California firefighters are using artificial intelligence to help spot wildfires, feeding video from more than 1,000 cameras strategically placed across the state into a machine that alerts first responders when to mobilize. The ALERTCalifornia AI program, launched last month, spotted a fire that broke out at 3 a.m. local time in the remote Cleveland National Forest about 50 miles (80 km) east of San Diego. The AI alerted a fire captain who called in about 60 firefighters including seven engines, two bulldozers, two water tankers and two hand crews, and within 45 minutes, the fire was out. Cal Fire hopes the technology can one day serve as a model for other states and countries around the world. Beyond the camera network, the platform is collecting vast amounts of additional information, including an aerial survey to quantify vegetation that would fuel future fires, and data on burn scars and their impacts. During the winter, the platform is able to measure atmospheric rivers and snowpack.

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