AI technology is currently changing the way many things are done across industries, and now it is being implemented by the California Air National Guard (CA ANG) to help with monitoring and responding to forest fires.
How Does Artificial Intelligence Fight Wildfire?
The current process for identifying and mapping new wildfires entails people manually watching a video of an area, comparing it to a map of that area, then drawing the video content onto the map by manually pointing and clicking, which takes hours to complete.
CA ANG is hoping to switch this task from something that people have to do manually to something that can be done primarily by an AI system called FireNet. FireNet uses AI technology similar to AI systems used in medical imaging analysis.
Since wildfires can spread and grow extremely rapidly, fast response time is the best way to effectively suppress them. FireNet can run up to 20 frames per second with a high, 92% level of accuracy. What this means is that the AI system can identify and plot out wildfires in almost real time.
At this point, the existing manual process will remain in place as a failsafe, but the hope is that the FireNet AI system will drastically improve wildfire response times and change the way we identify, monitor, and suppress forest fires going forward.
Our Role in Fire Suppression
Technological advances and new ways of thinking are essential to firefighting as we move into the future. If you want to learn more or get training in wildland firefighting, see more about SPIEDR’s training services here. SPIEDR also offers consulting services to determine an appropriate wildfire reduction strategy through assessment, reporting, and implementation.