Fire Detection Cameras

Jason Weber, Chief, Fire Department

You can view live camera feeds at ALERTWildfire.

ALERTWildfire is a consortium of three universities -- The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), University of California San Diego (UCSD), and the University of Oregon (UO) -- providing access to state-of-the-art Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) fire cameras and associated tools to help firefighters and first responders: (1) discover/locate/confirm fire ignition, (2) quickly scale fire resources up or down appropriately, (3) monitor fire behavior through containment, (4) during firestorms, help evacuations through enhanced situational awareness, and (5) ensure contained fires are monitored appropriately through their demise.

With six fire stations protecting 251 square miles of unincorporated areas and almost 199,000 acres of State Responsibility Area, the Fire Department is eager to make use of this latest available technology to protect its large jurisdiction. The camera system provides operators with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data on a fire’s location.

The ForestWatch camera system, developed by EnviroVision Solutions, uses mathematical algorithms to analyze imagery of the landscape and detect subtle changes caused by smoke. The system then alerts a human operator at the Fire Department’s Emergency Command Center in Woodacre, and the operator can use system tools to examine the detection. If necessary, the operator can rapidly dispatch a response to the precise location of the fire, which the cameras provide. Moreover — and critical to operating in West Marin — the cameras differentiate smoke from fog.