Alumnus’ Company Offers Product to Prevent Utility & Roadside Fires

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Wes Bolsen

Electrical engineering alumnus Wes Bolsen’s company, LaderaTech, has a season-long preventative solution for wildfires through a single annual treatment. It is currently being used in high-risk area across California.

With another wildfire season impacting California, a company led by alumnus Wes Bolsen is offering the only known long-term fire retardant that can be applied to prevent wildfires before they begin. 

Bolsen is president and chief executive officer of LaderaTech, a biomaterials company bringing commercial solutions to the wildfire prevention and agriculture industries.

The company has accelerated commercial sales of its FORTIFY product to provide a season-long preventative wildfire management solution for public utilities, state and federal agencies, insurance companies and private homeowners through a single annual treatment.

"As wildfires become more widespread, it's crucial that utilities and state agencies begin looking at preventative and proactive solutions to the fires before they begin," states Bolsen, a 2000 electrical engineering graduate, in a company press release. “We know where most fires are starting, but before FORTIFY there was no way to prevent these expected fires throughout the peak fire season. We look forward to engaging with state and federal agencies as well as public utilities to begin applying FORTIFY in preparation for the 2020 wildfire season."

The product is applied ahead of fire season to areas known to have high wildfire risk, such as along roadsides, near utility infrastructure, railroads, or around homes and communities. FORTIFY requires only one application annually and is believed to be the first product that can maintain effectiveness through weathering throughout the peak fire season. The technology was developed by researchers from Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

FORTIFY is already in use and has been applied commercially along high-risk roadsides, utility lines and estates in Los Angeles, San Diego and Ventura, along with countryside within San Mateo county in California.

Bolsen is a successful entrepreneur and consultant whose past ventures were primarily in the biofuels industry. He also was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company after earning a master’s degree in leadership from Stanford.

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