Artificial intelligence from the United States could help Australia fight catastrophic bushfires.
The advanced technology was born in the wake of the last horror fire season in 2019-20, and while it’s in a trial phase now it could soon be used nationwide.
It’s been developed in California by climate technology company Salo Sciences and brought to Australia with $70 million bankrolled by Andrew “Twiggy” Forest’s Minderoo foundation.
Artificial intelligence processes the information from satellite images, converting it to high quality maps showing where there’s fire risk.
Minderoo Foundation Fire and Flood Resilience Initiative CEO Adrian Turner said it’s cutting edge technology.
“What we’re here to do is make sure fires don’t become disasters,” he said.
RFS Deputy Commissioner Peter McKechnie said the tech will allow experts to better understand the fuels that ultimately drive fires.
“We’re preparing ourselves for when we have to fight those 2019-2020 fires again,” he said.
“We don’t want to but we live in south-east Australia with that ever-present risk.”
Salo Sciences CEO David Marvin said the product allows fire officials to look under the vegetation layer.
“That’s really important because when fires start, they tend to start on the ground,” he said.
A total of 70,000sq km, including Duffys Forest on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, is part of a trial.