New website to help firefighters ‘bust fires’

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A research meteorologist in Southern California has created a tool to help firefighters fight wildfires.

Shyh-Chin Chen created the website created the app FireBuster after witnessing the Southern California wildfires in 2007.

“The fire was burning right on my doorstep, and it jumped over my house,” said Chen, forest service research meteorologist for the Pacific Southwest Research Station. “A few houses behind ours got burned and a few houses ahead of us.”

The flames torched hundreds of thousands of acres. It was so large it could be seen from space. More than 1 million people were evacuated and 10 were killed.

“I had never been so close to a fire,” Chen said.