Tag Archives: Rim Fire

How Firefighters Used Big Data to Fight the Rim Fire

Firefighters used precision data to protect water sources

by Brian Leubitz

The Rim Fire in and around Yosemite is almost fully contained. (84% to be exact], you can get daily Rim Fire updates at thye Sierra Sun Times.) It has cost nearly $125 million since it began on August 17, burning 3 commercial buildings and 11 residences plus a lot of other outbuildings. But some of the biggest risks it presented was to our water supply. As it was building near several reservoirs, including the grand Hetch Hetchy reservoir that provides water to much of the Bay Area, firefighters couldn’t necessarily just dump fire retardant wherever worked best for fire containment.

To put it simply, they had to be far more precise, both in dumping their payloads and targeting relief assistance. Over at the Verge, they take a look at company called ESRI who helped process mapping and other data to help fight the fires and help those in need. Read the whole story over there to get an idea of how firefighters are using technology these days.