Colorado tests new technology to battle wildfires

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BASALT, Colo. -- Colorado is on the leading edge of technology to fight wildfires and is testing new and potentially life-saving tools.

The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control Center of Excellence is partnering with Honda to test an autonomous ATV.

"(It) is essentially an ATV with advanced sensors and different attachments," said the Center's Garrett Seddon.

Seddon saw the ATV at CES -- the Consumer Electronics Show -- in 2018, then worked with Honda to test it on the Lake Christine Fire burn scar.

Firefighters battling wildfires can typically carry up to 50 pounds of gear, plus hoses and more equipment with them in hot, steep and dangerous terrain. The goal is for the ATV to carry a lot of that equipment, plus medical supplies, to keep firefighters safe.

"The Honda workhorse would allow firefighters to continue fighting fire while it hauls heavy equipment and supplies," Seddon said.

Seddon said the ATV did well in Colorado's terrain, but Honda is tweaking it to make it even better. Seddon thinks Colorado could test a new and improved version later this year.

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