Cal Poly’s fire protection engineering program has been awarded a $940,571 federal grant to evaluate methods for fighting wildland fires that have spread to urban areas, according to a news release from Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.
The graduate program is the third of its kind in the United States and the first on the West Coast, according to Cal Poly’s website.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Fire Safety and Prevention will allow researchers to test the effectiveness of compressed air foam systems in suppressing structural fires where urban and wildland areas meet, according to the news release.
Researchers will also been able to analyze various fire tests using both foam technology and plain water systems while working with the Cambria and Santa Barbara fire departments and at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Fire Research Laboratory in Gaithersburg, Md.
“This grant is very important on several levels,” Susan Opava, Cal Poly’s dean of Research and Graduate Programs, said in the news release. “It enables testing of a very promising technology. It also enables our faculty to utilize and expand their considerable knowledge and experience in fire management and protection, and it creates a rich learn by doing experience for our master’s students.”