All fires are roughly the same temperature, Flannigan told Motherboard. But the amount of energy they release can vary—what firefighters call their "intensity." The more intense a fire gets, the more dangerous it becomes.If a wildfire has an intensity of under 2,000 kilowatts per metre, firefighters can fight it on the ground with pumps and handtools, according to Flannigan. Between intensities of 2,000 and 4,000 kilowatts per metre, water bombers are effective. But anything over that—wildfires can get up to 100,000 kilowatts per metre—there's not much anybody can do but evacuate.
"If there's anything in the path of that fire, there's bloody little you can do"
The country has also updated its Forest Fire Danger Rating System, which analyses a wildfire and determines its potential to become high-intensity—based on the amount of dry wood, which is fuel, and wind—and shut it down if possible, or make speedy evacuation plans.Although the drone and the tracking system will help track and prevent fires, they can't quench these massive blazes once they've begun. "It's not a suppression tool," Lynham said. "It's a way of dealing with something that we can't stop."Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.