top of page

Aerial Thermal Imaging

The forest industry is required to dispose of leftover slash (coarse and fine wood debris) and brush piles left behind by logging activities. These piles are burnt during safe conditions, usually in winter after the it has had time to dry out.

Pile burning is important for many reasons including, wildlife habitat enhancement, site remediation, slash disposal, and wildfire risk reduction. Thermal imaging cameras from

Teledyne FLIR (GFx320) can help prevent fires by detecting hot spots before they ignite.


Gas Track Engineering Ltd. uses a FLIR infrared camera from a helicopter to detect hot spots in burn piles and help prevent forest fires. We utilize innovative thermography techniques to identify hotspots more efficiently; our highly trained and seasoned thermographers can anticipate fires before they happen and ensure preventative measures are implemented. Our technicians work diligently to communicate with the pilot clearly and effectively and are well trained and highly competent in interpreting the information our equipment provides.

Aerial thermography is conducted in the early morning hours as ground temperatures are less affected by direct sunlight, thus enhancing thermal contrast between objects that emit their own radiation and background temperatures. As such, potential hot spots on the ground will appear as bright orange or yellow against a deep blue background, making detecting a potential fire source obvious. As the sun begins to heat the ground, adjustments to the camera are necessary to filter out the solar radiation from the scene to maintain the likelihood of detecting a heat source. Ideally, there are minimal winds to assist with the helicopter’s maneuverability.


Gas Track uses infrared cameras from helicopters to detect hot spots in burn piles and help prevent forest fires. Gas Track’s technicians utilize innovative thermography techniques to efficiently identify hot spots at an average elevation 100 m above ground level to assess whether the burn piles are fully extinguished. Our thermographer rides in a helicopter, scanning and detecting the temperature of the ground.

Aerial thermography is performed by a technician equipped with our FLIR GFx320 Optical Gas Imaging camera that can detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum and produce high-quality images of the radiation on a visual display unit for troubleshooting. This is the ideal camera for this type of job because it allows us to identify hot spots while in the helicopter and can notify the client upon landing. Immediately reporting to the client will enable them to be efficient in preventing the potential of a wildfire.

The GPS coordinates are charted on the pilot’s navigation map, and an engineer and certified thermographer will review the field data and videos. The scanned data is compiled into a report and sent to the client. Gas Track uploads all hotspots and thermal videos to our online cloud database “Thermal Track,” made available to clients. Each hotspot is uploaded with a link to its thermal video, a description, and an image of the hotspot. This data can be used to ensure fires or potential fires are controlled before they cause massive damage.

Gas Track can assist with all your thermal imaging needs. Our thermography services:

  • Are used effectively in several applications, including hot spot detection, electrical panel inspections and vessel sand buildup levels

  • Measure temperature differentials

  • Store site information and all survey data

  • Provide notification of required fixes and pinpoint exact heat locations, even in large areas

  • Provide a full image of the area of interest

  • Identify and locate issues before they become non-repairable or significant problems


With high temperatures, spring lightning storms and dry spring seasons, Western Canada battles wildfires yearly. These fires spread quickly, destroying buildings, assets, and lives. Detecting potential hot spots is critical to protecting Western Canada from some of this damage.

With a rise in wildfires in Alberta since the beginning of May, many companies in affected regions are utilizing aerial thermal imaging to detect hot spots in their cutblocks. Hot spot detection allows you to monitor hot spot locations to mitigate the possibility of starting or fueling a wildfire. Wildfires can disrupt transportation, communications, power and gas services and water supply. They also lead to a deterioration of the air quality and loss of property, crops, resources, animals and people.

Gas Track has been performing aerial thermal imaging on cutblocks to identify hot spots that could potentially cause a wildfire. An undetected hotspot can cause potentially dangerous wildfires, that can become increasingly more dangerous with a shift in the wind direction and a rise in temperatures. Contact Gas Track today for your aerial thermography needs.

48 views0 comments


bottom of page