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New AI technology in NV Energy wildfire cameras

Nevada wildfire cameras warn day and night
Posted at 9:34 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 00:36:09-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — We’re in the thick of wildfire season, and NV energy customers were put under public safety outages in Mount Charleston.

Mark Regan, NV Energy fire chief said, "The conditions up here in Mount Charleston are extreme. They are the driest we’ve ever been on record."

Dry fire fuel goes on for miles through the peaks of Mount Charleston. The fuel is the natural grown trunks and grass sprouting towards the sky. This fuel, if ignited, could turn sinister.

That’s why NV Energy has eyes in the sky to watch for flames through their alert wildfire camera program.

"The cameras are very important to be able to detect fires early on," said Regan.

MORE: Fire-detecting cameras help to detect wildfires in Nevada

NV Energy has 11 of these cameras in Nevada, three on top of Mount Charleston. These contribute to the 55 total cameras placed by various organizations across the state. Add that 55 to the over 500 cameras across the Southwest.

This new one stands where the Mount Charleston lodge use to be until it met a fiery demise last September.

"The technology that we’ve added to our fire cameras is for early detection of a fire started by either an abandoned campfire, human cause or by an electrical system," Regan told us.

This new technology includes infrared imaging which is able to detect fires day and night and an AI intelligence that can discern between a plume of smoke versus a dust devil spinning in the wind. If the AI detects something, it sends an alert to NV Energy’s natural disaster response team, local fire agencies and dispatch centers.

They are working with the bureau of land management and the University of Nevada, Reno to add this AI technology to other cameras.

NV Energy says preventing wildfires isn’t all up to the cameras. All of us have a part to play in limiting fire danger. In windy, hot and dry weather conditions, no outdoor burning, no parking on dry grass or using easily ignitable items is recommended.

"You have to be very cautious in the wild land area and when you’re out working. The conditions are there, we just have to be very cautious when we’re out working," Regan said.

NV Energy urges customers to check that all your contact information is correct on your account so you get these alerts so you know whats going on.