Some considerations on possible tactics for fighting wildfires:
The first deals with firewhirl type fires, targeting the core temperature of the fire:
High pressured compressed CO2 gas tanks dropped from air operations into the center of the blaze.
If the tank does to break upon impact, the heat will eventually breach the canister resulting in a high explosion of cold gas that will suffocate the immediate vicinity from oxygen for a brief period.
Theoretically, we can significantly reduce the heat of a fire, strategically dropping tanks at different areas of the fire to disrupt wildfire growth or otherwise stall the fire momentarily.
Tank sizes can be modified depending on the situation. One larger tank to make significant impact of high intensity heats, or perhaps dropping several 5 lbs. tanks across a landscape, each one disrupting the fire’s ability to gain strength.
Another consideration is dry ice spread out over smoldering and creeping fires, both the cold and carbon dioxide will theoretically clear immediate danger, and accelerate fire containment.
The idea is to inhibit oxygen to the fire, an explosion of gas pushes the oxygen away, and the gas in it’s place cannot fuel the fire.
Argon gas could also theoretically be used.
It may be possible to over pressurize the tanks, or extra safety precautions to release gas around safety zones in the event of an emergency.
Some further consideration toward the environment would warrant the use of argon gas over co2, but after finishing the wildfire behavior course for type 2 firefighters, some additional applications can be pursued with the use of compressed gas for fire mitigation.
Take for example the predictable nature of topographical winds or cold front behavior.If we can predict where the wind is coming from, then having resources available to deliver high volumes of argon gas positioned as lookouts, to release a steady stream of gas from the point of wind entry, using the forces of the wind to carry the gas to the fire, and limit the amount of oxygen the fire has access to.
Similarly, the expectation of a cold front means we can assume to set up at a location south of the fire with an argon gas resource, or better yet, the southwest position and take advantage of the increased wind speeds when the cold front reaches the area. We can minimize how much a wildfire grows from the extra winds right before a cold front, metaphorically putting our foot in the door, so we don’t lose our place.
Argon gas “mines” for firewhirls threatening a safety zone, setting perimeter charges so that if a firewhirl passes the perimeter, it would set off an explosion of argon gas that could theoretically disrupt the combustion within the whirl. The burst of cold air could also theoretically diminish the force of a firewhirl, cooling the air that causes such violent behavior.
I had stumbled on that Firefighter portal on accident, I’ve taken the fire behavioral, currently in smoke management, but I think having this much access was an accident.
My wife… not a fan of giving your life to service, her father died in the line of duty as Thai Police, she cares more about families than heroes.
So I haven’t had a chance to delve any further than I have.
The key is our ability to predict how a fire is going to grow, which variables we can definitively define as constant, so that such resources like inert gas can be employed with accuracy. Compressed inert gas, I wonder if it will help the dixie fire, which is why I send you this email today.
If it is something worth exploring, the Dixie Fire is at least worth testing, compressed tanks of inert gas, my suggestion of argon gas, to push the oxygen away from the blaze and momentarily suffocate the fire with the presence of a gas the fire can’t consume. If you could design the charges to discharge horizontally, keeping the force of the explosion sending gas across the landscape it would help to maximize effectiveness and efficiency.
Also, on the fire line side, I feel like we could bring in local professions, adding some income for being on-call, to help expedite the forming of fire lines, and even supplementing entrepreneurial expediency to controlling the fire.
Instead of calling for other fire fighters from other locales (not saying to replace, but we’re spreading ourselves thin), you can utilize municipal resources if we were prepared to do so.
Like plows reporting for snowfall, we too can have a commercial arm to assist firefighters, and it would cost less than moving so many qualified resources around.
Talking squads of semi haulers ready to pull rooted trees from their position, getting them out of the way in short order.
Professional fellers can be relied on to fell your trees safely, and with accuracy.
Even their apprentices can run down your considerations and safety concerns with competence, long enough for the boss to get back and confirm everything said.
Relying on this professionalism in conjunction to firefighting leadership can be a great partnership in fire management.
Heavy machine crews, those semis could come in hauling machines to pile mounds in front, while loading the empty beds and moving them off a quarter mile.
Landscape crews can clear your brush, they work for HOA, they know how to move.