“WILDFIRES, WILDLAND FIRES, FOREST FIRES, GRASSLAND FIRES, PEAT FIRES or ZOMBIE FIRES.”
No matter how you might know them, all of the above fires are now part of our daily lives.
Each year, we read about these fires in our news or watch them play out live on our TV’s. They consume vast areas across the world, sweeping through and destroying everything in their path. We know they are getting worse, a lot worse, and there is a lot of debate on why, but we are not looking to answer that question here, but we are looking at how we might deal with them. The losses from these fires are VAST. Trees, plants and vegetation. Homes, buildings and infrastructure. Livestock, wild animals and their habitat. And the worst of all, the loss of human life.
You will have read elsewhere on our website that Cold Fire is a remarkable firefighting wetting agent that continues to help FRS (Fire and Rescue Services) around the world with Structural, Vehicle, and Waste Recycling fire alike. But did you know Cold Fire is also used on all the above fires? For nearly three decades, Cold Fire has been through some of the most demanding, environmentally focused fire standards on the planet.
Some of the most highly praised in this area are the US DAFS (Department of Agriculture Forest Service) and CALFIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection). Each designed to push any firefighting agent to its very limits, but their environmental credentials are the real focus. We continue to show how Cold Fire can assist in all types of fires, but using Cold Fire on Wildfires is new to the UK and European FRS’s.
Demand brings change…
Due to the continued pressures placed on our FRS here in the UK at Wildfires, we found ourselves being asked whether Cold Fire could assist in these types of fires due to its set of unique benefits that it brings to a firefighter. This question came up repeatedly, and in 2018, the UK had one of its worst Wildfire seasons ever. Two Wildfires were declared major incidents that year. Saddleworth in Greater Manchester and Winter Hill in Lancashire, and even though they are small compared to fires that happen across the world, Winter Hill consumed over 7 square miles of countryside, lasted for 41 days and used over 980 Individual Fire Engines during this event!!
Because of the growing interest in Cold Fire, we were asked to attend the Saddleworth incident. However, at this point, there was still a lack of understanding of how a product like Cold Fire or wetting agents as a whole could help at these events. Unfortunately, Cold Fire was deemed to be like any other firefighting agent and might cause a significant pollution event, so in this case, it was not used. However, after watching these fires consume historical 4,000 year old peat bogs dedicated as ASSI (Areas of Special Scientific Interest), we decided something had to be done. We had to try and change the hearts and minds of the people who chose what is used and what is not. Remember, Cold Fire is and always will be 100% Naturally Made, and when water no longer works and you need to use an additive, this is a big tick in the box environmentally.
We set about developing a more focused understanding of Cold Fire, and to do this, and we set up a new internal WG (Working Group) within Hydro Navitas. Our existing firefighting group would focus on the day-to-day use of Cold Fire, and the new WG would look at Wildfires, particularly the parts that make up the event as a whole. FRS’s, FOG (Fire Operational Groups), Support Structures, Training and Direct Services were all looked at in detail. But first, we attended every UK Wildfire Forum as we needed to get ourselves known. It was here that we met two of our most important (future) team members.
percent more efficient at fire suppression than using just water
Imperial College London
It also has a truly amazing capacity for cooling. By safely removing intense heat on contact on any surface and thereby preventing re-ignition and flare ups of hot spots.
times more penetrable than water alone through forest ground surface fuels
Rakowska et al. 2017
CERTIFIED FREE OF TOXIC CHEMICALS
Hydro Navitas Wildfire Solutions
Over time, our WG developed into our Wildfire division and then into Hydro Navitas Wildfire Solutions or HNWS for short.
The team within HNWS already knew that Cold Fire is one of the best firefighting agents available, but it is just part of the bigger picture. It is used to help control Wildfires across the world, but it could be used to provide control before the fire even starts during prescribed burns. But first, we had to prove it, so we approached a couple of key stakeholders, suppliers and academics in the Wildfire world for help.
Our goal for HNWS is to provide you with a One-Stop-Shop for all things Wildfire. To achieve this, we have been putting Cold Fire through its paces with the help of the stakeholders below. They pushed Cold Fire and our team to breaking point. We knew what Cold Fire could do as we have seen it, but we didn’t realise how far we could push it or when it might stop achieving the desired results? We had great fun trying to break Cold Fire.
