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Precise Operation LookOut for Wildfires in Mozambique


It is our pleasure to partner with Precise Operation to provide LookOut wildfire detection service in Mozambique.

There are serious forest fire problems in Africa. 489 million hectares of land burned in Africa in 2016, about 16% of the continent’s total area. 80% of the wildfires are small fires that burnt less than 100 hectares.

Figure 1: NASA’s satellite image of forest fire

In NASA’s satellite images, the size of the wildfires in central Africa appears alarmingly large. It looks like a red chain, with fires extending from Angola across Congo and Mozambique to Madagascar.

According to GlobalForestWatch, Mozambique had 27.0Mha of natural forest in 2010, extending over 34% of its land area. Mozambique is losing around 285,000 hectares of forest to wildfires annually. The peak fire season typically begins in early August and lasts around 13 weeks. 

“If you fly over Mozambique at night at this time of year, you can see many clouds of smoke and bright spots made by fires,” said Joao Massango of Mozambique’s Green Party.


Figure 2: A wildfire outbreak in Ponta Mamoli, Maputo Province, Mozambique on 13-Aug-2021. Source: Club of Mozambique

In Mozambique, wildfire is a seasonal problem. Wildfires are the result of traditional farming practices in which farmers burn their fields to prepare them for the next planting season.

“It has been out of control. You would just see a wall of fire coming toward you with no warning” said Calisto Luis Vasconcelos, a farmer who lost his sugar cane crop to the flames six times.

About 70% of the 30 million population is engaged in agriculture, which serves as the main economic sector in Mozambique (24% of GDP). Wildfires affect many people.

Figure 3: Zoom meeting between Aurio and Andre, 12-Dec-2021.

Aurio Tino Francisco and his Precise Operation team provide precision agriculture services to farmers who grow eucalyptus and litchi. These farmers are under the threat of wildfires caused by runaway fires started in nearby farmlands. Aurio is looking for early wildfire detection to help the farmers.

Precise Operation contacted Robotics Cats in late October 2021.

“I am interested to test the LookOut wildfire detection service. I want to see how it works and performs. Would you please advise me on how to set up a LookOut testing envrionment?” said Aurio.

“Sure. We can do simulated or field fire tests. We can do simulated tests now using wildfire images. We need visual cameras for field tests.”

Aurio moves fast! Action is better than words.

COVID-19 and equipment availability slowed down our progress. We finally did some tests in February 2022. Aurio and his team made different tests in different environments to evaluate how LookOut works.

Figure 4: LookOut wildfire detection service was tested in Mozambique

“I see it works. I think we can make some improvements to make LookOut work better in Mozambique,” said Aurio.

Precise Operation is a young team. They use their resources very carefully. They decided to buy the hardware to test how LookOut works. Their determination and commitment are impressive. We respect it very much.

“Let’s do it!”


Are you looking for tools to mitigate forest fires risks and damages in Mozambique? Please contact:

Precise Operations, Limitada
Chimoio, Mozambique
Av. Dar Es Salaam, Nr 854

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