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Alberta implementing new technology to detect and manage wildfires

May 20, 2021  By  Ellen Cools

The Alberta government is investing in new technologies and practices to detect and manage wildfires, such as artificial intelligence and drones.

The province’s wildfire service uses drones to help detect hot spots on the landscape, plan and monitor prescribed burns and investigate the cause of wildfires. Alberta Wildfire will expand the use of drones in conditions unsafe for manned aircraft, such as when visibility conditions are poor.

Alberta Wildfire will also be using water enhancing gels to support projections of areas at risk, along with high-volume water delivery systems across the Forest Protection Area.

The organization will also be using artificial intelligence and crowd-sourcing to supplement existing wildfire lookouts. They will be using cameras that learn to identify smoke to automatically alert firefighters. The detection camera feeds will be shared to help partners detect wildfires.


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