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California Homeowners Protect Families and Neighbours from Wildfires

Martis Camp utilizes AI wildfire detection to protect the community and neighbours from wildfires.

Fig 1: Martis Camp is a private community in California. (source: martiscamp.org)

Martis Camp is a private community with 510 homes nestled on 671 lots, spanning 2200 acres (890 hectares) in the northwest of Lake Tahoe, stands at an elevation of 6200 feet, surrounded by beautiful mountains.

Martis Camp has been a LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS customer since 2022. We recently invited them to share their experience using AI wildfire detection technologies and their wildfire management practices with our newsletter subscribers and LinkedIn followers.

 

Q1 (asked by RoboticsCats): Could you please provide an overview of your wildfire management?

MC (answered by Martis Camp): We have a robust wildland fire response program, including forestry/ground fuel management, wildland fire response equipment, and wildland fire response training. We’ve hired a wildland fire consulting company that provides our training and develops a list of private wildland fire crews and equipment that we can call upon to prevent a fire from destroying our community.

Q2: What early wildfire detection solution are you using?

MC: Martis Camp has implemented LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS, an early detection system that promptly alerts the community of nearby wildfires. We use LookOut to detect early-stage wildfires from video images captured by nearby public CCTV systems. This timely notification enables proactive measures, including informing local authorities and neighbors of potential wildfire outbreaks, minimizing risks and potential damage.

Fig 2: Martis Camp is surrounded by trees and mountains (source: martiscamp.org)

Q3: Have any wildfires been detected by LookOut? Did the LookOut notification assist in any early response?

MC: Yes, in the summer of 2022, LookOut detected a smoke plume/fire that hadn’t been reported near our community. Martis Camp was the first one to report it to CAL FIRE. Early detection is critical!

 

Q4: How far was that wildfire? Were any more remote fires detected? 

MC: The previous fire mentioned was approximately 4 miles away from the camera. The AI wildfire detection system is very sensitive in a good way; LookOut reported smoke plumes as far as 20 miles away. 

 

Q5: Are any unwanted, recurrent spurious events being reported that you could not eliminate over time?

MC: No unwanted. Given we are at 6200 feet in elevation, clouds can hover below the tree line and mimic smoke plumbs in some cases. Being alerted to them helps us deal with false reporting by our members or the local communities outside our gates.

 

Q6: Did any homeowners add their surveillance cameras to the wildfire detection system to expand coverage?

MC: No. Due to the large pine trees throughout the community, the cameras would not be useful for early wildfire detection. However, LookOut allows for any camera or smartphone to be used for detection. There is comfort in knowing we can add a camera or phone to monitor an area at any time.

Fig 3: LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS detected a prescribed fire in Nov 2023.

Q7: Did your insurance company offer any discounts for installing a wildfire detection system?

MC: No, but we are working on that. Insurance is a major issue in our area, and we are collaborating with an insurance company on a pilot project to reduce costs and liability expenses.

We thank Martis Camp for sharing its valuable time and experience using the AI wildfire detection system. We are grateful to serve Martis Camp — a leader in technology adoption, community support, and environmental protection. We learn a lot from working with them.

 

Remark:

It was homeowners who motivated us to develop LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS.

We received many inquiries from homeowners around the world. They needed tools to protect their families and neighbors from wildfires. They couldn’t find anything. They contacted us and shared their needs and stories. We should, we could, and we wanted to help. 

We launched LookOut, the world’s first AI wildfire detection SaaS in the year 2021. We are now serving customers – homeowners, plantations, factories, energy infrastructures, nature reserves, national parks, and fire departments in 13 countries.

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