Feds look to space to fight wildfires

This year’s historically bad wildfire season has the federal government searching for new ways to battle future blazes.

Driving the news: Three government agencies, including the Canadian Space Agency, are working together on a plan to use a series of satellites to monitor and track wildfires around the country.  

  • The program, WildFireSat, will use satellites to provide detailed data every half-hour that first responders can use on the ground to stop wildfires from spreading.
  • In addition to WildFireSat, other solutions designed to mitigate the harm of wildfires, including innovative fire suppression tools, have already been deployed across the country. 

Why it matters: Canada experienced the worst wildfires in its history this year, and governments urgently need more tools to fight them.

  • This year alone, BC’s provincial government spent $770 million fighting wildfires that have burnt 25,000 square kilometres in the province, eclipsing previous records.

Yes, but: WildFireSat’s launch is still years away, with the program aiming to send satellites into space by 2029. —LA