California Wildfires Challenge by IBM

A wildfire is an unplanned fire and is usually started by (unintentionally) humans! These fires aided by wind, dry forest/underbrush burn uncontrolled and consume everything in their paths burning thousands of acres.

It is estimated, in US on an average every year, 5 million acres are burnt! There are benefits to wildfires, when they occur naturally and limited way…but not when uncontrolled. They occur in most of the 50 states but are common in western states. In California, wildfire season of 2018 is the deadliest and most destructive with nearly 8500 files that destroyed 1.9 million acres.

There are several aspects to this problem that tech could help alleviate it. They include, but not limited to:

  • Prepare in advance
  • Survive during fire
  • Rescue and safety

IBM in collaboration with ‘42 Silicon Valley’ has launched a challenge to elicit wildfire solutions, with the focus on community health and well-being. This is part of their 4 year initiative called IBM Code and Response. This California Wildfire challenge begins with a hackathon (on May 4th, 2019). Ideas/projects created during the hackathon could be to be continued to develop/build further and are due for submission, on July 29th, for the Global Challenge.

Good luck to all the Pieneers!

[Image Credit: Thanks to skeeze via Pixabay]

About Krishna Vuppala 54 Articles
I am passionate about technology & innovation with a mission to 'Accelerating Global Innovation'. I believe, that there exists an "innovation gap" and the current global innovation efforts to solve real meaningful challenges are moving at a slower pace! The reason, I believe, is lack of awareness of those challenges to the global talent! This blog is part of that journey to spread the word on the Problems (that are) Worth Solving! #ProWoSo


  1. How difficult is it to have hardware and sensors to monitor & alert, in case of a beginning of a wildfire? Or even satellite driven monitoring? I am not an expert in these technologies but they seem doable.
    I believe prevention is what the teams have to focus on, especially in the case fires, as there is a time lag to alert the needed support services. Just my 2c.

  2. I think the most important aspect of any natural dusaster is to connect people to services and family. We have some forest fires in India made by us humans!

  3. There is increase in forest fires in India, news reports say. Some are intentionally caused by Indians for their benefit. Lot of people are careless. We need good monitoring of the fires. Dont know about californa fires.

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