Amplicam visits Wildfire Summit in California
California has dry, windy, and often hot weather conditions from spring through late autumn that can produce moderate to severe wildfires. Protecting people, property, and resources from wildfires is an increasingly difficult challenge due to changing environmental conditions across the US and the world. However, an extremely unusual set of factors make doing the critical job of fighting wildfires in California even more difficult and complex. California is currently experiencing:
Pressure from a population of 38 million people
Fear of wildfire community destruction with over 2,000 communities identified as ‘at risk’
Increased urban and infrastructure development into California’s wilderness
Unusual, unpredictable and ever-changing weather conditions
Unprecedented tree mortality conditions with 129 million dead trees state-wide (2.)
During the 2020 wildfire season alone, over 8,100 fires contributed to the burning of nearly 4.5 million acres of land. As of April 2, 2022, a total of 925 fires have been recorded, totalling approximately 6,158 acres (2,492 ha) across the state with peak fire season not even expected until summer or fall. (3) The 2022 California wildfire season is of particular concern because it follows the 2020 and 2021 California wildfire seasons, which had the highest and second-highest (respectively) numbers of acres burned, on record. (1.)
United States taxpayers pay close to $3 Billion per year to fight wildfires, and big fires can lead to billions of dollars in property losses. More than 350,000 people in California live in towns situated completely within zones deemed to be at very high risk of fire. In total, more than 2.7 million people in California live in "very high fire hazard severity zones", which also include areas at lesser risk. (1)
Some in the firefighting sector say the tools and technologies used to combat new blazes have not kept up with the impact of climate change's fury. It is clear that new approaches and new technologies are needed. As governments put out the call for assistance, the private sector has stepped up to deliver advice, products and services that prevents, detects and mitigates wildfire damage.
As a member of this private sector contingent that offers wildfire detection and prevention solutions to communities and governments, Amplicam will be attending the Wildfire Management Summit on April 25-26, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Innovative strategies and emerging technologies to prevent wildfire damage are on the agenda, formally addressed by leading experts and will be discussed among attendees networking and peer learning.
On day 1 of the conference, the focus is on North America, and kicks-off with a USDA forest service outlook for 2022 delivered by Randy Moore, Chief, USDA Forest Service and Jerome E. Perez, National Director, Fire and Aviation Management, USDA Forest Service. There will also be a talk on how emergency services are coordinated during extreme fires in California by Brian Marshall, Chief, Fire and Rescue, California Office of Emergency Services (CAL OES)). Discussion of Colorado’s new approach to early detection and rapid initial attack along with Canada’s wildfire suppression and response in Canada, and approaches to forest fire management in Brazil, are all on the 1st day’s agenda.
The second day of the conference has a focus of international wildfire fighting cooperation and the latest research on the topic from across the world. Professionals from countries such as Germany, Spain, Portugal, Singapore will speak about their national experience fighting wildfires as well as international collaborative initiatives in wildfire management.
Incident management and operational awareness; Collection, storage and analysis of actionable and accessible data; Data from remote sensors, thermal cameras, drones, satellites and other technologies will all be a major focus on this second day of the conference as well as exploration into how NASA is working with government agencies, standards organisations and industry leaders across the world to make sure that the data is usable and actionable in operational wildfire situations.
We at Amplicam along with our international partners in wildfire prevention and detection look forward to attending the IDGA Wildfire education conference this month and invite similarly interested parties to get in touch before, during or after the event for more information.
3) 2) https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/california