Wildfire Detection AI Solution to Catch Blind Spots


Status and Causes of Wildfire in South Korea

Over the past 10 years (2012-2021) in South Korea, an average of 481 wildfires occurred annually, resulting in the loss of 1,087 hectares. However, in just the past two years (from 2020 to 2021), 482 wildfires burned 1,840 hectares, which is equivalent to the size of 2,577 soccer fields. The damage caused by wildfires in the past 2 years (2021-2022) has shown a very sharp increase compared to the wildfires that occurred over a period of 10 years (2010-2019), becoming a major societal issue.

What are the causes of wildfires in South Korea? Over the past decade, most wildfires have been caused by human activities, such as accidental fires started by hikers or visitors to gravesites. Other causes include garbage burning and cigarette smoking. However, it is also crucial to prepare for natural ignitions such as lightning strikes.

A recent wildfire that occurred on April 11th in Gangneung, a city on South Korea's eastern coast, was caused by a fallen pine tree that hit nearby power lines due to strong winds. This event highlights how uncontrollable natural disasters can contribute to large-scale wildfires.

On the morning of April 11th, the aforementioned wildfire broke out on a mountain in Nangok-dong, Gangneung City. Fueled by strong winds, it spread to nearby residential areas, damaging 72 homes, pensions, and hotels and causing 529 evacuations. Although the fire was extinguished in about 8 hours, an area of 379 hectares, equivalent to 530 soccer fields, was lost.


Limitations of Current Wildfire Response System

Korea Forest Service currently responds to wildfires by considering forecasted weather conditions, damage areas, and estimated firefighting time. However, this system has limitations due to personnel availability, equipment availability, and weather deterioration.

In the case of the Gangneung wildfire, the highest level of response was declared, but the damage was exacerbated due to the difficulty of a rapid response. Strong winds with a maximum speed of 30m per second prevented firefighting helicopters from taking off and response personnel from being quickly deployed. Additionally, Gangneung was particularly vulnerable to wildfire outbreak and spread due to its dry condition.

Wildfires are difficult to prevent completely, and once they occur, the damage can quickly spread on a wide scale. Therefore, the key is to respond promptly and contain wildfires as early as possible.

AI, the Best Solution to Wildfires

Wildfire detection systems utilizing visual AI are gaining attention as a means to rapidly respond to and control fires in their early stages. Visual AI technology can analyze real-time video feeds from CCTV to detect the initial stages of a wildfire. It can detect small sparks or smoke, preventing them from spreading into a large wildfire. The system can also analyze the path of the spread and implement a rapid response plan.

  • Predicting Wildfire Occurrence: AI algorithms can analyze data on weather patterns, terrain, and past fires to predict where and when fires are likely to occur.

  • Wildfire Detection: AI systems can utilize satellite images, video footage, CCTV, and other sources to detect and track wildfires in real time, enabling rapid response.

  • Wildfire Spread Prediction: AI can predict how a fire will spread based on factors such as wind direction, temperature, and vegetation type, providing more information on how to combat the fire.

  • Resource Allocation: AI can optimize resource allocation, such as determining where to deploy firefighters and equipment, to increase the efficiency of firefighting efforts.

  • Post-Fire Analysis: AI can analyze data after a fire occurs to gain insight into factors such as the cause of the fire and its spread pattern, which can help improve future firefighting strategies.


Wildfire Detection AI Solution Proven in Global Market

Wildfires are a global concern, and many countries such as the United States, Australia, and Japan are making efforts to prevent and mitigate their damages. In particular, the California state government, which experiences the largest wildfire damage in the world, is leading the way in quickly adopting and implementing advanced technologies for wildfire response.

ALCHERA has been partnering with Sonoma County, California since March 2021, as well as Santa Clara County, Nevada Energy, and PG&E, the largest power company in the western United States, to prevent wildfires around the world. In particular, the company has already proven its capabilities to have a direct effect on early response by detecting the initial ignition of the large-scale wildfire "Coyote" that occurred in September 2022 about 2 hours and 3 minutes earlier than a signal call, and sending an alarm.


FireScout: Wildfire Detection AI that Never Sleeps

FireScout, ALCHERA's wildfire detection AI, accurately detects the initial smoke of a wildfire. It's critical to accurately distinguish valid wildfire smoke from other types, such as simple surface heat, windrows, or smoke from burning trash in a neighborhood. FireScout has achieved 99% accuracy through continuous learning by receiving vast wildfire video data accumulated for 7 years through ALERT Wildfire, a US wildfire monitoring camera company.

Moreover, FireScout achieves its accuracy of 99% around the clock, day and night. FireScout’s high accuracy and fast speed detect wildfire’s blind spots, making FireScout the most direct measure for prevention and response.

FireScout is becoming a key player in the development of the wildfire and safety industries. As the number and scale of wildfires continue to increase, there is a high demand for the introduction of advanced technologies and the establishment of systems for forest fire prevention. ALCHERA's FireScout has already demonstrated its technological capabilities in the global market.

Beyond its wildfire applications, ALCHERA's visual AI is expected to be widely used in a variety of other safety areas, such as detecting indoor fires and monitoring personal safety. ALCHERA aims to protect people and the environment and create a safe world for all. Through continuous data learning and expertise gained from disaster sites, ALCHERA is committed to creating a safer world.