Webinars and Courses

Upcoming Canada Wildfire Webinars

 Lightning fire occurrence prediction - modelling for operational use
Mike Wotton

July 8, 2022  09:30-11:00 MDT

This presentation is for both academic and operational audience in Canada's wildfire community.  You will learn about lightning fire ignition and the important processes that determine the day to day variation of this important source of summertime fire activity in Canada. Examples from models developed and used in Ontario’s fire occurrence prediction system will be provided as well as some comparison to similar model development in other regions of the country. Reviewing the history and operational use of these models in Ontario provides useful examples of the challenges and opportunities (and ultimately the long-term investment required) in getting research into operational use in wildland fire management.

Mike Wotton is a Senior Research Scientist with the Canadian Forest Service - Natural Resources Canada currently stationed at the University of Toronto in the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. His research focuses primarily on developing models of fuel moisture exchange, fire ignition, spread and intensity that can be used to provide daily wildfire information to fire management agencies throughout Canada.   Dr. Wotton works closely with fire management agencies from across Canada in the application of the results of his research into daily fire management operations and coordinated the CFS’s development of a next generation of the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System.

Terrestrial and airborne lidar systems
Date TBD, 09:30-11:00 MST  *postponed*  

Description and presenter bio coming soon

Live Q&A - ask the experts! 
Date TBD, 09:30-11:00 MST  *postponed*

Tune in to participate in a live Q&A with the experts. We have compiled a list of questions from the three sessions and will be putting them forward to our experts. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions live.

View past sessions

Mission Critical Teams: reflection, reset, and residue in wildland fire management
Preston B. Cline

June 1, 2022  09:30-11:00 MDT

Join us as Dr. Preston Cline presents Mission Critical Team training, a way to resolve complex adaptive problems in an immersive, but constrained (five minutes or less) temporal environments, where the consequence of failure can be critical. 

Dr. Cline spent 30 years in the field of Adventure Education leading expeditions on all seven continents. These journeys became the catalyst for a lifelong academic investigation on how humans learn to interact with uncertainty. Along the way, Preston has received a B.S. from Rutgers University, focusing on professional youth work, a Masters of Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education on risk and uncertainty, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education on the training and education of Mission Critical Teams: Small (4-12 agents), integrated groups of indigenously trained and educated experts that leverage tools and technology to resolve complex adaptive problems in an immersive, but constrained (five minutes or less), temporal environments, where the consequence of failure can be catastrophic. 

In 2018, after 10 years serving as the Director of the Wharton Leadership Ventures, at the Wharton School, Preston founded the Mission Critical Team Institute, which is an applied research institute focused on the development of an international collaborative inquiry community made up of Instructor Cadres within Military Special Operations, Emergency Medicine, Tactical Law Enforcement, Aerospace, and Urban and Wilderness Fire Fighting Organizations within Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States. When he is not working with Cadre, he resides in Annapolis with his extraordinary spouse Amy.

Our future with fire: barriers and opportunities for the revitalization of fire stewardship
Kira Hoffman

May 13, 2022  09:30-11:00 MDT

In this webinar, Dr. Hoffman will describe some of the factors that have contributed to the recent impactful wildfire seasons experienced in British Columbia in the last five years. She will discuss some of the barriers to applying controlled fire to the broader landbase and the importance of supporting Indigenous-led fire stewardship.

Dr. Kira Hoffman is a fire ecologist and former wildland firefighter. Hoffman's research focuses on how humans have used fire for millennia to manage and enhance their natural surroundings. In concert with Indigenous and local ecological knowledge, she uses western science to better understand how present-day forests have been shaped by stewardship techniques such as burning and how ongoing fire suppression has eroded the resiliency of landscapes and human communities. From field expeditions sampling fire-scarred trees to historical photograph interpretation and remote sensing imagery, her methods also integrate a range of disciplines including dendrochronology, botany, and archaeology. Currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of British Columbia, she is passionate about linking knowledge to action through science communication and supporting Indigenous-led solutions to environmental problems. Find her @kiramhoffman on Twitter or visit http://www.kirahoffman.com.

More fire, more people, less water: exploring wildfire risks to water security in a changing world
François-Nicolas Robinne

April 8, 2022  09:30-10:30 MDT

Join us for a 60 min presentation to learn about: how forests contribute to water security; how fire, forests, and humans interact to impact water security; what is the state of wildfire-watershed risk research in Canada; and, what are the tools, methods, and data available to advance research and management of wildfire risks to water security.

François is a risk geographer. He started to work on wildfire risk issues in Southern France during his BSc and MSc in environmental geography. Early on, he developed a keen interest for the study of fire as a threat to water supply. After several years in the private sector where he worked as a GIS and remote-sensing analyst, he moved to Canada to do his PhD at the University of Alberta. His PhD thesis focused on wildfire risks to water security at a global scale, a topic that he kept working on during his post-doc with Global Water Futures, although with a greater focus on Canadian issues. François joined the Canadian Forest Service in early 2021 where he works as a wildfire research scientist. Most of his work focuses on understanding the impact of wildfires, both positive and negative, on watershed functioning and water supply in Canada.

Wildfire perimeter mapping from Landsat satellite imagery
Rob Skakun

February 18, 2022 09:30-10:30 MST  

Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of post-fire mapping using Landsat satellite imagery. This presentation will also highlight how fire perimeters derived from Landsat have improved estimations of burned area over conventional mapping methods and, as an application example, demonstrate the use of these perimeters to assess undisturbed woodland caribou habitat in a northern boreal forest.


Rob is a remote sensing specialist at the Canadian Forest Service using satellite technology to improve perimeter mapping of wildfires in Canada's forests. He creates annual maps of burned areas that meet the requirements for Canada's reporting commitments on emissions of greenhouse gases from wildfires and is an active member of the CIFFC Geospatial Working Group.

Accessing and processing spatial data in Google Earth Engine for fire applications
Ellen Whitman 

February 18, 2022 10:30-11:30 MST  

This presentation will highlight some examples of recent wildfire research developed using Google Earth Engine. The audience will be introduced to the Earth Engine data catalog and will be shown demonstrations of publicly available code and Earth Engine applications.


Ellen Whitman is a Forest Fire Research Scientist with Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, working at the Northern Forestry Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. She holds a PhD in Forest Biology and Management from the University of Alberta (2019), where her research focused on wildfire frequency, burn severity, and post-fire tree regeneration in the northwestern boreal forest. Today she mainly works on wildfire ecology and fire remote sensing in northern Canada, with a special interest in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and northern Alberta.

Remote sensing basics for wildland fire applications
Ron Goodson 

February 11, 2022  09:30-11:00 MST  

This presentation will overview remote sensing fundamentals from a wildland fire perspective. Topics include satellite orbits, resolution, channels, radiation, basic feature recognition, and an introduction to satellite products.


Ron worked for the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) for 41 years, with 30+ of those years involved in the application of satellite imagery. He has been involved in all aspects ranging from operating reception facilities, writing application software, product development, and forecaster training. As part of the modernization of the MSC GOES satellite network, he was one of the key personnel involved in defining and implementing the suite of operational satellite products used by weather forecasters nationally within MSC.