Cal Fire Plane Outfitted with Infrared Video Camera

A $200,000 infrared video camera will be mounted on a Cal Fire spotter aircraft. The camera can relay timely wildfire images to fire commanders by “seeing” through smoke to enable firefighters to see temperatures within a wildfire, signifying hot spots or burned-out areas. That also helps pilots pinpoint the best spots for water drops.

The images will be a part of “next generation incident command system” that provides data on where people and equipment are deployed.

San Diego Gas & Electric contributed $100,000 to the San Diego Regional Fire & Emergency Services Foundation that provided a grant to the San Diego County Fire Authority, then matched with county funds to cover the cost of the camera system.

SDG&E also installed 29 cameras atop transmission towers on the Sunrise Powerlink route that automatically alert the utility to a perceived threat and planned to install seven more on the section running through Cleveland National Forest, officials said.

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