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The Future of Combating Devastating Forest Fires With Sound Technology


Friday, September 18, 2020

Firefighters scramble to combat a forest fire.
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times


With everything that has been going on in the world of late during the past few months, from an unprecedented global pandemic, its subsequent crippling financial implications, and the lives of thousands across the world forever impacted, one of the most devastating and recent developments has been the cumulation of fires across the West Coast in California, Oregon, and Washington.

While there thankfully has been progress over the past few days in combatting these horrifying fires, aided by better weather and climate conditions, it is with this said that firefighters on the West Coast have reported that more than 30 people have been killed with more missing, ravaging communities across the three states and burning millions of acres in its path. In fact, these fires have been so crippling that they have led to almost apocalyptic-like skies as seen in areas such as Northern California and Oregon, with much of the region engulfed in layers of smoke. Currently air quality in Portland ranks among the lowest in the world, and smoke clouds have grown so large that they are actually “obscuring the sun” and therefore resulting in lower temperatures in areas as far East such as New England, Baltimore, and Washington DC.

In California alone, 16,000 firefighters have been going up against 25 fires after having extinguished two blazes earlier in the week. Meanwhile in Oregon, on Tuesday Governor Kate Brown requested for a presidential disaster declaration for her home state claiming that “Oregon is strong. Oregon is resilient. But to fight fires of this scale, we need all the help we can get.”

With these fires bringing to mind the sobering realities of what ever increasing global temperatures and drier surfaces becoming more and more common, especially on the West Coast as evident by these horrific developments, the question then comes to mind of just how can we as a society better combat these issues moving forward to best protect human lives as well as the very planet we inhabit.

In looking for better and more innovative ways to solve the issue of burning fires, one outside-the-box method that has come to light in recent years is the ability to fight flames with sound, essentially eliminating the need for a traditional fire extinguisher. Through the research of two former electrical engineering students from George Mason University– Seth Robertson and Viet Tran – the pair was able to prove after countless time and investments into their study that the power of bass frequency was perfectly adept in putting out raging flames.

Watch this video to see Seth Robertson and Viet Tran test out their innovative sound wave Fire extinguisher using bass frequency.

Given that sound waves are able to move oxygen and fire through pressure as a result of their vibrations, this particular frequency of sound is able to separate flame molecules from the oxygen it’s surrounded by, in turn being able to effectively put out the fire at that point.

While there are some risks to this particular method of firefighting, for example if oxygen were to return the area where the fire was previously burning if the device were to be turned off, there are a whole host of benefits that should make this a very appealing long term investment.

With the use of bass frequency extinguishers, those using them to combat raging fires would not be exposed to some of the potentially toxic chemicals that they could be exposed to in using your standard extinguisher. Furthermore, with the use of sound technology this would also eliminate the potential for damages associated with a traditional fire extinguisher, along with its use being clean, efficient, and environmentally friendly.

After their graduation, Robertson and Tran formed their own company called Force SV in order to further explore the commercial development of their innovation. As recent as February 2019, Force SV partnered with ARSAC Technologies, Inc. to help implement their technology into numerous applications.

Moving forward, if there is one lesson to be learned in all of this, it is that we can always be better, and that we as a society should always strive and demand for the best, settling for nothing less. With firefighters across the West Coast currently battling flames of epic sizes and proportions, with devastating losses across millions of acres of land and property, it is now more than ever that new ways of better saving lives and this planet be better implemented to help reduce risks for not only firefighters but the very communities they serve, and if combatting fires with bass frequency can help that process in even the slightest way possible, then that is a solution worth championing for to push for a better future ahead.

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