircraft. You could literally drown fires with the equivalent of about 20 conventional water bombers with 2,500 gallon payloads at once if required. I see this more however as something that could make 50 1,000 gallon drops over significant distances based on range of the aircraft and the ability to loiter if 3 or 4 passes are required in one spot.

  4. More than 60% of all wildfires that happened in 2023 were caused by human error, night vision and thermal camera's are not going to help the situation, what we need is Smokey the Bear back on television to educate the public on proper fire management, I mean, it's not all that hard to dig a foot deep hole and surround it with rocks when you go camping prepared…as for the idiots with fireworks…Open Season? Nothing else seems to work…lol

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