Established forest firefighting techniques: A qualitative review of practices among the Swedish fire services.

University essay from Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för Brandteknik

Abstract: Methods and equipment used for fighting forest fires are different from the ones used in urban fires. Generally, the wildfires are intense, require more resources and tend to spread rapidly. The effectiveness of different suppression techniques is difficult to evaluate since they depend on terrain, weather conditions and other varying factors over time and space. The current study focuses on the several popular techniques used by firefighters for suppressing forest fires around the world and their applicability by Swedish fire services in Sweden. Eight such techniques have been found through comprehensive literature study. These are described in the report with their general application, use and popularity among Swedish fire services along with the advantages and disadvantages. Questionnaires were distributed among the Swedish fire services to collect information about prevalent practices in forest firefighting. A total of 72 persons from different fire and rescue services in Sweden participated in the survey. It has been found that some of the techniques are more popular than others. The general trend in the Swedish fire services seems to be a direct attack at early detection of fire. All the fire and rescue services that responded to in the survey are equipped with drones and other aerial resources for the early detection of fire. In survey, 81% reported that the first action on fire is a direct attack and the resource reinforcement has improved comprehensively from other relevant organizations like MSB, home guard, farmers, forest/ landowners etc. especially after 2018. Techniques like control line/ fire lines, protective burning, cold trailing are not very well-known, knowledge and the training is limited, and have been practiced seldom in the past three years.

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