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Officials eye artificial intelligence to fight fires

by Joey De Leon

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to fight wildfires and predict their occurrence, as communities around the world grapple with increasingly destructive blazes. With wildfires becoming more intense due to climate change, firefighters, utilities, and governments are harnessing AI technology to augment their efforts. In California, for example, an AI system is being tested to detect smoke from more than 1,000 mountaintop camera feeds and alert emergency command centers. This system helps reduce fatigue among responders while improving response times and accuracy. Startups like San Francisco-based Pano AI are also deploying AI-enabled cameras to scan for smoke and alert customers, relying on computer vision machine learning to detect wildfires. Microsoft is developing AI models to predict fire locations, and German startup OroraTech is analyzing satellite images using AI algorithms to detect fires and assess fire propagation. These technological advancements in AI provide valuable tools to first responders and firefighting agencies, potentially helping to save lives and protect communities from devastating wildfires.

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