Boulder County partners with Pano AI to develop fire detection technology

Boulder County is adopting new technology designed to help first responders spot fires faster.

A new partnership with Pano AI — a Boulder County first — will use high-definition cameras and artificial intelligence to help spot fires, check fuel conditions and zero in on specific locations.

It comes nearly a year after Boulder County experienced some of the most destructive fires in state history, at a time when Colorado was reported to be one of the five states most vulnerable to wildfire damage due to a dry and hot climate. one.

“The threat of wildfires in our county is surging,” Sheriff Joe Pell said at a news conference. “We’re seeing longer and more severe wildfire seasons every year because of the warming climate.”

The idea has been in the works for more than two years, inspired at least in part by Arvind Satyam, Pano’s chief commercial officer, who has lived through bushfires in Australia and now lives in California, where some of the country’s biggest fires have burned. America happened.

Through conversations with fire departments, utilities and insurance companies across the country, and other entities, Satyam said Pano AI identified a lack of technology as one of the challenges facing first responders.

“We need more technology. It needs to be better. It needs to be in the hands of those on the front lines,” he said. “There are a lot of different technologies that aren’t really connected.”

According to Pano AI, the company offers a fully integrated wildfire detection solution that combines advanced hardware including satellite and Ultra HD 360-degree cameras, computer vision and artificial intelligence.

It’s all about helping first responders get to the scene faster and safer and stop the ignition before it spreads.

“Minutes matter. Every big fire starts with a small fire,” Satyam said.

Boulder County Fire Management Officer Seth McKinney agreed.

“Pano AI gives our fire managers and incident leaders greater visibility into difficult-to-monitor terrain and real-time situational awareness to help us determine early action plans for emerging and escalating incidents, enabling the correct Resources are quickly deployed to the right location, McKinney said in the release. “This immediate tactical intelligence will be an invaluable tool to aid our decision-making. “

Eldora and Lee Hill currently have operational cameras, with a third set coming soon. According to Boulder County, in areas where the camera is close enough to see people, such as the ski runs in Eldora, Pano AI will use pixelation to blur the video/photo for privacy.

When choosing a location for the camera, Pano AI consults with people on the ground to determine the highest risk areas for wildfires.

Satyam noted that Pano AI also hopes to expand the use of its technology beyond Boulder County, given that the fires have no jurisdiction.

He also said the company expects the technology to one day have an impact on insurance rates and the insurability of property in high-risk areas.

“If you have the ability to respond to events faster, control them, shrink them, then you have an opportunity to make (an area) more insurable,” Satyam said.

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