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Gov. Gavin Newsom, nonprofit announce wildfire-fighting contest in La Jolla

Posted at 5:33 PM, May 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-10 20:36:57-04

LA JOLLA, Calif. (AP) — The X Prize Foundation is developing a contest for technology that can detect and extinguish wildfires before they grow too large.

X Prize Foundation chairman Peter Diamandis made the announcement Friday at the Near Future Summit in La Jolla, California. Diamandis says it will take about 100 days to develop the rules for the contest. After that, the foundation will try to find a sponsor and launch the competition.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom joined Diamandis on stage for the announcement. California has experienced its deadliest and most destructive wildfires in history in the past two years.

Newsom has solicited proposals from academics, private companies and entrepreneurs for innovative ways to address California's wildfire problem. The state hopes to test products in the field this upcoming fire season.

If a group comes up with an idea worthy of addressing the state's wildfire problems, they could receive anywhere from $5 million to $25 million in prize money.