Sunday, September 28, 2008

Three MTDC publications

There are three fairly new Missoula Technology and Development Center publications that could be of interest to wildland firefighters:

1. Evaluation of Affordable Battery-Operated Weather Stations for Remote Sites.

The Missoula Technology and Development Center evaluated three battery-operated weather stations costing from $985 to $1,775. The stations were the HOBO Micro Station (Model No. H21-002), the WatchDog 700, and the Vantage Pro (Model No. 6150). Data could be downloaded from the HOBO Micro Station and the WatchDog 700 using hand-held devices such as a Palm personal digital assistant. The Vantage Pro's external wireless console can be located in a building that allows data to be viewed and downloaded. These are convenient features when stations are in remote locations.

2. Felling Hazard Trees With Explosives.

This tech tip describes how to use explosives to fell trees that are too hazardous to be felled with saws. Trees felled with explosives have jagged stumps rather than the artificially flat stumps left by a saw. Jagged stumps have a more natural appearance, which can be an advantage in wilderness settings. In the Forest Service, blasters not only need to be certified to work with explosives, but they must have a “Hazard Trees” endorsement to fell trees with explosives.

3. Hydration Strategies for Firefighters.

This tech tip discusses the importance of firefighters drinking 1quart of water per hour to stay hydrated during hard work. Recent research has shown that firefighters stayed hydrated and worked effectively whether they used water bottles or the newer sipping hydration systems with reservoirs and drinking tubes. Both water bottles and sipping hydration systems require periodic cleaning to remove microbial films. About one-third to half of the fluids firefighters drink each day should be carbohydrate/electrolyte sports drinks. These flavored drinks help firefighters consume enough fluid to stay hydrated and replace electrolytes lost in sweat and urine. Sports drinks are best stored in water bottles that are easier to clean regularly than the sipping hydration systems.

If you need a user name and password, look HERE. Don't ask me why they require them, but post them on a public web page.

Thanks, Dick, for the tip.

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