PRESS RELEASE: $3.7M funding for wildfire suppression tech: Team Wildfire blows out wildfires with jet engines
Responding to the urgent global need for effective wildfire suppression, Team Wildfire -based in Boulder, Colorado- is building powerful jet engine-enabled, “hurricanes on wheels” to push back destructive fires.
Special effects coordinator Steve Wolf, founder and CEO of Team Wildfire had the idea of mounting jet engines with retardant injectors onto off-road vehicles. “In wildfires, the wind owns the fire. If you want to control a fire, you have to own the wind.”
Compared to passive observational tech, (cameras, sensors and satellites), Wolf notes that “data doesn’t douse fires,” and focuses on what seems to be the obvious need… “actually putting out fires.” “A smoke detector is of limited value if you don’t have a working fire extinguisher.”
With co-founders Wildfire Commander Dan Eamon, startup exec & Rescue Chief Andy Amalfitano, and comms director Allana Reed, the team is working with Oak Ridge National Labs and hot shot veterans to revolutionize wildfire suppression capabilities.
The $3.7M seed round led by Cottonwood Technology Fund, and joined principally by MUUS Climate Partners, Tim Draper, Techstars, Kingstone, Alumni Ventures, Ecosphere Ventures, Ryan Fogelman, and Corless Law enables the team to build a full scale MVP with remote capabilities to get firefighters further from danger.
“Team Wildfire” says Dave Blivin, managing partner of Cottonwood Technology Fund, “is a dedicated team with a unique approach, applying deep expertise to a problem that affects the lives and property of millions. Their solution could become the new standard in wildfire suppression, to counter the new normal in fires.”
Tim Draper, who funded both the pre-seed and seed rounds, said, “Team Wildfire has over delivered, and found a crazy solution to a crazy problem. We need this to solve the problem of wildfire emissions.” Wildfires across the globe have emitted 1.76 billion tons of carbon in 2021.
Greg Schwab, Chief of Boulder Rural Fire Dept. said, “A bad situation is getting worse fast. If we don’t get powerful new tech like this soon, we’ll have no chance against the fires coming our way. ”
Team Wildfire’s tech is designed to create fire breaks and mobile safety zones, protect evacuation routes, and suppress fire faster, cheaper, and with less water.