Insitu, FireWhat, Esri, and HP partner to have eyes in the sky over wildfires!



The FireWhat Mobile GIS/UAV Lab and Insitu ScanEagle.

The FireWhat Mobile GIS/UAV Lab and Insitu ScanEagle.

News Release

Insitu Commercial

600 Anton Blvd. Suite 1950

Costa Mesa, California 92626 USA

Insitu, FireWhat, Esri Join Forces in Fighting Wildfires with Eyes in the Sky

Firefighters gain a high-tech aerial edge using Insitu’sINEXA Solutions, FireWhat, and Esri technologies 

COSTA MESA, Calif., August 10, 2017 – Insitu, a leading information services company with more than one million operational unmanned aircraft systems flight hours, today announced its partnership with FireWhat, and Esri, the world leader in spatial analytics. Through this partnership, aerial reconnaissance for fighting wildfires will be provided byInsitu’s INEXA Solutions, comprised of INEXA Control, Insituair vehicles including the ScanEagle™, and payloads including the new High Accuracy Photogrammetry (HAP) payload. The INEXA Solutions professional aerial remote sensing services group will work with FireWhat’s fire professionals, using its geographic information system (GIS)customized for firefighters, and hosted on Esri’s ArcGIS platform.


Currently, fire incident commanders must work with fire line information that often is 12-to-24 hours old — while a fire continues to burn. Now, Insitu’s ScanEagle UAS can “fly the gaps” — both day and night — using its military-grade electro-optical (EO) cameras during daylight, and infrared (IR) cameras for nighttime imaging. Flying at these times will provide previously unavailable data collection, analysis, and delivery of decision-making information to manned firefighting fleets operating in difficult terrain, smoke, or temperature inversion situations. The comprehensive spatial analytic capabilities of ArcGIS leverage FireWhat’s unique ability to effectively fight wildfires using technology in an entirely new way.  


Integrating Insitu’s proven aerial remote sensor imagery with FireWhat’s gold-standard GIS will provide near-real time live, web-based video feed of thermal images to FireWhat’sground-based mobile command centers. The Infrared/thermal camera technology penetrates smoke or darkness, gathering and disseminating georeferenced still images of points of interest, and allows FireWhat's data to quickly create geo-referenced high-resolution mosaics in Portable Document Format (PDF), and digital fire progression/suppression maps.Combining these exciting new technologies will dramatically increase strategic and tactical awareness and decision-making for firefighters and first responders.


Insitu, FireWhat, and Esri’s efforts are supported by HP, Inc.,(HP) hardware, including servers, laptops, and printers. This collective partnership represents expert knowledge and resources that now are combined to deliver a system surpassing any fire emergency and disaster tracking solution currently available in North America.

According to Sam Lanier, FireWhat Chief Executive Officer, “FireWhat, HP, and Esri previously have enjoyed a strategic business relationship, and partnering with Insitu will allow all of us to continue developing advanced technologies that can be deployed globally to effectively and intelligently fight wildfires.” 

“This is a revolutionary breakthrough in firefighting, as the typical 12-to-24 hours of critical information lag time during darkness or in smokey conditions is eliminated,” said Jon Damush, Vice President and General Manager, InsituCommercial. “Combining INEXA Solutions’ integrated imagery with FireWhat’s solution that incorporates Esri’s ArcGIScreates a ‘best of breed’ solution that will enable firefighters to quickly determine the best possible actions to take through GIS mapping.”

“We are pleased to be working with these great organizations on efforts that are so important for saving lives and protecting resources,” said S.J. Camarata, Director, Esri Worldwide Global Business Development and Strategies. “Employing UAVs to provide real-time data to track, plan and predict how dangerous events like wildfires evolve is important to the future of emergency response.” 


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About Insitu
Insitu is an industry-leading provider of information for superior decision making. With its headquarters in Bingen, Wash., and offices in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, the company creates and supports unmanned systems and software technology that deliver end-to-end solutions for collecting, processing and understanding sensor data. We proudly serve the diverse needs of our global customers in the defense, government and commercial industries. To date, our systems have accumulated more than one million flight hours and 123,727 sorties. Insitu is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company.



About FireWhat

FireWhat, Incorporated, founded in 2011, is a Natural Resource Managment Technology company based in Dunsmuir, Calif., with offices in Bend, Or. FireWhat, Incorporated develops mobile and web based technologies for land, asset, and resource managers. With a core mission to automate and streamline practices in the Emergency Management arena, much of the company’s energy is focused on developing innovative solutions to help us better understand “Where.” Through constant innovation, by use of Geographic Information Systems, FireWhat has become a leader in Natural Resource Management technology for the greater good!


About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, offers the most powerful mapping and spatial analytics technology available. Since 1969, Esri has helped customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Today, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations including the world's largest cities, most national governments, 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri engineers the most advanced solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and location analytics to inform the most authoritative maps in the world. Visit us at

For more information, visit


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Monica Golden                                        James Tessier

Insitu Commercial Media Relations        Pennant Media Group

+1 509.637.6574                                     (416) 846-6125                               



Reinventing how Fire's are Fought, the story of the HP and FireWhat Partnership!

