California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday the award of two contracts for cutting-edge technologies designed to help combat the deadly wildfires. Under the contracts, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, will test out a modeling platform that predicts where active blazes will spread, and an ignition detection system that relies on aerial sensors.
The contracts, worth a combined $2 million, were issued under a new procurement process Newsom implemented on his first full day in office in January. Under the governor’s order, Cal Fire issued a solicitation known a request for innovative ideas, or RFI2. Rather than a traditional request for proposals, in which the soliciting government agency lays out narrow parameters for a project it wants a vendor to complete, an RFI2 defines the the problem it seeks to address, but gives bidders wide latitude to design a solution.