XPRIZE Wildfire is a 4-year, $11 million competition incentivizing the innovation of firefighting technologies that will end destructive wildfires so that humanity and beneficial wildfire can safely co-exist. The prize aims to transform current wildfire management approaches through the development of new technologies that can rapidly and accurately detect, characterize, and respond to wildfires before they become destructive. 

Meet The Teams

XPRIZE Wildfire is offered in partnership with Co-Title Sponsors Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Pacific Gas & Electric, Presenting Sponsor Minderoo Foundation, Bonus Prize Sponsor Lockheed Martin and Supporting Sponsors Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Costa Navarino, American Family Insurance, Fairfax Financial, and individual benefactors.


The competition is designed to synergistically transform how fires are managed and fought across two tracks:

$5M Space-Based Wildfire Detection and Intelligence Track (Track A) will address the greatest barrier to how we currently fight fires by rapidly and accurately detecting all fires across a vast and remote area and transmitting data to ground stations.

$5M Autonomous Wildfire Response Track (Track B) will transform how fires are managed and fought by rapidly and autonomously detecting and completely suppressing a destructive, high-risk fire in an environmentally challenging area with dramatically greater speed, accuracy, and precision than current best-in-class solutions, leaving any decoy fires untouched.

$1M Lockheed Martin Accurate Detection Intelligence Bonus Prize.


XPRIZE Wildfire will spur innovation across a wide range of firefighting technologies, transforming the practices of a crucial industry that have not seen major change in a century. The resulting technology will dramatically improve the detection and suppression of destructive wildfires, enabling safe management of all high-risk fires. 

I’ve seen firsthand the devastating effects of wildfires on our local communities in California and around the world. I am thrilled to work with XPRIZE again and to see my early funding grow into a large prize that will attract innovative solutions to this challenging problem.

Dr. Richard Merkin

Seed Donor for XPRIZE Wildfire

The Challenge

Extreme wildfires are on the rise, and globally, the severity of wildfires is increasing. Extreme wildfire events are only around 3% of all wildfires – but drive over 80% of total associated fire damages, and cost $350 billion annually in the US alone. Often, wildfires start in hard-to-reach areas and are fueled by climate change-related extreme weather – like severe drought, extreme winds, and heat waves.  

Without solutions to detect and manage them at inception, they will continue to threaten fragile landscapes with deforestation and habitat degradation and lead to the loss of biodiversity, human infrastructure, and even human lives. Innovation in wildfire management approaches hasn’t kept pace with mounting challenges, and new technologies aren’t globally accessible. 

We need new, innovative tools to keep up with the increasing threats and mounting challenges posed by extreme wildfire events. XPRIZE Wildfire teams will develop solutions to detect and assess high-risk fires in 10 minutes or less – a rate 4x faster than current best practices – shortening the time between detection and rapid response to inform management practices and minimize negative impacts. 

How to Win

In the Autonomous Wildfire Response track, teams have 10 minutes to autonomously detect and suppress a high-risk fire in a 1000 km2, environmentally challenging area, leaving any decoy fires untouched.

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 decision-makers on the ground.

The $1M Lockheed Martin Accurate Detection Intelligence Bonus Prize incentivizes innovations in accurate and precise detection of wildfires. 


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Get Involved

In today’s climate, nearly everyone is at risk of being affected by extreme wildfires and their environmental, social, and economic impacts such as air pollution, rising CO2 emissions, and increased financial burdens for fire-impacted communities. Consider adding $10, $100 or more to the prize purse. Your donation will support the winning teams of this competition – the innovator who helps solve the challenge of shortening the time between detection and rapid response to inform management practices and minimize negative impacts.* All donations are tax-deductible. As a donor, you’ll receive key benefits and updates.

Prize Activity

Advisory Board