Fighting fire with data: how mapping tech helped beat back the Rim Fire

The past month’s Rim Fire blazed through more than a quarter million acres of land in California, but the tensest moment came on August 27th, when the fire came close to threatening San Francisco’s water supply. If the blaze had advanced any closer than it did, it would start dumping ash into reservoirs, spurring a potential public health crisis. Stopping the fire required the forestry equivalent of a goal line stand, dropping three DC-10s worth of retardant in an attempt to push back the blaze.
“You have very little room for error.”
The planes were easy to assemble, but the larger problem was knowing where to drop the payload. According to Russell Johnson, disaster response chief for a mapping company called Esri, firefighters usually…

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Author: Daily Tech Whip

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