Every year, we see wildfires everywhere, people try to save their homes, and when it is not possible anymore to save the house and belongings, they try to save their lives. This is a heartbreaking situation. This is the reason why I decided to launch a global initiative to stop wildfires, called F.I.R.E., which is split in three components:
Research & Development: Currently, the main approach in the countries which don’t have water scarcity, is to use water in order to extinguish the fire. Considering that water evaporates at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) and the temperatures in the wildfires area are around 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 Degrees Celsius), it is clear that a big part of the water that reaches the fire area will evaporate instantly, so only a very small quantity of water is indeed useful in the process. Combining with the dry and windy weather, the chances for the firefighters to extinguish the wildfires using water are very small.
Using a retardant, which is a mixture of water with fertilizer and other components, is a better option. However, in USA, for example, this retardant contains about 85% water (according to U.S. Forest Service), and it is carried to the wildfire sites using airtankers, so huge resources are deployed compared to the efficiency of the mixture. That is because almost all the water (85% of the mixture) will evaporate before even reaching the fire (given that water evaporates at 100 degrees Celsius and the temperatures in the fires area are above 300 degrees Celsius).
Therefore, after years of research, I am developing an innovative device that can extinguish the fires without using water or toxic substances. At this stage, I am working on the prototype.
Bushfires Management: in this category I provided recommendations to improve the management of fires, to avoid getting in a situation that is out of control.
In my opinion, the management of wildfires must start with the management of land on one hand, and with the education of people, on the other hand.
There were huge amounts of money spent over the years to extinguish wildfires and to rebuild everything. However, the human lives lost cannot be recovered anymore.
For the near future, the money can be spent to create a strong prevention strategy: a different land management approach which involves preserving small areas which are bushfire prone (surrounded by areas which don’t burn very easily), just to conserve the inland flora and fauna. The whole area should be kept clean and free from dry/dead branches and bushes, to minimise the risk of wildfires.
Also, a monitoring network with IR (InfraRed) cameras can be built, able to send a warning in real time when a small fire appears in the area surveyed, so the firefighters can extinguish the fire before it spreads and becomes uncontrollable.
Big wildfires that happened in many places in the world represent forces much bigger than the human powers. This is the reason why the best approach to stop wildfires is to prevent them from happening.
Even if people have evil intentions, the management of land must be done in order to prevent spreading and increasing the size of the fire.
Educational Program in fire prevention, which is vital given that the majority of fire cases across the world have human negligence as a root cause.
Arson attacks can be mitigated if people are more responsible and vigilant. This is the reason why we need to have F.I.R.E. champions. Their role is to educate people about safe fire practices, but also to keep an eye around and to report arson attacks. Knowing that a F.I.R.E champion can be somewhere close, maybe the potential criminals will think twice before firing up. The Champions will start by educating their families, neighbors, friends and colleagues.
The educational program aims to partner with all the Governments in the world who are interested in fire prevention, and to have training modules implemented in schools, universities and workplaces.
At this stage Tech4Future is developing the guidelines and is assessing applications from candidates who will become a part of this exclusive network of volunteers.
Now it’s time for a big change!