The following people and companies helped us get there;
Marc Castellnou heads up one of the most well respected Wildfire Teams in the world, the GRAF. Marc is known worldwide for his expertise on Wildfire and is often found as a key guest speaker at Wildfire events globally during their quieter winter months (this seems to be getting shorter) and is based in Catalonia, Spain. His Specialist Forestry Unit, known by its Catalan initials, the GRAF battle against some of the most significant fires in Europe from the coast to deep into the Pyrenees Mountains. The team has put Cold Fire through its passes.
Steve Gibson is a Wildfire Specialist who built his understanding of Wildfires from the ground up. Steve quite literally wrote the book on UK Wildfire as Principal Author on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Wildfire Operational Guide. He was one of the Wildfire Technical Leads for the NFCC (National Fire Chiefs Council). During his time at Northumberland FRS, Steve travelled the world, learning from the best. He developed UK Wildfire firefighter training and has taken many UK firefighters over to work and train with the GRAF. He is closely linked to the Pau Costa Foundation for research and firefighting.
Professor Guillermo Rein is Head of Fire Science at the Department of Mechanical Engineering ICL (Imperial College, London), working out of his world-renown HAZELab. His focus is on Deepseated Fires that result from Wildfires, Combustion and Heat Transfer. He has spent his academic life dedicated to understanding Wildfires’ dynamics and the devastation they leave behind. His team has carried out research that has helped many people survive Wildfires and the aftermath they leave behind with deep-seated peat fires. His work on Zombie Fires was one reason we knew his HAZELab was the right place to test Cold Fire. One PhD student has spent over 400 hours putting Cold Fire through its paces, and they believe, found something quite remarkable, but more on this later.
Vallfirest is a global leader in Wildfires. Due to the sheer numbers of Wildfires they provide services to, it is no surprise that they are also based in the region of Spain, and as great innovators and they work closely with the GRAF to provide Wildfire firefighters worldwide. With their lightweight firefighting clothing, Backpacks and Hydration packs, and an array of specialist equipment such as Gorgui, McLeod, Pulaski and Fire Swatters. They lead in large vehicle mounted Pumps units, Portable Pumps, Heliskids, Bladder Tanks, and advanced Leo aerial attack units used from helicopters. Cold Fire has been tested through its systems, backpacks, tanks and other key services.
Over the last year, with the help of our stakeholders, we found ourselves fast becoming one of the UK’s authorities on Wildfire Solutions. Currently, we are working on several leading Wildfire Projects alongside Land Managers and Agents, Government Agencies, Fire and Rescue Services, Specialist Associations and FOG (Fire Operational Group). HNWS provide a range of detailed Fire Risk Assessment, Fire Risk Analysis, and Fire Mitigation Plans. These are just some of the services that are all available to you. Our Wildfire Solutions team is here to support you.
THE BEST WETTING AGENT AVAILABLE
Magical’ fire suppressant kills zombie fires 40% faster than water alone
The researchers say this is a big step in tackling Zombie Fires, which are the largest fires on Earth. They ignite very easily, are notoriously difficult to put out, and release up to 100 times more carbon into the atmosphere than flaming fires, contributing to climate change.
We are proud to announce that we have two of the world’s leading authorities on Wildfire now working at the very heart of Hydro Navitas Wildfire Solutions. Welcome to MARC CASTELLNOU and STEVE GIBSON.
Due to the body of work we have been carrying out over the last few years, our team developed a close relationship with Marc and Steve. Every event we were at, they were there also, so it didn’t take long to realise that we had the same vision on WIldfires. Since then, we have spent time with them and the GRAF testing Cold Fire and developing the different techniques used here in the UK, across Europe and worldwide. Steve continues to guide our team and inspire us to find new ways of using Cold Fire. HNWS can offer a complete suite of Wildfire Services.
Marc and Steve supported a Fire Analysis team located at the ‘State of the Art‘ Wildfire Research Centre. Our team can provide you with a range of tailored Wildfire packages and modules based on your needs that, until now, you could not find in one place. Everything starts at the beginning, and we are no different. Developing a Strategic Overview is our first priority, and then from there, we move out.
Farms to Estates. Sporting to Music Events. Counties to National Parks. Our team can provide you with everything you need regardless of where you are or the size of an area. If you have the potential for FIRE across your landscape that threatens your way of life or planned event, Social, Commercial or Military, or asset you need to protect across the landscape from Communication Towers to Reservoirs, our team can help.
We are developing our new Wildfire website as we speak. We hope it will provide you with the level of support you need. There will be lots of new options and news to find out more, so please come back. Keep an eye out for our new Wildfire Solutions logo above across social media for updates. See you all soon.