forest fire
15 May 2018

Detection dogs can now be used to sniff out smoldering embers in the aftermath of a forest fire


Dogs and dog drivers can now be trained in the aftermath of extinguishing forest fires, reports Swedish media. On a Swedish farm, an official certification course is now offered aimed at teaching dogs to find smoldering fires still burning underground after a forest fire.

"The public interest is huge, but it's perceived as a bit of a "nerdy" thing to do, so there are not so many actual teams that are truly interested. But I think the interest will grow when people see the uses for it and realize that you can really get a job working with your dog, "says Malin Kyllesjö, who organizes the certification course, to Radio P4 Jönköping.

Once the fire service has completed rescue efforts at a forest fire, the grounds must be guarded for flair-ups. At the end of the day, all the smoldering embers in the ground must first be detected for extinguishing during the aftermath of a forest fire. This work can often be comprehensive and very costly.

Malin Kyllesjö, an experienced dog trainer, Annie Johansson, an acclaimed forest fire expert, and Martin Johnsson, a professional dog trainer from the Swedish Defence, are now offering the training course, pooling their unique experience and expertise together as a team to train dogs to ease this work:

- During the training we have been working on the aftermath extinguishing. With the help of dogs we can cover larger areas in a shorter time. Dog´s can detect embers faster, which makes the work more effective ", says Annie Johansson and Malin Kyllesjö.

The course contains basic fire behavior such as weather, topography, fuel and personal safety.

Annie JohanssonAnnie Johansson is one of Sweden's foremost experts on forest fires and conservation of natural resources.

Annie is trained in Canada and has participated in the fire in Västmanland and was responsible for the aftermath work at the Lanna forest fire.