Today: Saturday, 24 October 2020 year

AI helps California firefighters track burn risk

AI helps California firefighters track burn risk

The new AI mapping tolls could be extremely useful for firefighters in their activity, said Springwise. The smart public dataset combines satellite imagery with weather forecasts and topographic detail. Such an approach helps to monitor the current risk of forest wildfires.

In California, about three million acres of land have burned in 2020 fires only. To make the service of firefighting easier, the new artificial intelligence (AI) app was developed. A collaboration between Salo Sciences, Planet, Vibrant Planet, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is more timely than ever.

According to the Forest Observatory, AI uses the satellite imaging combined with detailed laser scanning to monitor the current risk of forest fires. Previously, most satellite data was up to three years old.

An idea is simple — the combined data provides detail down to the level of individual trees and allows firefighting teams to observe vegetation growth while tracking current weather conditions. That knowledge massively increases teams’ ability to predict what will burn, and where and how quickly, further improving their firefighting capabilities.

Firefighting platform has a bright future in such vulnerable zones as California

While the geographical differences are becoming more extreme, drought in some areas and flooding in others increased substancially. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the problem, yet campaigners point to the value of collective action, particularly when voting, consuming and banking.

AI gives an opportunity to predict the fires’ behaviour thanks to the combined data. It is free to use non-commercially, and researchers can click to share, download and alter maps as needed.

In fact, layers of the map are stackable, with the algorithm providing information by county, community and watershed. Further development of the platform includes additional layers of data, such as tree mortality, and expanding the map to other parts of the world.

The multiple startups can contribute and enlargen such useful movements, by taking innovative and often collaborative approaches to today’s environmental challenges. The new apps definitely build long-standing, meaningful improvements in the fast-changing environment.