FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – An aerial firefighting system built in Fresno by Caylym Technologies is used by eight countries worldwide to fight wildfires. However, it is still not used in the U.S.
According to Caylym Technologies, their air dispersal system provides a light rain that can cover over a quarter of a mile when fighting fires, and they use 264 gallons of water packed inside a cardboard box.
Caylym Technologies’ Guardian air dispersal system has been used overseas for years by Israel, Thailand, Greece, and other countries but not in the United States.
The CEO of the company, Rick Goddard, says the current system isn’t working.
“The current systems are tank systems they do the job but we have very few of them, they have to fly very low altitudes and they have certain limitations,” said Goddard.
He claims the Guardian is more effective and more efficient.
“It enables hundreds of more aircraft to fight wildfires without having to be modified they are ready to go now,” said Goddard. “It’s about 40% more payload per aircraft because it goes on like cargo opens up in mid-air and makes it rain.”
Goddard says he’s been trying to get the green light to use The Guardian in the States for years.
“The forest service was initially concerned about the containers coming to the ground now that was dealt with at a 2-year evaluation at uma proving grounds by the air force and they found the drop zone area with the containerized system the risk to firefighters on the ground is less than one half of one percent,” said Goddard.
Even after evaluation, the Forest Service denied the company a contract and released a statement:
“Introducing a completely new system and process would add to cost, complexity, and logistics and possibly disrupt the synchronous operational tempo, both from the air, and for firefighters on the ground, that is critical to protecting lives, property, and valuable resources.”
Central Valley congressmen David Valadao and Jim Costa proposed a bipartisan bill called The Emergency Wildfire Technology Act that may help get the system approved.
“In recent years, we’ve watched growingly intense wildfires destroy entire communities, taking lives and leaving homes and businesses in ashes. We need to adapt the way we combat these threats and invest in tools like aerial firefighting technology to suppress wildfires. I’m hopeful this legislation can help better protect our communities,” said Costa.
As the bill is debated, Goddard and his employees said that they watch as local communities go up in flames.
“Frustrating is a good word for it I live here our families live here we see the destruction is going on and we can help,” stated Goddard.
Caylym Technologies will be demonstrating its system in France next week at the Paris air show.