It's getting hot in here; AI will cool you off 

Wildfire detection, AI in firefighting, Phil Schneider, Pano AI technology, Firefighting challenges, Climate change impact, Early wildfire detection, Thermal imaging, Environmental protection, AI in emergency response

47 years into his firefighting career, Phil Schneider experienced challenges because of the unexceptional wildfires that took place this year. Philip Schneider is the fire chief in Clackamas County. 

This year fires blazed reaching more than 2,000 acres of land in Amid Oregon’s woods. This land was originally a wet climate that made it impossible for fires to think they could take place, but it wasn’t the case this time. 

Sadly, wildfires have been reoccurring worldwide due to global warming. As a result, this has aided in higher rates of destruction in the wild. Mr. Schneider’s dedication to his work, he decided to recruit the one and only: artificial intelligence. He wants to minimize the risks that come with extinguishing wildfires.  

Mr. Schnieder mentioned that “It’s a huge game changer for the fire service.” 

He was referring to the technology that was developed by Pano AI, which is thought to be a second pair of eyes that looks out for fire.  

Although AI alone would not be able to take control over the management wildfires, it’s said that it’s a growing tool that firefighters have been using. 

Mr. Schneider decided to use a high-tech fire watch and use panoramic cameras that record and capture snapshots of the surrounding minute-by-minute. An analyzation of the images takes place by the AI algorithm, which can detect signs of fires.  

The process can range from hours to days in order to detect flames using its different methods, said Mr. Schneider. The beneficial part of using the AI system is the fact that it can detect the threat of a fire instantly.  

Mr. Schneider continues to state that “Fires are burning hotter and faster. That early detection is going to make a difference.” 

When Mr. Schneider’s crew failed to locate a blaze after hours of search, Panos’s AI was able to detect to do the job. In another similar scenario, the detection of the blaze happened 30 minutes before it took place.  

Pano AI San Francisco based, has built 100 AI- on duty to enable fire watch in 6 US states and Australia. It is a flourishing technology in the field of discovering and extinguishing fires.  

Mr. Schneider mentions that the earlier detection of fires is having a positive impact on the environment because fires are burning at a faster rate with higher temperatures. 

In of the few times, Pano AI was able to detect a fire 30 minutes before it took place, but Mr. Schneider’s team was able to detect it hours later.  

Thermal Imaging

With advancements in time the number of startups has increased, and this allows for more variety in offers. 

German engineers hire satellites and thermal imaging sensors to detect wildfires from the sky. On the other hand, in France robots are being assigned to work cooperatively by human firefighters to fight off the blaze.  

Additionally, in Mr. Schneider’s Oregon fire department, drones with infrared cameras take off at night to aid firefighters in locating burning locations. 

Mr. Clerico stated that technology plays a vital role in managing wildfires. 

In fact, due to the high heat that has scorched the Mediterranean from Greece to Spain, wildfires have cost Europe an estimated €4.1 billion ($4.43 billion) so far this year. 

News stated that Lahaina in Maui last month claimed at least 115 lives due to wildfires. 

A record-breaking area of forest burned in Canada, emitted as much carbon dioxide in a year as Mexico does, even though the economic and human toll has been smaller. 

As a result of climate change, temperatures are predicted to rise and droughts to occur more frequently, which will exacerbate the issue. The danger of catastrophic wildfires increasing globally by up to 57% by the end of the century, according to a 2022 report co-authored by the UN. The risks are increased by both climate change and human infrastructure, particularly electricity lines. 

Early detection 

For decades, satellites have been used to detect wildfires – Nasa’s Landsat satellites have been gathering information regarding wildfires since the 1970s – according to Mr. Roenneke, OroraTech’s infrared imaging results allows firefighters to have a clearer picture of the trace of fires, the progress, and the smoke which mainstream sensors are not able to detect. 

With the aid of AI in such situations, the wildfires are being extinguished with minimal to no harm to the environment and the firefighters.  

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