Ignis Fights Fires Across Two Continents

Steve HughesPress Release

Lincoln, NE — Drone Amplified’s IGNIS Technology has been playing a critical role in fighting fires across Alaska, Arizona and Australia over the past few weeks.

One hundred and forty-four Firefighters at the Maroon Fire in the Coconino National Forest north of Flagstaff, Arizona, deployed a drone to help control the fire that had consumed approximately 7,000 acres. The drone deployed used IGNIS technology to drop defensive ignitions to help bring the blaze under control. The Maroon Fire incident management team is the first in Arizona to officially order and operate this specialized equipment. The agency plans to use drones for air operations on wildfires more often, citing safety of DC-10 tanker pilots and more efficient firefighting.

Meanwhile, eight drones were involved in fighting wildfires in Alaska. More than 2,200,000 acres have burned in Alaska during the wildfire season of 2019 with 1,038,539 acres in the Upper Yukon Zone alone. Lightning strikes in the northeast corner of the state near the Canadian border continue to ignite fires in the tundra, spruce and hardwood stands that are extremely dry and receptive to large fire growth.

And in Australia, recent trials in Benandarah State Forest by the Forestry Corporation New South Wales, have shown how drones effectively ignite hazard reduction burns in hard-to-access areas.

Forestry protection supervisor Julian Armstrong said,  “Drones meant we could safely carry out the burning program over a wider area, removing fine fuels in a mosaic pattern for a safer and healthier forest. Ground crews concentrated on lighting the burns from road lines while drone incendiaries were used to light ridge tops, remote areas and tricky areas around power lines. This was a first for us and we were really happy with the results – we look forward to running more drone trials in the current burning season.”

Co-Founder of Drone Amplified, Carrick Detweiler, added, ”Often, the best ways to fight fire is with fire. However, prescribed fires and backburns on wildfires are extremely dangerous and difficult to do. That’s where firefighters are seeing our technology revolutionize their jobs from a safety, speed and cost perspective.”

The Drone Amplified IGNIS product carries a payload of ping-pong-ball-sized chemical spheres that are pre-loaded with a substance called potassium permanganate. The spheres are injected with glycol before being released, and they then ignite on contact with the ground.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Interior recognized IGNIS as one of the top 12 “Made in America” Innovations.

For more information, interviews and to see demonstrations, contact Lou Lamberty at lou@droneamplified.com or 402-672-2019. Learn more and view photos at DroneAmplified.com


More on IGNIS and Drone Amplified

IGNIS is equipped with a hopper that carries a payload of standard ping-pong ball sized chemical spheres. It can be integrated with infrared and other types of cameras. The spheres are pre-loaded with potassium permanganate and later injected with antifreeze prior to being released.  The spheres ignite after hitting the ground, setting off back burns to create defensive lines for firefighters in rugged and sometimes unreachable terrain. IGNIS is easily controlled and automated with a custom App and allows drone operators to release the spheres with a high degree of accuracy in terrain that’s often difficult to detect with helicopters or airplanes. The drone’s dynamic ability to fly in densely smoky, high-altitude areas makes it extremely useful.