(KRON) — Artificial Intelligence is becoming more and more common. Now, Cal Fire is using it. Six of their command centers have AI technology set up to detect wildfires. KRON spoke with one of their fire captains about how AI technology works.
Cal Fire has about 1,000 cameras set up throughout the state. They have the ability to rotate 360 degrees, zoom in and out, and now AI can detect a wildfire. The giant monitors at Cal Fire’s Grass Valley Emergency Command Center are able to bring up any of the 1,000 cameras set up on high towers.
Three months ago, Cal Fire added something new AI. This red square on the horizon is artificial intelligence detecting something out of the ordinary, according to Captain Nathan Menth.
“Whether it’s dense smoke, whether it’s a change of color on the horizon. The technology allows us to have that early detection. We can pinpoint it utilizing multiple cameras throughout our unit,” said Menth.
Out of Cal Fire’s 21 command centers, six are testing out the new AI technology. Menth said once AI detects smoke on the horizon, his staff will confirm a fire and use the computers to make immediate predictions for where the flames are heading.
“Allows us to see the typography we can cross that over with the wind and the weather, the humidity and we can draw our best conclusion, or provide the incident commanders at the scene of the incident who are actively mitigating it,” Menth said.
For Cal Fire AI, it is all about speed — a technology that’s detecting fires at record speeds. Early detection, early response and fires that are stopped well before reaching your property.
“Substantial use of this program has been utilized out of our office, and it has been quite a game changer in regard to intelligence, information gathering that we used to rely on the reporting parties for that called into the 911,” Menth said.
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He added the second confirmation of a fire always comes from a worker at the command center and not technology.