As a fourteen year veteran of the BC Wildfire Preventions Service, professional forester Andy Low knows more than a few things about wildfire prevention and suppression. Now working as a private consultant, he is highly sought after for his expertise and operational know-how. During his time at BC Wildfire, Low dealt “pretty much exclusively with wildfire hazard assessment, hazard mitigation, and community protection planning,” he told us during a recent telephone interview.
During his last two years of government service, Low headed operational innovation at the provincial level and made the decision to test out Nupoint’s remote satellite camera system. This was part of the department’s overall prevention and monitoring of modified response fires.
His rationale was that with modified response fires—wildfires that are usually in remote locations, and are allowed to burn themselves out for ecological reasons—the Remote Viewer system might be beneficial in mitigating aircraft and personnel costs.
Reasons for choosing Nupoint’s remote satellite camera systems
- No specialized technician to set-up and get going—anyone could do it
- Rugged and portable
- All commands through email, and photo distribution via email
- No centralized site to log in to
- No specialized software (a real problem for government agencies)
- Provided centralized monitoring
- Facilitated quick decision making with up-to-date intelligence of problem areas
- Near-infrared capability invaluable in ascertaining fire characteristics at night and during spells of low daytime visibility
- A three-to-one ROI in helicopter and personnel savings in only half a season of deployment (BC Wildfire bought multiple units before the next season)
- No downtime over tow seasons of use
- Low power consumption
- Tactical applications by monitoring weather and smoke conditions on active wildfires requiring suppression from air assets
Remote Viewer as a force multiplier
Low discovered that by having remote satellite camera systems in place, he could allocate resources more efficiently, and thereby multiply BC Wildfire Prevention Services’ capabilities in tackling wildfires that posed the greatest danger to the public.