NE startup’s fire fighting technology aims to save lives, land
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Summer is often known as wildfire season for many parts of the U.S. and other countries.
Right now, more than 400 wildfires are blazing across Canada, leading to what could potentially be the worst fire season the country has seen.
Here in Lincoln, a startup company is offering technology to help manage and fight wildfires from the sky.
The technology, called IGNIS, is made by Drone Amplified in Lincoln. The man behind it said the idea came from keeping those battling the fires safe by using drones to fight fire, with fire.
“The cost of this entire system, if every bit of it burned up in the fire, it’s one nowhere near the cost of human life,” said Jim Higgins, the head engineer.
IGNIS is a fire ignition system powered by a drone. Drone Amplified said the IGNIS system attaches to a drone and is filled with spheres the size of a ping-pong ball. Those spheres are filled with chemicals and when they’re dropped, start a small fire.
“This is kind of the system that is used to do these back burns on wildfires, and also these prescribed burns,” said CEO Carrick Detweiler. “And our system really tightly integrates with the drone.”
Higgins said there are nearly 200 of these systems used across the U.S., and even internationally including Canada.
It’s often used by forest services, firefighters, and state agencies. A way to keep crews on the ground out of challenging terrain and danger.
“You can have a drone that can fly over a river up an advancement, and you know, light off the side of a mountain without sending people in,” Higgins said. “That’s where it really, really shines.”
Drone Amplified said because of Nebraska’s flat terrain, it hasn’t been utilized yet in the state.
Copyright 2023 KOLN. All rights reserved.