Canadian environmental monitoring company commissioned whitepaper to explain critical differences between competing schools of thought regarding infrastructure deployment
Forest Technology Systems Ltd. (FTS) recently appointed an independent party to explore a common concern in the Fire Weather monitoring community: dedicated networks of remote automated weather stations (RAWS) for the primary purpose of predicting wildfire danger vs. repurposing existing networks of meteorological weather stations. With wildfires around the world increasing in frequency as well as overall damage costs, this internationally recognized fire weather monitoring company felt it important to provide a valuable tool to help global agencies understand the differences between the two measurement methodologies. The complete report is available on the FTS website (www.ftsenvironmental.com).
"When it comes to wildfire suppression and mitigation, timing is everything. It's the difference between blowing out a spark and extinguishing a full-‐blown forest fire. Traditional meteorological stations were designed for general monitoring purposes and mainly reference the World Meteorological Organizations specifications, whereas dedicated Fire Weather stations are for a specialized purpose and reference the more demanding fire weather specs required by federal government departments such as the National Interagency Fire Center in the US. A dedicated fire weather network collects the quality of data that a traditional weather station just isn't capable of." ~Eric Embacher, FTS.
The whitepaper presents testimony from industry experts, scientific findings, and historical data to examine the shortcomings of repurposed meteorological stations and the risk this approach poses to property and human lives. Traditional stations do not offer the specific, comprehensive data that today's fire management professionals require, and this missing or inaccurate data can lead to flawed predictions.
For many agencies, sticker price is still a deciding factor in choosing an implementation, but this can be a misleading and potentially false determinant as it only looks at the initial hardware costs, not the overall savings of a fire prevented. An effective dedicated fire weather network can help reduce the overall costs of fire prediction and suppression by ensuring agencies are able to have the right assets in place before a fire starts, mitigating the damage and protecting local communities, forests, and lives.
About Forest Technology Systems, Ltd. (FTS) - FTS, a 33 year old technology company based out of Victoria, B.C., Canada, is the world leader in environmental monitoring solutions for fire weather. FTS stations are in use by every one of the top 50 government forest management agencies in North America. FTS supplies the equipment for the single largest fire weather network in the world.