Thu. Feb 29th, 2024
Using Advanced Technology to Combat Bushfires in Queensland’s Pine Forests

Queensland-based timber provider HQPlantations is employing innovative methods to predict and detect bushfires in its vast pine forests. By utilizing cameras, satellite imagery, and artificial intelligence (AI), the company has significantly enhanced its fire management efforts.

In 2022, HQPlantations entered into a commercial agreement with Sunshine Coast-based vendor exci, previously known as ‘Fireball.International,’ following a successful one-year trial of exci’s AI-Assisted Fire Management Tool. Despite occurring during one of the quietest fire seasons in two decades, the exci AI software demonstrated its potential by detecting fires through smoke.

exci employs machine learning models to not only detect fire signatures like smoke and heat but also predict the occurrence and location of future fires. To train these models, exci harnesses the power of AWS S3, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, and other AWS services, analyzing over 2.5 million camera images and 30GB of satellite data daily from partners across Australia, North America, and South America.

While satellite images alone are unable to detect fires effectively, exci combines them with camera images to train its fire prediction models. To ensure comprehensive coverage, HQPlantations has installed 360-degree rotating cameras, primarily on watch towers, covering 90 percent of its 320,000 hectares of plantations across Queensland.

According to Andrew Dunn, HQPlantations’ corporate fire manager, exci’s AI detection has become a primary source of fire detection, particularly during after-hours when fires tend to start. However, human staffed fire towers and fire camera observers remain integral to the fire management process, especially on high fire danger days when visibility is low.

The collaboration between HQPlantations and exci has proven valuable for fire investigation purposes as well. The detection images provide crucial information such as ignition time, details about whether the fire was a single or multiple ignitions, and insights into fire behavior.

To ensure swift response, exci uses Amazon Simple Notification Service and Amazon Simple Email Service to send alerts to frontline responders within two minutes of smoke detection. The company also plans to expand coverage to the remaining 10 percent of plantations and invest in additional cameras to further enhance their fire management capabilities.

By leveraging advanced technology, HQPlantations demonstrates its commitment to proactively combatting bushfires and protecting its vast pine forests from potential devastation.

FAQ Section:

1. What methods is HQPlantations using to predict and detect bushfires in its pine forests?
HQPlantations is utilizing cameras, satellite imagery, and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance its fire management efforts.

2. Who did HQPlantations enter into a commercial agreement with for AI-assisted fire management?
HQPlantations entered into a commercial agreement with exci, previously known as Fireball.International.

3. How does exci’s AI software detect fires?
exci’s AI software employs machine learning models to detect fire signatures like smoke and heat, and it can also predict the occurrence and location of future fires.

4. How does exci train its machine learning models?
exci harnesses the power of AWS S3, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, and other AWS services to analyze over 2.5 million camera images and 30GB of satellite data daily from partners across Australia, North America, and South America.

5. How are satellite images and camera images combined to train fire prediction models?
exci combines satellite images with camera images to train its fire prediction models, as satellite images alone are not effective in detecting fires.

6. How much of HQPlantations’ plantations are covered by rotating cameras?
HQPlantations has installed 360-degree rotating cameras on watch towers, covering 90 percent of its 320,000 hectares of plantations across Queensland.

7. What is the role of human staffed fire towers and fire camera observers in the fire management process?
Despite AI detection being a primary source of fire detection, human staffed fire towers and fire camera observers remain integral to the fire management process, especially on high fire danger days with low visibility.

8. How has the collaboration between HQPlantations and exci proven valuable for fire investigation?
The collaboration has provided crucial information for fire investigation purposes, including ignition time, details about the fire’s origin, and insights into fire behavior.

9. How does exci ensure rapid response to fire detection?
exci uses Amazon Simple Notification Service and Amazon Simple Email Service to send alerts to frontline responders within two minutes of smoke detection.

10. What are HQPlantations’ future plans for fire management?
HQPlantations plans to expand coverage to the remaining 10 percent of its plantations and invest in additional cameras to further enhance their fire management capabilities.

Definitions:

– AI (Artificial Intelligence): The simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn like humans.
– Machine Learning: A subset of AI that enables computers to learn from data and improve their performance without being explicitly programmed.
– AWS (Amazon Web Services): A comprehensive cloud computing platform provided by Amazon that offers a wide range of services for computing power, storage, and database management.

Suggested Related Links:
HQPlantations Official Website
Amazon Web Services