LBHS students join young developer of effective wildfire detection technology


By Moya Mitchell, Special to the Independent

On a damp, overcast morning last Saturday, five Laguna Beach High School students, Tyler Tafreshi, Mateen and Darian Najafi, Ben Smith and Dutch McClellan, and a Corona del Mar high school student, Rustin Motakef, joined a decorated young climate activist and inventor to test his proprietary AI-driven sensor network technology. Ryan Honary has developed an emergency detection and response system that relies on remote sensors and AI to identify fire outbreaks and predict spread patterns. The low-cost mesh network is easy to deploy and can be placed in remote locations that are otherwise unmonitored.

LBHS members of the Climate Solutions Society get prepared to place the equipment developed by Honary. Photo courtesy of Moya Mitchell

The Orange County Fire Authority is already working with Honary on a county-level deployment and Laguna Beach is on track to do the same. The first steps in this process began on this cool morning up at Moulton Meadows Park, where the young men took Honary’s direction to test his equipment against the area’s terrain. They worked under his tutelage to place “mini meteorological stations” and sensors across an area of approximately 350 yards and then activate them to ensure their connectivity.

The Laguna Beach Fire Department identified this spot as an area that would benefit from such technology. Afterward, Honary, with the help of the LBHS students and the Orange County Fire Authority will potentially create a fire perimeter extending from Moulton Meadows to the Alta Laguna fire station.

Just a sophomore at Newport Harbor High School, Honary has already proven himself to be a gifted engineer, an accomplished businessman, and a dedicated steward of the planet. His technology stemmed from a science project in 5th grade and was fueled in 2018 by the devastation he witnessed in the Camp Fire, which leveled the Northern California town of Paradise. He hopes to inspire other young people to consider STEM opportunities for their futures.

He believes “that environmental engineering will be one of the most important fields of my generation, and my hope is that students will be encouraged to pursue it and have the resources to do so.” The LBHS chapter of Climate Solutions Society, led by student Tyler Tafreshi, is among those inspired by Honary and his mission. The school-based club will look forward to being part of the implementation of Honary’s fire detection technology in the near future.

To learn more about Honary and his numerous accolades and accomplishments, visit or connect with him on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook by searching @RyanHonary.


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