Wildfires have changed.
The technology to fight them hasn't kept up.
There's basically no way to put out a large fire directly after its earliest stages - aerial and ground crews work to try to contain the spread, hoping for favorable weather.
Rebel's groundbreaking R&D using shockwaves paves the way for an industrial approach that does something no other technique can - extinguish flames instantly with control, direction and precision.
The era of megafires requires new ideas.
Much more prescribed burning, forest thinning, and better planning for housing may all be needed. This takes time and money. Problem is, over 60% of the US Forest Service's budget now goes towards suppression, meaning fewer resources to manage the land properly in the first place.
But suppression costs are just a small part of the story.
In the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, 0.7 metric gigatons of C02 was emitted; far more than the country's emissions from all other sectors combined.
Long term US wildfire-related health costs 2008-12 were estimated by the EPA at $420 billion.
It's estimated that the average lost earnings impact of wildfire smoke across the U.S. is
$92.9 billion per year.
California fires caused at least $148bn in total economic impact in 2018, equal to 0.7% of America’s GDP.
THERE IS NO MAGIC SOLUTION...
But we could use some extra help.
IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE
Using Rebel Research's shockwave method, flames are near-instantly extinguished.
Immediately after, all loose, dry combustible material is knocked down to the ground - even if it's still burning it will do so more slowly and with less intensity - buying time.
Yet it all happens in a fraction of a second.
Defense of property and infrastructure using this technique could change the game for wildland-urban interface firefighting.
Shocks work quickly to punch a hole in a flank or front at a fraction of the cost of deploying a full crew, keeping more people out of harm's way, or re-allocated to where they're needed.
Unlike aerial retardant drops that contaminate waterways and have unknown long-term effects, shockwaves are extremely precise and leave no chemical trace.
No water needed.
A huge advantage in areas already stricken by drought, and helps avoid long runs of hose.
Work on Project Boom is in part supported by a National Science Foundation SBIR grant