GRIDWIDE FIRE-SPY: Uses Transformers to Create Wildfire Protection Canopies
Oct 5, 2022
Why is More Robust Wildfire Mitigation Necessary?
Superficially, it is intuitive to believe that we must reduce wildfire occurrences; similarly, we must employ solutions to reduce the size/scope of these recurring Public Safety events.
However, the statistical data empirically illustrates the undeniable need for improved wildfire mitigation solutions to be employed; revealing that thus far, we are still falling painfully short.
Annual US Wildfire Cost Impacts
|Year||US Wildfire Damages (est.)|
Annual US Wildfire GHG Emissions Impacts
|Year||Wildfire GHG Emissions||Wildfire GHG as a Percent of US Auto Emissions|
|2017||295.1 Million Tons||21.4%|
|2018||258.2 Million Tons||18.7%|
|2019||137.3 Million Tons||9.8%|
|2020||302.4 Million Tons||21.4%|
|2021||209.8 Million Tons||14.6%|
The need for Wildfire Mitigation is a non-partisan, universally shared understanding. In addition to astounding annual costs (e.g., suppression, rehabilitation, settlements, etc), and massive levels of Greenhouse Gas Emissions impacts, wildfires cause senseless injuries, fatalities, debilitating local economic impact, State/Federal budget strains, First Responder risk, Corporate Liability, etc.
While certain wildfire mitigation efforts are underway, ongoing annual occurrences and their aftermaths clearly prove that today’s unfolding practices are still insufficient. Improved wildfire mitigation solutions are needed.
For Those Who Somehow Doubt This Need
Consider this: Wildfires…Summer, Fall, & Now…Winter!
Seasonality of wildfires is diminishing; wildfires have become a perennial nightmare. No longer can we be assured of a break from these disastrous events. No longer can we consider catastrophes to be a "once in a lifetime" event. Recent history is proving that perennial vigilance is necessary.
More robust wildfire mitigation solutions are needed. See the following list of convincing examples regarding notable wildfire impacts which occurred during just the past five years:
- March 2022 – Florida: Bertha Swamp Fire / Panama City Fires, thousands of evacuees, home damages
- January 2022 – California: Baja Sur (i.e., Colorado Fire)
- December 30, 2021 – Colorado wildfire incident, 1000 structures destroyed, 35,000+ evacuees
- Year 2021* – California: 3,629 structures, 3 Fatalities, 2.6Million acres
- Year 2021** – California “Dixie Fire” – 2nd largest event in CA history, 700+ homes, 963,309 acres
- Year 2020 – California’s largest wildfire season on record (4.4+ Million acres burned)
- Year 2020 – Oregon: 11+ fatalities, 4,009+ structures destroyed, $609+ Million in losses
- Year 2018 – Paradise California “Camp Fire”: 85 fatalities, 18,804 structures, $25.5+ Billion in losses
- Year 2018 – British Columbia’s largest wildfire season (3.3+ Million acres burned)
- Year 2018 – California: 98+ fatalities, 22,280+ structures destroyed
- Year 2017 – California’s “Northern Fires” (October): 44 fatalities, 8,900 structures destroyed
- Year 2017 – British Columbia’s worst wildfire season to that point in time: 65,000 evacuees required
How Do We Uniquely Help Operators & First Responders… and the Public?
We have used our distribution grids to deliver fiber communications and broadband service. We have used our distribution grids to support street lighting. Clearly, we have used our grids to deliver added value to our communities. NOW, we can once again leverage our distribution grids. This time it will be to enhance public safety, while simultaneously reducing wildfire devastation throughout our communities. By uniquely leveraging our existing grid architecture and assets for wildfire mitigation, EVERYONE benefits.
It all starts with a basic understanding of our grids. Specifically, our existing distribution grid architecture is ubiquitously deployed throughout our communities. Typically, the density of transformers within our localized distribution grids is commensurately indicative of the density of people, businesses, and institutions that comprise our communities. This is precisely where we need increased protection.
Each overhead transformer presents a unique opportunity for improved public safety; by capitalizing on the location, height, and density of our existing transformer fleets. Creating an enhanced public safety value that extends well beyond the standard electricity delivery purpose of our distribution grids.
Specifically, our existing overhead distribution transformer fleets present the perfect opportunity for establishing community-wide wildfire sensor networks. This is how we meaningfully enhance public safety protections.
By leveraging the height, location, and density of our existing overhead transformers, GRIDWIDE FIRE-SPY sensors create an overarching community-wide canopy that monitors certain atmospheric and environmental conditions (i.e., outdoor smoke/gas, ground-level fire, ambient temperature, humidity). By quickly deploying these always-on, outdoor wildfire sensors onto overhead transformers, we will create a first-of-its-kind wildfire mitigation and public safety solution.
Using cellular communications, GRIDWIDE FIRE-SPY sensors simultaneously deliver Early Detection, Automated Alerts, ongoing Situational Awareness, and certain wildfire Prevention capabilities. Given their fast deployment design, a novel and effective wildfire mitigation solution is now achievable.
This is “thinking outside the box”; to simultaneously expand the purpose of our existing grid infrastructure, and improve Early Detection of wildfires, and leverage Automated Alerts capability, and achieve certain wildfire Prevention gains, and deliver ongoing Situational Awareness data to authorities whenever these devastating public safety events are unfolding.
Wildfire Mitigation: Requires a combination of Early Detection, Auto Alerts, Prevention, and Situational Awareness Information thereby benefitting utility operators, first responders, and all stakeholders. GRIDWIDE FIRE-SPY checks these critical boxes.
Wildfire Mitigation Solutions 2.0 – New Technology on Legacy Assets
One Solution delivers Early Detection, Auto Alerts, Prevention Capability, and Vital Situational Awareness.
One Solution leverages our existing distribution grid infrastructure; precisely where we all live and work.
One Solution helps to address Greenhouse Gas Emissions concerns while negatively impacting no one!
One Solution delivers community-wide Public Safety Protections.
One Solution typically installs in under 10 minutes; aggregated installs deliver community-wide Wildfire Mitigation.
It is no longer "good enough" to send money into wildfire devastated areas AFTER another preventable catastrophe has occurred; ruining lives, the environment, etc.
We need to start thinking bigger when it comes to wildfires. Traditional approaches are insufficient.
New Technologies warrant and facilitate “Investing In The Grid” to drive public safety.
Why Leverage Our Existing Grid Assets? Because Everyone Deserves to Feel Safe.
GRIDWIDE FIRE-SPY helps to address our ongoing wildfire threat.