Gavin Newsom wants fire-spotting cameras in California forests - and a lot more


Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday he’ll ask the Legislature to spend $105 million on containing wildfires.
New funding would come on top of $200 million already earmarked for forestry management by the Legislature last fall, bringing the total to $305 million in new spending.

He wants more
**- helicopters **
- remote infrared cameras that can help detect fires
**- better alert systems **
- new technologies for tapping satellite images.
- funding for mental health services for first responder
- hire more Cal Fire firefighters.

As part of his initiative, Newsom said he wants to spend $10 million this year and $50 million next year on overhauling the state’s 911 system.

Lots of new cams being installed in the last 6 months all over Ca. -


Meanwhile the USFS continues to sit in the dark ages of innovation and progression towards a true professional fire agency. But hey look at our amazing fuels programs, that’s how we tackle climate change and an expanding WUI. FYI If you’re in fire and not working right now due to gov shut down, you’re leadership views your primary duties as “as needed” and does not value a 365 consistent attention toward fire suppression even when you’re not in "fire season ".


New Sheriff in town, this is going to be interesting. A lot of Different Dynamics in Wildland Firefighting. It’s January and things are green and wet in the Motherlode. Fire Season still one or two corners away but its coming. I guess will have to wait and see what unfolds under the new leadership in the State of California.
Thanks, FireCapt for the post.


Don’t worry bud, every firefighter in the forest service knows that too.


They do not make an app for spotting fires. Who is going to sit and stare at a screen to spot the smoke. OK, you write an app that will pick up certain color, shape and movement to sound the alarm. So now who is it that will validate that alarm? I suppose you could hire a GS 3 to sit in a room monitoring cameras all day. Maybe you could train your receptionist. I call for staffing lookouts with real live humans that can make decisions and give legitimate feed back to the dispatcher. Newsom is a politician. Calling for cameras makes for good PR just like Vlats dropping for the news cameras. In my opinion the money used to purchase, install and maintain a camera network is about as useful as the bullet train. Cameras will provide a lot of after the fact documentation and entertainment. Not much else. I wonder what political supporter is going to make money off this one. I suppose you could monitor the cameras from the fire station unless they are out of station of course.

Want a 365, 24/7 firefighting job? You are free to move where that is appreciated. Bad mouthing your employer will do nothing but wear you down, erode respect and bring those around you down. Work where you can be proud or work toward change so you can be proud.


Since half of california forests are covered by lookout webcams from various sources why not cover the rest. It makes no sense the sierra national forest and the stanislaus don’t have 1 lookout camera. Meanwhile there are cameras from delilah lookout north of highway 180 to the Mexico border and a bunch more going north of the stanislaus. Webcams can be set up on most any pole or tower anywhere.


If the cameras are properly done, like the firewatch camera program PGE funded in Butte County, the PTZ camera views are in sync with various GIS layers so roads and names can be superimposed onto the view, as well as a lat/lon and elevation anywhere you point mouse curser on the live video screen.

With the proper meta data like roads and coords that come with the cameras, then yes a few people looking at cameras across the state all day can help assess smoke sightings etc. They won’t neccesarily be looking for the lucky smoke shot, but instead can take the numerous smoke reports from FAA, PGE fire patrols that fly, various signatures on the GOES 16/17 satellites etc, and then immediately swing a camera to the general location and start sweeping for the smoke, confirming smoke vs dust (to save on committing resources), exact locations, can send a feed to the ECC so the captain on duty could augment the dispatch based on live video of fire behavior.

Early detection is certainly right around the corner but today, right now, cameras and more cameras will allow the proper decisions to be made earlier and earlier into an incident. Trained eyes on the fire before aircraft are in the air or engines are out of the station. Especially coupled with the higher resolution of weather conditions from the growing RAWS stations going in.