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How technology can play a critical role in saving lives and prevent the spread of wild fires!

Back in the Summer of 2019/2020, Australia witnessed one of the worst bushfires in its history. With 33 lives lost, 3,000 homes destroyed, over 16 million hectares of bushland burnt, and devastatingly, over 3 billion animals killed. This totalled to over $100 billion dollars in economic damage.

This affected so many people in so many ways, and many of us probably thought about how we could help. The incredibly smart team at Kablamo was one of those groups of people that decided that they would actually do something about it. They knew their skills weren't about going to physically fight the fires, but what could be done with technology, data, analytics and machine learning to help those brave firefighters on the frontlines, 9 of which lost their lives fighting those devastating bushfires. This was the birth of Firestory 2 years ago.

I have been paying close attention to this great work, and I am now so excited to be able to contribute to this project and become part of the team! I’ve recently decided to get on board as the Managing Director. This is an exciting opportunity to see how we can take this technology to other parts of the world that are also at risk of the impact from wildfires.

Firestory has already been doing work with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP) as well as an implementation for another large national firefighting agency that is planning to be live for this coming bushfire season. Australia has recently been impacted by catastrophic flooding caused by unseasonable weather conditions. This is yet another cycle that will lead to further drought and dry weather that will increase fuel for bushfires. We need to be ready!

The Bushfire Intelligence Cycle the Firestory is built upon

Firestory is a platform that introduces 360 degree bushfire intelligence. With many tools and products focussed on a particular phase of the bushfire defence process, such as early detection or managing an incident, Firstory is the first platform that manages the entire bushfire cycle. From the planning phase of a bushfire season where planning of backburning and modelling based on fuel cover. Onto early detection of ignitions by analysing satellite imagery and other sensory data. Right through to the management of a bushfire incident where modelling can predict the path of a burn 12 hours in advance (in minutes), and critical firefighting assets can be deployed to protect property, people and wildlife that is most at risk. Finally, once the fire has been extinguished, deep post-incident analysis helps to learn and develop plans for the next bushfire season.

The opportunity to try and prevent fires around the world is not only viable, but absolutely worth the effort and hard work that technology can assist with. There is a lot of innovation in this space, which is exciting to see. From IoT devices, Drones, Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, and satellite technology. All of this is fantastic and necessary, and Firestory intends to bring all that data and intelligence into a single platform to help the firefighting agencies and first responders to have the unfair advantage in fighting bushfires and wildfires around the world.

Check out the FireStory website to find out more about it, or read some of the articles that were published this week about Firestory, here, here, here or here.


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