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Fire Safety App Simulates Wildfires, Shows Route to Avoid Them

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A California home threatened by a wildfire in 2018.

Researchers have devised a mobile app that provides personalized evacuation routes to anyone caught in the path of a wildfire.

Credit: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Researchers at the CYENS Center of Excellence in Cyprus have built a mobile wildfire simulation application that provides personalized evacuation routes to anyone in the path of a fire.

The app connects to a Web server running the simulation program, which uses publicly available data to update predictions of the spread of fires every 15 minutes.

A fire management tool allows local fire departments to quickly tag when and where a fire starts, which is applied to real-time simulations.

The app then employs the global positioning system (GPS) location of each user to map out potential escape routes, selecting optimal routes by comparing how fast each route gets them to safety against how close it brings them to the fire's path.

The algorithm displays the best option either as turn-by-turn directions or as a route overlaid on a regional map.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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