As Wildfires Burn Through California, Here’s What Startups Are Doing

Last year, over 1 million acres of land were burned due to wildfires in California and 93 fatalities occurred.

Herzl has silently spent years working on better understanding air quality to reduce emissions on a hyper local scale.

As news of enormous, fast-spreading forest fires and breathing in smoky air becomes a repeatable occurrence, a group of startups are working to make technology that better understands the blazes through data, remote technologies, and artificial intelligence.

The San Francisco-based startup recently got investment from Splunk, a data services company, for its data to aid fire departments and emergency response agencies in combating fires.

There’s also Lincoln, Neb.-based Drone Amplified, which claims it makes fire management technology safer and more affordable for everyone from state agencies protecting public lands to singular landowners.

Founder Herzl told me her company is sending out a fleet of roving sensors for air quality measurement, so that “by next wildfire season [they’ll] have block by block data to protect public health.”

Aclima is also working with another San Francisco-based startup, Firefly, which has digital advertisements atop ride-sharing vehicles.

The pilot “will integrate air quality sensors into [Firefly] screens to provide real-time insights into city conditions, producing essential data for city leaders and nonprofit groups for planning and decision-making,” according to a statement from Gregory Stock, director of public affairs and partnerships at Firefly.

First off, according to Zonehaven CEO Charlie Crocker, the “SaaS subscription model is new to many local government agencies and requires additional education to help articulate the value of the SaaS model.” That’s a roadblock for the company, since it is a SaaS model.

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