'Detected in Minutes' - How AI Is Helping Fight Bushfires - Hope 103.2

‘Detected in Minutes’ – How AI Is Helping Fight Bushfires

Originally used in Californian wildfires, AI has cut fire response time significantly, bringing hope that it may be rolled out in Australia.

By Georgia FreeMonday 8 Jan 2024Hope DriveNewsReading Time: 2 minutes

It’s been three years of La Niña, but we are in for a hot dry summer – and bushfire season is already upon us. But one Queensland council is taking a new approach to fighting bushfires – using artificial intelligence. The rest of Australia could soon follow.

Geoff Quattromani from the Technology Uncorked podcast joined Hope Drive to discuss the benefits and dangers of the technology – and how it’s already changing communities across the world.

How can AI be used in bushfires?

The Sunshine Coast is facing one of its worst bushfire seasons in years – but, this year, AI-assisted technology will help them fight it.

The program uses a combination of aerial cameras and ground sensors, which will detect both images of smoke and a rapid rise in temperature. Once an anomaly is detected, a response is sent directly to a team to assess, upon which they can deploy fire services to the location.

“Providing that instant reporting back could mean that fire services are deployed sooner, and hopefully homes are saved,” Geoff said.

Results so far

Originally used in Californian wildfires, the technology has cut fire response time significantly in the last few years, which gives many people hope that the technology would soon be rolled out nationally in Australia.

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“There’s going to be a lot of observation on the Sunshine Coast at the moment,” Geoff said.

“There’s some investment that needs to be made and technology that needs to be rolled out for this to work.

“But if it saves somebody some time, and helps us get to things faster, it’s a win.”

Listen to Geoff Quattromani’s full interview in the player above.


Feature image: Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur on Unsplash.