Province to Look at New Fire Detection System

Friday, August 08, 2003 at 14:26




The provincial government will examine whether or not to adopt a new forest fire detection system this fall.


Recently, officials with Saskatchewan Environment travelled to a conference where a South African physicist presented them and others with a new way of spotting flames and smoke.


The system involves a series of computerized cameras that can be mounted on existing towers.


Almost all of Saskatchewan’s fire towers were decommissioned last year due to safety concerns, but fire detection specialist Kris Johnson says they could potentially house the new system.


Johnson also says the move could save a lot of money without having to replace existing fire spotters.


Johnson explains the FOREST WATCH system would alert operators to flare-ups and allow them to make the necessary decisions. With image-processing technology and infrared capability, he says it is able to spot smoke and flames far quicker than the human eye, especially at night.