According to the European Parliament study on Forest Fires: Causes and contributing factors in Europe (IP/A/ENVI/ST/2007-15), the forest fires are one of the most important threats to forest and wooded area in Europe and the most important threat in Southern Europe. Fighting fires in general is not as trivial as just putting water on it, and when it comes to forest fires the problem is even more complex. The methods currently used demonstrate the complexity through their limitations:
The traditional air borne solutions for fighting forest fires use pure water or water with foam agent with low efficiency or long term retardants with high effectiveness and high costs. The first two methods of attack usually aim the burning surfaces, trying to fight the flames.
These methods are dangerous to the carrier vehicle, the turbulences can be very high.
The extinguishing agent is widely spread; the density can be too low to be efficient.
The extinguishing agent has low viscosity, therefore drops immediately to the ground, has no effect on the leaves, branches of the trees and bushes, it reaches immediately the soil, without use.
Our foam technology ensures that larger volumes can be carried in smaller space and when deposited it stays on the branches and the trees and hence stopping the fire from spreading. As a result, using I4F will have the following social impacts:
Saves the life of fireman fighting at the high intensity fire front (we can avoid it)
Saves the life of pilots using direct attack against fire (the fact that the aerial vehicle only has to go to the boundary of the fire, the risk of crashing is hugely reduced
Saves the flora and fauna (plants and animals)
Saves the environment through the reduction of polluting emissions (The CO2 emission of forest fires is estimated 20 % of the global emission, to compete with the CO2 release of cars. Using I4F can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of fires.)
Saves the infrastructure in and around forests
Increases the security feeling of the target sectors and society globally
Saves human lives living in or around forests (wildland urban interface)
The maximum amount of water that can be applied for 1 square metre of area is 5kg, while using our foam technology the value is up to 15 kg, which is 3 times more than the amount of pure water.
I4F technology able to supply foam structure with up to 60 minutes water draining half-time.
I4F technology supplies homogenous foam structure that has an extra cooling effect with 1.7 – 2.3 times more in water equivalence; on average 2.0.
5kg water over 1 square metre can extinguish a fire intensity of 3,400 kw/m. Using our foam therefore has an extinguishing capacity 6 times of that, hence a fire intensity of 20,4000 kw/m can be safely put out using the foam.
The foam used for forest fire-fighting presently is produced by ejecting the extinguishing substance from a plane that foams up due to collision and friction with the air. I4F technology supplies homogenous foam jet from the nozzle.
The most effective forest fire-fighting technology at present is through using retardants in a ratio of 20-25% of water. With the I4F technology, this ratio is 3%.
The maximum structural duration of existing foams is 25 minutes, while our tests have proved that with the I4F technology we can ensure the duration of over 45 minutes.