New fire shelters can withstand temps around 2,500° - KMSP-TV

New fire shelters can withstand temps around 2,500°

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PHOENIX -

It's been a tragic year for wildfires here in Arizona.  We all remember the 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill wildfire back in June.

Those fire crews used shelters that could withstand temperatures of around 500°, but now there's a new shelter that can withstand temperatures more than four times that amount.

Torching a fire shelter -- it can melt in mere minutes and be the difference between life an death.  It's why these guys have developed a product with existing technology used by NASA to build a new fire shelter.  It's called the Sunseeker Fire Blanket.

"We have a better overall fire shelter that is going to give the firefighters another three or four minutes at five times the temperature," said Jim Moseley.

Ricky Hunley added, "3,000° of heat and melting pennies.. how could this not be a great thing."

You can melt a penny without burning your hand.  They had me try it out.

The new shelter has an additional blanket that protects whatever is underneath.

"Here's an opportunity for this technology to save lives," said Hunley.

"If you're so afraid of a fire shelter not working in the first place if you have that in the back of your mind, wow.. here comes a 2,000° fire and I'm in a 500° fire shelter, there's not a lot of confidence with a firefighter," said Jim.

Some Arizona agencies have shown interest.  The cost is about $150 more per shelter.

There's been a crowd funding site set up to help the company.  If you'd like to help or check it out, go to: sunseekerfireblanket.com

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