Is the Internet of Things (IoT) Capable of Preventing Another Destructive Wildfire Season in 2022?

The influence of climate change is causing wildfire season to start earlier and end later, creating ideal conditions for fires to spread. Wildfires are a common natural occurrence, but their incidence and intensity have increased substantially in recent years. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, flames burnt twice as much land in the United States from 2000 to 2020 as they did in the previous two decades. There were 58,985 wildfires across the United States in 2021, burning 7,125,643 acres. California had the most structures destroyed in a single state, with 2,031 residential structures, 196 commercial/mixed residential structures, and 1,136 minor structures.

Preventing wildfires with the Internet of Things

Because of the heightened risk, local governments and businesses are researching and investing in smart technologies that can detect and contain fires before they become full-fledged disasters. To solve this fast developing challenge, many of these linked solutions use LTE/5G, LoRaWAN, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) technology. But how can governments, businesses, individuals, and communities use technology to anticipate and avoid disasters? Three instances of IoT wildfire prevention and linked solutions that are on the frontlines of this struggle are provided below.

Sensors 

IoT sensors can measure CO2, oxygen, humidity, wetness, and temperature levels, which can assist identify and manage wildfires. Heat-resistant sensors, in instance, can communicate where a fire starts and how hot it is. is, and its spreading patterns. 

This data is collected by remote IoT sensors, which communicate fire conditions to first-responders and communities. One of the keys to success for devices and related sensors deployed in forests and other isolated regions is low energy consumption and long battery life. Because most fires occur in rural and isolated areas where internet access is limited, cellular-enabled sensors and LoRaWAN mesh networks with cellular backhaul ensure that sensor data is sent over the internet. The information gathered by these sensors is used to assist crucial decisions and strategic approaches to firefighting.

This “fire season,” which seems to happen every year, has a significant impact on air quality, which is harmful to people’s health. Sensor-based air quality monitoring is crucial, and governments like Washington have established rules to that end. related to moving workers indoors if air quality hits a certain threshold.  

Artificial intelligence is also being used to identify the likelihood of fire outbreaks in a given area, as well as report the exact GPS coordinates of a fire. AI solutions can process data in real-time, providing firefighters with information including smoke levels, flames direction, and how fires will burn once they are ignited 

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