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SXSW 2022

Techno-Traditional Approach to the Wildfire Crisis

Wildfire is a worldwide environmental catastrophe of unprecedented scale. Since 2000, an annual average of 7.0 million acres has burned in the US, double the average annual acreage burned in the 1990s. Moreover, the intense burning releases carbon and leaves soot deposits on the ice caps, driving more melting, and more warming. This unprecedented situation, however, has a traditional solution, which was practiced by Native Americans for thousands of years - prescribed fire. Today drones, data, and advanced sensors are leading the way to a technological revival of an ancient practice to heal the land and save lives. In this panel we will discuss the causes of the crises, what we can learn from the past, and what is being done with advanced technology to protect the future.

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  1. Climate change is driving wildfires worldwide leading to larger, more catastrophic fires. We’ll look at the data, environmental and social impacts.
  2. Prescribed fire, as practiced for millennia by Native Americans, protected wildlands from catastrophic fire by managing fuel loads.
  3. Heavy-lift autonomous drone and advanced sensor technology is enabling new tools for larger, safer, and higher precision prescribed fire.



Sara Beth Ashbaugh, Communications Lead, Parallel Flight Technologies

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Climate Change
  • Track 2 Tech Industry
  • Level: Advanced
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