Based on the success of night firefighting testing in 2019, the BC Wildfire Service in Canada will shortly resume testing and evaluation of the effectiveness of fighting fires at night with NVG equipped helicopters.
Testing resumed over July 6th and 7th, 2020, and involved drops of fire suppressants in grassland and urban scenarios comparing the effectiveness of daytime and nighttime operations.
Ongoing testing will include developing advanced helitanker protocols and procedures that will assist in the eventual development of a 24/7 firefighting methodology that can be employed to lessen the spread of wildfires in the heavily wooded BC area.
2019 testing involved three tests that were conducted during the Richter Mountain and Eagle Bluff wildfires where aircraft were used to assist in aerial mapping each fire at night to identify hot-spots.
The 2020 testing cycle will include multiple simulated drops in controlled environments with no fires burning. Ground observers will then evaluate each drop for accuracy and effectiveness. After evaluations, the BC Wildfire Service will then adjust and apply what has been learned to further drops during the testing.