Get ready for a firefighting vehicle that might have arrived from your old Saturday morning GI Joe cartoons. Yanko has showcased an ATV design by Liam Ferguson that can carry remotely-operated water cannons and a two-person crew into the heart of a raging blaze, and emerge unscathed.
Los Angelenos have recently watched billowing clouds from a nearby wildfire hover overhead, in scenes reminiscent of "Volcano." NASA's Terra satellite took the opportunity to snap a photo of the smoke monster on the night of August 30. Red outlines in the photo indicate wildfire hotspots.
As firemen prepare for wildfire season this summer, they will reach for their trusty Pulaski ax, the century-old tool used to hack ditches between flames and the rest of the forest. But they will have some new, high-tech help as well. Mini tree-mounted weather stations and airborne infrared sensors will provide the clearest picture yet of where fires are and where they're headed.
While watching news footage of a wildfire raging, maybe you've been struck by frustration at the lack of a high-tech, super-sized firefighting solution. Why, in 2009, don't firefighters have access to a super water-cannon? Where is the quick-hardening smothering shell? How much longer will we wait for a mountain-climbing hydro-Roomba?
The answer may be closer than you think. I was treated to a demonstration of the largest firefighting vehicle in the world, the Evergreen Supertanker.
Check out the photos.
The charred remains of a multi-million-dollar mansion crumbled under Randall Griffin's work boots. "The entire neighborhood was burned to ashes," he says. "There was literally one home left." Now, less than two years after Griffin surveyed the aftermath of the wildfires that destroyed more than 3,000 homes in Southern California, his group at the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate is testing a deployable tent that could shield homes from the most ferocious fires.
Brushfires killed 173 people in Australia earlier this year, and scorched over 115 square miles of land, after suspected arsonists set several blazes. But even natural causes have inflicted plenty of wildfires on the tinder-dry Australian continent throughout its modern history – at least since native aborigines were forced to stop their traditional fire-stick farming that kept such uncontrolled fires relatively contained.
By Gregory MonePosted 10.23.2007 at 11:31 am 0 Comments
The LA Times has created an interactive map of the devastating wildfires currently blazing through Southern California that details their breadth, and the efforts of firefighters to contain them. Each major fire is pinpointed, with vital statistics on how many buildings it has destroyed, how many acres it covers, and how many firefighters are engaging it.
Combined with images like the one at left, which was captured by NASA's Aqua satellite last night, it's hard not to get a sense of just how massive this disaster is.—Gregory Mone