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.

Just Posted

Active transportation plan coming, but it’s already a city priority

Active and sustainable transportation was discussed at e-town hall meeting Thursday

Nanaimo chamber receives B.C. Chamber of Commerce award

Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce lauded for community engagement, night market

Nanaimo residents train in rain at Active for Life Expo

Kettlebell, free running among activities on display at PacficSport VI event at Maffeo Sutton Park

Nanaimo Gem and Mineral Show rocking all weekend

Event being held Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26, at the Legion Branch 256

Nanaimo-Ladysmith students put their robots to the test in competition

High school students problem-solved at VEX robotics tournament this week

Nanaimo kindergarten teacher receives Prime Minister’s award

Departure Bay Eco-School’s Liz McCaw use of experiential learning methods earns her accolade

Nanaimo students press for action on climate change

Strike for Climate was held again Friday; students feel their concerns aren’t being taken seriously

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterey, Calif.

Most Read