Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Is artificial intelligence the next tool to fight wildfires in the West?

With wildfires becoming bigger and more destructive as the West dries out and heats up, agencies and officials tasked with preventing and battling the blazes could soon have a new tool to add to their arsenal of prescribed burns, pick axes, chain saws and aircraft.

The high-tech help could come by way of an area not normally associated with fighting wildfires: artificial intelligence. And space.

Lockheed Martin Space, based in Jefferson County, is tapping decades of experience of managing satellites, exploring space and providing information for the U.S. military to offer more accurate data quicker to ground crews. They are talking to the U.S. Forest Service, university researchers and a Colorado state agency about how their their technology could help.

By generating more timely information about on-the-ground conditions and running computer programs to process massive amounts of data, Lockheed Martin representatives say they can map fire perimeters in minutes rather than the hours it can take now. They say the artificial intelligence, or AI, and machine learning the company has applied to military use can enhance predictions about a fire’s direction and speed...MORE 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe that AI is already at work fighting fires: quite a few controlled burns have turned into project fires this year a sure sign that no intelligence is being used artificial or otherwise. The only reason controlled burns are being set is to met a financed target and time is running out for the fiscal year. So forget about using Artificial intelligence and let's rely on just plain common sense! Don't set fires when high wind warnings abound! Don't set any fire you can't put out with the man power at hand! Quit thinking fire management is the cure-all for resource management! Go back to basics to manage all resources and forget the academia's know-it-alls who don't have one acre of private land they can manage to show us what they know! Yes folks, that's the trouble with the country today....too much artificial intelligence!