JACKSON HOLE, WYO – As wildfire becomes more and more of a concern in the west, at least one company has had demonstrable success with a unique home protection system that can be triggered remotely when flames are knocking at the door.
As the Roosevelt Fire raged across Sublette County headed for Hoback Ranches, more than 500 residents were forced to flee their homes after a mandatory evacuation was ordered. On September 18, three days after it started, the fast-moving fire ripped through Hoback Ranches, destroying 55 of the 150 homes in the subdivision.
Despite the efforts of more than a thousand firefighters, dozens of engines and aircraft, there was nothing anyone could do as the flames swallowed home after home.
Resident Tina Delaney said the flames “tore through our neighborhood.” She called the wildfire “one of the worst disasters in Wyoming history.”
Homes all around the Delaney’s were burned to the ground. But not hers.
Delaney had recently installed the “Frontline Wildfire Defense System.” The system was activated onsite to send Class A firefighting foam to sprinklers around her home. The foam completely blanketed her house and property.
As a result, Delaney’s home was spared, despite the fact that many burning embers were found near the residence. “This system absolutely provides a sense of security,” she said.
Frontline Wildfire Defense founder Harry Statter couldn’t be more pleased. “I’m proud of our ability to save homes and lives from wildfire,” he said. “We’re all very aware of the limitations to firefighting during a wildfire event, and Frontline Wildfire Defense protects homes without the need for firefighters to be at the home. By doing so, we protect firefighters and homes alike.”
Statter said he toured the Delaney residence after the fire and was convinced if not for the foam protection system, the home would have caught fire.
“Roosevelt was small compared to some of these megafires in California,” Statter said. His company has done major installs in California and Jackson Hole in recent months. “One thing we’ve seen in common, though, is how firefighters react. When events like the Roosevelt become this dangerous, firefighters’ main concern is public safety. They are not going to put anyone, including themselves, in harms way.”
That is why the Frontline Wildfire Defense system has been practically selling itself, according to Statter. The system can be activated remotely from a smartphone, tablet, or a desktop computer.
“A lot of people picture a wall of flame coming toward their place when a wildfire is burning,” Statter said. “The fact is embers are often carried miles from where the flames are. They land on a dry, unprotected structure and that’s all it takes to burn a house down.”