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Fire Shows Need for Early Detection: How Tech and AI Can Help

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Firefighters battling flames in Paradise, CA.

Computer scientists, researchers, and others are hoping technology can help detect, and even predict, wildfires.

Credit: Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group

The wildfires ravaging California highlight the importance of early detection, with San Jose State University's Craig Clements saying artificial intelligence is being explored to more rapidly localize fires and predict their propagation and behaviors.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing are working with the U.S. Forest Service to improve fire-detection algorithms in the center's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Early Fire Detection System.

Their goal is to optimize data processing to help detect ignitions as early as possible.

They are using a satellite to perform tests with past images and wildfire-incident reports across many states to help refine the algorithms.

Also, James MacKinnon at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center has tested a neural network for automatically detecting wildfires using a satellite-based system that captures photos of the Earth and transmits data for use in applications such as weather forecasting.

From The Mercury News
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