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Big Sky Fire Department partners with artificial intelligence company for faster wildfire detection

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Posted at 5:35 PM, Oct 18, 2022

The Big Sky Fire Department is working with Pano AI, a San Francisco-based company, to set up cameras to better detect wildfires using artificial intelligence.

Pano AI and the Big Sky Fire Department have been working together since 2021and have so far deployed a Pano Station on Lone Peak and are now working on one on Pioneer Mountain.

These Pano stations consist of “ultra high definition cameras, we have two that are continuously rotating and doing both 360. We then apply artificial intelligence to detect smoke,” says Arvind Satyan, Chief Commercial Officer for Pano AI.

There are more than 60 Pano Stations in the country in 5 different states. Big Sky officials and other stakeholders know how important this early detection can be.

“[It] means everything in early activation notification. The earlier we get notified the quicker we get people out the door,” says Big Sky Fire Chief Greg Megaard.

The current Pano Stations have helped Big Sky Fire tremendously within the last year. The station on Lone Peak detected the Shed Horn fire as the first 911 call was coming in.

“The Shed Horn fire last year—I mean, the early detection was about same time as 911," says Megaard. "But we knew in proximity where the fire was at.”

Satyan knows how quickly a fire can grow and wants these Pano stations to help as much as possible.

“We believe that minutes matter and we want to try and provide that artificial intelligence as quickly as possible,” says Satyan.

A third Pano station is in the works for Cinnamon Ridge in Big Sky. Satyan also says that they want to expand these stations as much as possible and are planning on setting up more stations in the future.