Firefighters want every leg up they can get to knock out a blaze before it becomes an inferno. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says it has a new tool to battle wildfires before they explode -- artificial intelligence.
‘I think it is a game changer … It has enhanced our abilities to validate situational awareness and then respond in a quick fashion,’ Phillip SeLegue, Cal Fire’s staff chief for fire intelligence, told CNN.
Deep in the California wilderness of the Cleveland National Forest in San Diego County, a fire started in the middle of a July night. No fire officials were in the area, but AI was watching and alerted the authorities.
‘The dispatch center there was not aware of the fire,’ said Scott Slumpff, battalion chief of the intel program at Cal Fire, who was testing the new technology at the time and received the initial alert.