In the Summer of 2015, FireWhat was approached by our friends at Hewlett Packard Inc. HP was interested to learn more about our business, and how we do the job we do. They were very excited about our work, and the way we use technology. 

After inviting HP out to an incident, they were able to help us move our business forward by partnering on upgrading our technology, and printing resources. In the summer of 2016, HP began filming our story, and captured it elegantly with this video!

FireWhat Partners with HP Enterprise to Reinvent how Emergency information is relayed

In the fall of 2015, FireWhat and HP Enterprise partnered to reinvent our mobile laboratories. The goal, deliver Enterprise Technology Solutions to an industry in the middle of crisis. In June of 2016, HPE and FireWhat have teamed again to tell the story, and help make sure the best information is delivered to responders when they need it most.   Check out our video to learn how we are Reinventing the Emergency!

120 Minutes, a Wildfire, and a City Devastated... The Boles Fire of Weed, CA

The photo above is the Story of how GeoSpatial Technology was used aide the City of Weed in its recovery efforts. FireWhat developed a workflow to quickly establish a rapid damage assessment of the structures affected by the Boles Fire. To view the map, click on photo, or click here

The photo above is the Story of how GeoSpatial Technology was used aide the City of Weed in its recovery efforts. FireWhat developed a workflow to quickly establish a rapid damage assessment of the structures affected by the Boles Fire. To view the map, click on photo, or click here

The Boles Fire, on September 15, 2014, started as a small vegetation fire within the Weed City limits and quickly grew to a conflagration fire devastating a third of the City of Weed.

Red flag warnings for Siskiyou County were a major contributor to this rapidly moving fire. The low relativity humidity of approximately 12%, 25 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 40 mph, and extremely dry fuels all contributed to the extremely rapid spread of this fire. Torching trees and high winds during the early stages of the Boles Fire contributed to the fast moving nature of the fire. 

The bulk of the devastation of this fire occurred in the first four hours of the initial attack. The next chapters of this map journal will describe the impact and show examples of how ArcGIS online, Dashboard and Collector tools were used in the disaster response and damage assessment teams to expedite the process.

These GIS solutions saved damage assessment teams days of fieldwork and paperwork processing. We aim to provide an informative framework for future research and development. Below is a link to our work to tell the story of the Boles Fire and GIS. 

Click here to view our map

Two Prominent ESRI business partners merge to become the new FireWhat, Inc.

In photo: FireWhat, Inc. Sam Lanier CEO (left) and Rusty Merritt COO (Right).

In photo: FireWhat, Inc. Sam Lanier CEO (left) and Rusty Merritt COO (Right).

In the 19th and early 20th century fire and water were used to create the steam engines that pushed technology to the limits of that time period. On June 15th, 2015, fire and water met again with the merging of two Geographic Information System (GIS) companies, FireWhat, Inc. and Geo-Spatial Solutions. Both companies bring to the table years of expertise in their respective fields. Geo-Spatial Solutions focuses on the maintenance activities for agriculture and water monitoring and FireWhat’s focus is on emergency disaster response mapping. This union of fire and water will once again push the limits of technology, in this case GIS, in a bold new direction.  

Both companies are Silver Partners with Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) and met in the Emerging Business Startup Program offered by Esri. CEO of FireWhat, Inc., Sam Lanier, “we’ve always attributed our success in part to Esri, but the merger of two companies from the Emerging Partner Program really underscores the value of Esri’s programs.  We look forward to combining our resources and developing new and innovative solutions for our customers”.  Rusty Merritt FireWhat, Inc. COO, “the Emerging Partner Program gave FireWhat and Geo-Spatial Solutions the opportunity to explore and develop new ways of doing business, but we never thought a merger with another company would come as a result of the program.  The merger of the two companies combines our people and resources to put us in a much better positioned for the demand we’re seeing across our two industries”.

FireWhat, Inc. will now be in three locations with offices in Redding and Dunsmuir, California and Bend, Oregon. These three locations are strategic for rapid emergency response, while at the same time being well position to serve the water infrastructure and irrigation mapping needs of the Western United States.

For more information contact FireWhat, Inc. Dunsmuir at 530-235-4419, Dunsmuir Office or FireWhat. Inc. Bend, Oregon at 1-888-791-7212. Webpage: or follow us on Twitter: @firewhat @wildlandfirecom

FireWhat hosts GIS Day Educators for training

FireWhat, Incorporated of Dunsmuir hosted a second Geographic Information Systems teacher training on Oct. 20 for K-12 teachers from Dunsmuir Elementary School and Dunsmuir High School. The teachers are now fully equipped to impart their knowledge of GIS with their students in classroom projects. Each class will be presenting a GIS project for GIS Day on Nov. 19 at the FireWhat office.

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