Protecting Entire Neighborhoods from Wildfire

Many new and existing homes have been built at the Wildland-Urban-Interface. Recent large wildfires have destroyed many of these homes.

New technology is available which can provide low cost neighborhood protection, and increased safety for the crews assigned to fight the fires.
Today, fire crews assigned to protect neighborhoods must leave when approaching fires arrive.   
 

The system shown below is NOT designed for use by an individual homeowner. As shown, it should be deployed by a fire department or a trained crew. The water supply can be a hydrant, a tanker truck, a cistern shared by the neighborhood, or a swimming pool.

The crew can deploy the system and then leave the area. By using radio control, a spotter at a safe location can decide where and when to enable the spray.

IFFC LLC has developed this hose-based system that can be quickly deployed by small trucks to surround a threatened neighborhood. The system components are available off-the-shelf.

The figure below shows an area that has been surrounded by a special hose system. A truck has driven around the area and deployed the hose from a reel onto the ground. The truck also carries a pump which draws water from any available water source, and pumps the water into the full length of the hose.



At the top of the neighborhood figure is an approaching fire. The blue band along the hose near the fire represents a "spray curtain" that can slow/stop the flames. A spray curtain is a wall of spray that can wet an area with water or foam. Note the two small white valve-boxes at each end of the section of the hose with the blue spray. A third valve-box is shown on a section of the hose in the lower left corner of the figure. 

These three valve boxes, and the pump, are linked together by wires embedded in the hoses. These wires support an Ethernet-like digital network which allows for remote control of valves in the valve-boxes that can control a substantial vertical spray from the hoses. This spray curtain can slow or stop a fire from reaching homes that are within the hose encirclement. 

The key feature of the system is that some hose sections can be spraying while other sections of hose are not spraying. 
Since water or water/foam is delivered only where needed, less water or foam is used, and the size of the hose and pump can be reduced.

 

The figure below is an image of this special hose. (NOTE: the dual-hole Spray Hose nozzle on the previous page can replace the single hose holes shown in figure.)

On the left is the hose chamber with the holes for the "spray curtain". On the right is the supply hose. The two hoses are bonded together to ensure correct orientation when deployed.

The proposed system can be built from off the shelf components.A one mile spray hose system could protect a neighborhood of 20 homes on 1/2 acre lots. The system would sell in the range of several hundred thousand dollars. This is a fraction of the cost of the many homes that might be lost to a wildfire.




Shown below is a detailed view of the system components.
Each white valve-box in the previous figure contains a battery, a digital network circuit board, and a remote control valve. The valve, when opened, allows water to enter a special chamber of the (yellow) hose which has holes to create the spray curtain. The other (black) chamber of the hose has no holes and is used to supply the water to the next section of hose.



The image below is a MIL Spec Hose that is available from All American Hose. One of its uses is to deliver diesel fuel.
The hose has a single wire embedded in its walls. This wire is used to dissipate static electricity that might ignite the diesel fuel.

This embedded wire is used to support the digital network that runs along the entire length of a hose lay.
The hose pair shown above is made from two of the hoses from All American Hose that have been bonded together.




A demo of a small length of this system spraying can be seen in the video at the end of this paragraph.
The demo has two 25 foot lengths of spray hose section. There are 5 single hole nozzles in each section and 
at 50 psi, each nozzle is delivering 15 gpm. This yields 150 gpm for the 50 feet of spray hose.
The spray height at 50 psi is 40 ft.
NOTE: ........... The single hole nozzles used above can be replaced by the NEWER dual-hole patented Spray Nozzles that are shown on the previous page. The dual-hole Spray Nozzles can spray 20 feet high at 80 psi. Future experiments at higher pressures will determine if the height will be increased at these higher pressures. The website shown at the end of the video has been changed to

  www.fightwildfires.com

The video can be seen HERE


The large military vehicle shown below is deploying the hose shown in the photo above. 

The hose is deployed from the large reel as the truck moves forward. The wire in the hose was placed there to discharge any static electricity that might cause a spark that might ignite the diesel fuel that the hose is carrying.
The smaller reel, shown below, can be used to deploy the hose for the Neighborhood Protection Hose System.
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