Enter the Water Dome: Reviewing ideas for fighting wildfires

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) is in Kamloops at a symposium this week

  • Mar. 6, 2019 1:39 p.m.

-Kamloops this Week

Innovative ideas to help aid the impending wildfire season are being evaluated by the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) in Kamloops at a symposium this week.

Vendors from more than 30 Canadian and international companies are making presentations at the BCWS office on Airport Road until this Friday.

Explaining how their technology and services could help fight the fires that have been so destructive in B.C. the past two years.

One of those companies is Aerochek Systems, which will demonstrate its Water Dome system on Wednesday afternoon.

In the event of a passing wildfire, the automated wildfire suppression system coats a home in water from sprinklers located on the roof, eaves and the ground, which are triggered by heat sensors.

“If people have to evacuate their house they can arm the system, leave the house and if the fire encroaches … it will start the whole system up and cause the house to get sprinkled with a dome of water, so henceforth [we called it] Water Dome,” said Aerochek president Glenn Berlow.

READ MORE: Okanagan hopes $111M in B.C. wildfire cash will extinguish fires this summer

Water Dome has a 1,000-gallon water tank and backup power supply to ensure the system will still work in the event water and power supplies are cut off due to the fire.

Those features also enable the product to protect structures in places those services are unavailable.

Berlow said there are three ways a fire burns down a home — radiant heat, direct flames or via flying embers, which Water Dome’s misty fog can keep at bay.

The system, Berlow estimated, could cost about $5,000 if he can install the units in bulk.

During his presentation, Berlow plans to push for the government to offer a grant to incentivize homeowners interested in Water Dome.

“Right now, we’re trying to get them to help us with some research to help standardize and possibly certify the product to a certain degree,” he said.

Aerochek has been developing the product for the past 18 months, he said.

READ MORE: Lake Country staff work to mitigate wildfire risk in Okanagan Centre

Dawn Makarowski, public affairs officer for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, said the symposium will enable BCWS to examine proposals that might assist with wildfire preparedness, response and recovery. BCWS will then decide which ideas merit further discussion, demonstrations or field testing.

The recorded wildfire season in B.C. runs from April 1 to October each year.

The 2018 and 2017 seasons were the worst on record in terms of hectares burned and budget costs.

“I think they’re trying to shake some ideas out of the woodwork and see if there’s anything they can add to their set of resources,” said Berlow.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ride-hailing licence expected in Maple Ridge by April 1

Regional licence now on council agenda

Maple Ridge RCMP continue search for Atefeh Jadidian

The police released a new photo showing the missing woman walking east on Dewdney Trunk Road

Street drug deaths drop by half in Maple Ridge

City last on list of 15 with highest number of fatalities

COMMUNITY NETWORK: Weekend wellness event connects Indigenous with resources

Culture can be a medicine for Aboriginal people, as columnist Ginna Berg explains ahead of Saturday

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Dragon boating changes lives for Spirit Abreast paddlers

The Cultus Lake based team is looking to fill a boat with breast cancer survivors and supporters.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Notorious B.C. fugitive to be extradited from California on murder charge

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Most Read