New Conair technology designed to fight B.C. forest fires

New Conair technology designed to fight B.C. forest fires

27 July 2011

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Canada — Fighting wild forest fires in B.C. will be more effective and less wasteful with new technology introduced on Tuesday.

Rick Pedersen, senior vice-president of Conair Group Inc., said the new constant flow delivery system improves the way air tankers drop fire retardant to control the spread of a wildfire.

He said the technological advancement is similar to using a paint roller to paint walls instead of a regular paintbrush.

“A paintbrush takes far more paint to paint a wall, and a paint roller only needs the amount of paint that’s actually needed — no more, no less,” he said.

He added that the new system can also hold more fire retardant.

The system was introduced for the Lockheed Electra L-188 aircraft.

Pedersen said the older delivery system uses tanks that are compartmentalized, which results in an unsteady and fluctuating flow of retardant. The new system, however, acts as a single tank and is regulated by electronic sensors that feed signals to a computer. The computer is then able to ensure the amount of retardant released remains relatively constant.

This way, when the aircraft is dropping the retardant, there won’t be weaker patches that could jeopardize the wildfire control efforts, he said.

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