CARLSBAD, Calif - — Steve Conboy stands next to a table of wood shavings - surrounding a miniature model of an animal exhibit.
He's about to light the tables corners on fire.
“Pretty flammable, dry to the bone,” he says. “In a Santa Ana wind it would burn pretty quick.”
But along the way, the fire suddenly stops progressing. Conboy says the unburned area has been coated with his product - called the Mighty Fire Breaker.
“We have to do more than what we're doing,” conboy says. “We can't just add more firefighters to these type of fires, because there's just too much fuel, and too many houses in wildland territories.”
Conboy says the product is environmentally safe, and can be applied to vegetation and wood, he says it can defend a fire's advance for up to a month.
His company sells a 50-gallon backpack for $3,500, and can also fly a drone to spray hard to reach areas.
He also now has the support of Jeff Bowman, who served as San Diego's fire chief during the 2003 Cedar Fire. Bowman’s now speaking out in support of the Mighty Firebreaker.
Bowman says he's not being paid and he's not an investor. Instead, he says he believes the firebearker can help firefighters, still dealing with persistent staffing issues.
“I just hope somebody sees this and says, 'Let's make the effort to at least try it in a trial burn and see how well it works,'” Bowman said.
A spokesman for CalFire says the agency is not using the product, but that it was unclear what the future may hold.