A Call to Innovate: Help End Destructive Wildfires through XPRIZE Technology Competition


XPRIZE, PG&E, Federal and State Leaders Kick Off Global $11 Million Incentive Competition

OAKLAND, Calif. and WASHINGTON, April 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Detect and suppress a high-risk wildfire in 10 minutes or less. Pinpoint all fire ignitions across multiple states or countries from space in 60 seconds. These are the challenges for innovators of XPRIZE Wildfire, a four-year, $11 million competition to develop and demonstrate fully autonomous capabilities to detect and extinguish wildfires.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today joined XPRIZE, California State Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, along with federal and international leaders, technology innovators and philanthropists to launch XPRIZE Wildfire, which aims to develop new technologies that will improve detection and swift suppression of potentially destructive wildfires, ultimately ending catastrophic wildfires.

Recently, the United Nations, the White House and Congress have prioritized destructive wildfires as a major economic, environmental and safety threat. XPRIZE Wildfire kicks off during Earth Week 2023 following a series of U.S Fire Administration (USFA) news conferences focused on America's wildfire challenge.

"At PG&E, we have taken a stand that catastrophic wildfires shall stop, and we want to partner with the best and the brightest to help further bring that stand to life," said Patti Poppe, Chief Executive Officer, PG&E Corporation. "Today's launch of XPRIZE Wildfire is a call-to-action to entrepreneurs, roboticists, artificial-intelligence experts, scientists, and innovators from across the globe to revolutionize wildfire detection and suppression."

XPRIZE Wildfire seeks teams from around the world to innovate across a wide range of firefighting technologies in two complementary tracks designed to transform how fires are detected, managed and suppressed.

  • In the Autonomous Wildfire Response track, teams will need to monitor at least 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles), and autonomously suppress a wildfire within 10 minutes of detection.
  • In the Space-Based Wildfire Detection & Intelligence track, teams will have one minute to accurately detect all fires across a landscape larger than entire states or countries, and 10 minutes to precisely characterize and report data with the least false positives to two ground stations. 

XPRIZE Wildfire is offered in partnership with Co-Title Sponsors PG&E and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Presenting Sponsor Minderoo Foundation, Bonus Prize Sponsor Lockheed Martin and Supporting Sponsors Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and benefactors Nichola Eliovits and Michael Antonov.

Tune into the livestream of the launch event at approximately 8 a.m. Pacific Time/11 a.m. Eastern Time today at

For more information, to get involved, or to register a team to compete, visit

Ongoing PG&E Wildfire Mitigation and Resiliency Efforts

In addition to supporting XPRIZE Wildfire, PG&E's ongoing safety work to enhance grid resilience and address the growing threat of severe weather and wildfires continues on a risk-informed and data-driven basis, as outlined in PG&E's 2023-2025 Wildfire Mitigation Plan (WMP). This work includes:

  • Undergrounding 10,000 miles of overhead powerlines in high wildfire-risk areas in what is considered one of the largest programs of its kind in the U.S.
  • System hardening by installing stronger poles, covered power lines, and wider crossarms.
  • Implementing Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings to automatically turn off power flowing through powerlines within one-tenth of a second when an object strikes a line or a fault occurs.
  • Making situational awareness improvements such as enabling artificial intelligence to process wildfire camera data and provide automated wildfire notifications. PG&E will continue using state-of-the-art weather forecasting and a comprehensive monitoring and data collection network that uses high-definition wildfire cameras and weather stations to help detect, prevent, and respond to the risk of wildfires.

Learn more about PG&E's wildfire safety efforts by visiting

About PG&E
PG&E, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and

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SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company


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