Digital wildfire trainingEmergent Technologies

By Lindsay Mohlere

New technology comes in many forms. In this column, we are going to take a look at three of the latest.

Tigercat’s New Portal

Tigercat has just added a little bit of polish to its telematics packages with the introduction of the new RemoteLog portal.

RemoteLog allows users to remotely monitor and manage fleet machines off-site, while on the road or at the office. The new enhancements to the portal include a new diagnostic dashboard designed to be more user friendly with a single click to bring up technical information for any fault code. The portal offers a one-stop machine summary report containing operating time, production metrics, total fuel consumption, and much more on a weekly basis.

The enhancements also give you the ability to track how much you are producing with your machines. Mulchers now report mulched land area to give you a sense of their productivity. Harvesters and processors report production volumes and stem counts, while forwarders report the number of loads carried.

New machines have an initial subscription to RemoteLog, which can be renewed at subscription end.

Tigercat’s LogOn enables access to detailed machine data and diagnostic tools using a wi-fi capable device within about 50 feet of the machines. LogOn is available through the Tigercat app and comes as standard equipment on 2020 machines.

Along with the newest and coolest telematics, Tigercat also launched the 2.2 version of the Tigercat App with multi-lingual capability, customizable features, and an upgraded user experience.

Digital wildfire training

Lasers Used to Survey Biomass of Northern California Redwoods

According to research journal Scientific Reports, researchers have conducted a three-dimensional survey using 3-D terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to estimate the volume and above-ground biomass of the California Redwoods, the world’s biggest trees.

Large trees are disproportionately important in terms of their above-ground biomass (AGB) and carbon storage, as well as their wider impact on ecosystem structure. They are also very hard to measure and so tend to be underrepresented in measurements and models of AGB. California’s giant redwood trees play an outsized role in above-ground carbon sequestration and have a larger impact on their ecosystems than their non-giant neighbors.

Research scientists used the ground-based lasers at three forest sites in Northern California and hope the data will help them more precisely monitor the impacts of climate change on redwood forests, which represent some of the highest biomass ecosystems on Earth.

Compared with detailed manual crown mapping of 3-D tree structure, which involves either cutting and weighing trees piece by piece or using expert climbers to provide manual measurements, the TLS estimates agree within two percent AGB. Scientists suggest future tree survey could combine selective 3-D crown mapping efforts with laser-based measurements.

Knowing how much carbon is stored in different tree species will help answer big questions within the climate science in response to rising CO2 levels are, whether and where more trees should be planted, and how best to conserve existing forests.

Digital Wildfire Risk Reduction Training

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has recently received a large grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to transform its classroom-based wildfire risk reduction training into a digital learning experience for Americans living and working in the wildland/urban interface (WUI).

WUI is an area where human-made structures and infrastructure are in, or adjacent to, areas that are prone to wildfire. From 1990 to 2010, the WUI grew rapidly with increases of 41 percent in home and 33 percent in land, making it the fastest growing land-use type in the lower 48.

According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), individual homeowner efforts can make a huge difference not only in the survivability of their own homes, but in their neighbors’ homes as well.

NFPA will develop three training programs — for homeowners, business owners, and public safety personnel. They will cover WUI fire mitigation practices using interactive web-based training and engaging simulations in a 3-D virtual environment. The training modules will be experiential, a process of learning through experience such as hands-on or simulations.

The two-day course, which is based on fire science research into how homes and other structures ignite during wildfires, covers wildfire behavior, structure exposure, and the concept of the Home Ignition Zone. Attendees learn how to analyze wildfire risks to structures and provide actionable advice to property owners through an activity-rich curriculum.

The transformation project will be conducted in partnership with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization, and it will be overseen by a technical advisory panel of experts.

COVID19 and Fire Season Recap

As we head into the new year with the ugly Covid19 spiking up across the nation, it’s interesting to note that virus safety restrictions and safety protocols placed on wildland firefighting operations at the beginning of fire season seem to have paid off for thousands of firefighters battling the unprecedented and tragic fires of 2020.

The protocols, which included physical distancing and wearing face coverings, demanded smaller camps and multiple staging areas with fewer people. A “Module as One” concept was also applied. This concept was initiated where crews were treated as a family unit, not as individuals, and as such, stayed away from other crews not in the module. If one crew member became infected, the whole module isolated.

According to Wildfire Today, as of November, the Forest Service reports that at least 219 USFS personnel involved in firefighting have tested positive for the virus. CAL Fire has reported 141 cases. Oregon Department of Forestry reports that “among all wildland firefighters in Oregon this summer — not just ODF personnel — only seven have tested positive.

National Park Service, BLM, and private firefighting outfits have not yet provided updated infection numbers.

That’s a Wrap!

Source: UPI, Scientific Journal, Wildfire Today, FEMA, NFPA

Talk back at [email protected].

Stay safe out there.


TimberWest November/December 2013
November/December 2020

On the Cover
Photo of ZB Cutting on a smoky morning - TimberPro feller buncher with Quadco head on the Archie Creek fire in Glide, Oregon.

Sawmilling in the Age of COVID
Steady log supply, innovative equipment upgrades, fluctuating lumber markets, personnel issues…sawmills have constant challenges. Now add COVID.

On the Cutting Edge
When Zach Brugnoli began researching tethering machines, efficiency and versatility were at the top of his list.

A Look Into Fire
August 14, 1933, a forest fire literally exploded into being near the coastal Northwest Oregon town of Tillamook. It was described as “holocaustic”.

The Great Outdoors - Gustafson’s Favorite Office
Gustafson says, “On the Oregon coast, we have new environments every five minutes. When it’s ugly, it’s ugly, but when it’s beautiful, it’s awesome.”

Emergent Technologies column
A look at monitoring, 3D surveys, and digital wildfire training.

Tech Review
A review of track log loaders currently on the market.

Guest Column
2020: A Year We Won’t Forget


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