Carbondale fire gets AI cameras installed for early fire detection

Artificial intelligence-powered early detection cameras were installed on a Pitkin County communications tower on Aug. 29 to be used by the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District to spot fires before early.
Mike Wagner/Courtesy Photo

Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District finally got to install their “eye in the sky” to help detect fires before they evolve into roaring infernos.

After delays in securing a helicopter, Pano AI cameras were installed atop a Pitkin County telecom tower on Elephant Mountain on Tuesday.

“We will now have the ability to use artificial intelligence to be notified early in the event of a wildfire in the Crystal River Valley,” said Mike Wagner, deputy chief at Carbondale Fire. “Carbondale Fire is really excited to have this technology on the Highway 133 corridor.”

The cameras provide a 360-degree view of a 15-mile radius. Artificial intelligence scans live images for signs of smoke and alerts a Pano AI team of analysts smoke appears visible. The analysts will confirm or deny the alert, then send along probably smoke alerts to the fire department.

The installation was a group effort among the Redstone Castle, Pitkin County Telecommunications, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control, and Pano AI, Wagner said.

Aspen Fire Department has four cameras within its district and was the first Colorado fire department to work with Pano AI.