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Innovative iPhone App Tracks Wild Fires, Saves Lives

Date: 2011-10-03
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Now available in the iPhone App Store, the FireWhat App supplies firefighters with critical information about wildland fires across the nation.

Left: Fire perimeter mapping of the Salt Fire in Idaho, as viewed on the FireWhat App.

The FireWhat Inc. and Pusher teams launched the FireWhat iPhone app in the Apple App Store. The FireWhat App puts critical incident information into the palm of the wildland firefighter’s hand. Today’s firefighters receive little to no information prior to arriving at the scene of a wildland fire, but with the game-changing FireWhat App, fire information, maps, reference guides and calculators are at the first responder’s fingertips.

Spearheaded by professional firefighters Jeremy Orozco and Sam Lanier, the FireWhat iPhone app gives the user everything he or she needs to respond to wildland fire incidents. Orozco and Lanier, two of FireWhat Inc.’s co-founders, modeled the app to be a valuable tool on the fire ground where quick decision-making and rapid response are critical. FireWhat’s third co-founder, MIT grad and data specialist, Sondra Suazo, streamlined the data collection process so that timely and accurate fire information is made available through the app. Nathan Johnston (Stanford & Harvard grad and former Apple employee) and Bryce Craig (visual artist and master designer) led the Pusher team in the technical development and design of the app. The result of this hodgepodge of industry experts? An app that is at once beautiful, innovative, data-rich and incredibly useful to its users.

The FireWhat App’s key features are:

  • Detailed wildland fire incident information from
  • Active fire perimeter mapping.
  • Fire calculators including Weather and FDFM/PIG.
  • Quick reference guides for Safety, Weather, Operations, and Size Up reports.
  • Fire maps with custom overlays including Severe Weather Warnings, Smoke Cover, and NEXRAD Radar.

The app provides life-saving information for firefighters, responders, and residents of fire prone areas. Current weather conditions at the scene of major incidents, perimeter tracking and Google Map imagery are provided to direct responders and commanders to areas in highest danger. These features give responders visibility of homes in the area, creeks for water sources and areas for staging before they even arrive on scene. With this app, firefighters and commanders will be able to make pre-arrival considerations, allowing more time for critical life-saving decisions. The vital information provided by this app will save lives and property and will reduce responder errors in a critical time of need.

The app also features a suite of wildland applications for firefighters in the field. Common guides, safety check lists and procedures, and fire calculators have been built into the app.

FireWhat and Pusher have been working to prepare for the next versions and updates. One of the most exciting future additions is the Fire Behavior Calculator which will help firefighters understand how the fire will burn, in what direction, and how intense the expected fire behavior may be based on manual data input.

For more information about the FireWhat App, visit

- Product Profiles / (via FireWhat, 10/3/11)



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