Thanks to technology, firefighting suppression systems have progressed over the years. Today, firefighters have several choices when it comes to fighting wildland fires, including a variety of advanced tools to choose from. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common types of fire suppression systems and how wildland firefighters are using them.
Water-Based Suppression System
Water-based fire suppression systems are the primary systems used by firefighters. The water cools the flames, and it also vaporizes as it hits the fire, causing oxygen to displace and rendering the remaining tinder inflammable. These water-based systems come in many forms and include the following for wildland fire fighting:
- Backpack tanks and pumps
- Mobile tanks
- Air transportation
- Direct pumping
Water-based systems are non-toxic, highly efficient, and readily available.
Chemical Fire Suppression
Chemical fire suppression, also called long-term fire retardants, uses retardant salts, much like fertilizer, to keep a fire from advancing. The chemicals are usually dropped on the fire and surrounding areas by air.
Water is mixed with the chemicals to help it disperse properly, and the reaction of the fire with the chemicals helps slow its progression and keep the flames from advancing.
Technology and Fire Suppression
Technology changes our lives daily, and it has also had an impact on how professionals fight fires. Among the most common types of fire suppression systems are some new firefighting technologies, which include the following:
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
- Tower-mounted cameras
AI and Machine Learning
AI and machine learning collect massive amounts of data, and the algorithms they create predict how a fire may spread and the direction it is heading. Firefighters use this modern technology to inform themselves and quickly suppress fires.
Some areas are now using AI to spot small smoke patches that could lead to trouble, allowing firefighters to extinguish those problems before they become a great danger.
For years, aircraft have been involved in fighting wildland fires, which is an extremely dangerous job. Now, drones are beginning to see the action instead. They are flown remotely to send pictures of fires, paths, and terrain. This method helps firefighters immensely.
Drones can also drop devices that purposely start small fires to create a barricade and not allow a fire to spread any further.
Robots have come a long way, and now they can even help fight fires. Firefighting robots are designed to handle tough terrain where it may not be safe for humans. They are also equipped with water and firefighting chemicals.
Tower-mounted cameras are placed in wildland areas to record data that is useful in identifying fire patterns and paths, which firefighters then use for planning.
Using traditional methods along with the latest technology, wildland firefighters can suppress fires and plan ahead to prevent them from beginning in the first place.
At The Supply Cache, we are proud to lead the wildland firefighting industry with up-to-date and innovative firefighting solutions. Products such as our portable water tanks for firefighting come in a variety of sizes and meet the highest quality standards. Contact The Supply Cache with any questions and needs for wildland firefighting.