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New technology helps firefighters pinpoint wildfires

Posted at 6:17 PM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 21:17:52-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A new camera system along the west coast helps firefighters pinpoint wildfires faster.

ALERTWildfire has officially launched the first 70 cameras in Southern California including 15 here in San Diego. There are 160 total cameras along the west coast in Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California.

UCSD Geosciences Professor Neal Driscoll has worked for two years as the co-developer for ALERTWildfire. Driscoll tells 10News, "they form this network, we can triangulate and we can actually locate the fire so we can give this ignition point to the first responders".

Driscoll hopes to see ten times the number of cameras installed in five years.

For him, it's more than just new technology, Driscoll says it's a faster way to protect buildings and people caught in wildfires, "in the old days wed have to send out engines or aircraft". Now, fire crews will be able look at the cameras online to see how sever the flames are before calling rigs to the scene.

"We can scale our response up or down from the information on the camera".

ALERTWildfire is funded by utility companies including SDG&E as well as Southern California Edison.