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The ForestWatch® System

Protecting People

Defending Property

Preserving Resources


Vital early detection and rapid, informed decision-making is saving lives, property and resources when fires flare up.

The ForestWatch® Wildfire Detection and Monitoring System – developed by South Africa-based technology firm EnviroVision Solutions – is one of the most advanced wildfire detection systems in the world.

Combining high-definition imaging systems with purpose-built image processing software, ForestWatch uses mathematical and image processing algorithms to optically scan wide areas and detect the earliest telltale signs of smoke. This signature is used to alert an operation at a control center monitoring many imaging systems and thousands of square miles of property, and draw their attention to where a problem may be developing. The operator can use a range of tools including the powerful zoom lens capability of the camera, and image processing tools that make smoke vastly more visible than to the naked eye, to determine if the apparent smoke is actionable or not. If so, the smoke column can be located and referenced to available Geographic information to identify the appropriate responding agency, landowner, and other information, and resources dispatched accurately.

The award-winning ForestWatch® Wildfire Detection and Monitoring System is a powerful decision support tool and early warning system that has been used with great success by governments and forestry industries around the world since 2003 – protecting your greatest assets in a cost-effective and resource-conscious manner.

Why Computer Augmented Detection?

The use of advanced vision systems such as cameras, computers and software to automatically detect forest fires has generated some debate among forest managers. We recognize traditional detection methods – such as human lookouts and aerial surveillance – have been used effectively for many years.

EVS wants to emphasize making the switch to automated detection through ForestWatch(r) produces some definite benefits beginning with faster response time, cost savings and greater coverage. Those benefits just scratch the surface of all of the tools ForestWatch(r) brings to the firefighting industry.

Significant reduction in time between fire ignition, discovery and dispatch:
Minutes matter when you’re dealing with a fire. Automated detection systems alert vision system operators to an event from the outset and provide them with tools to monitor progression and coordinate a response at the click of a mouse.
Greatly increase situational awareness while reducing staff costs:
ForestWatch® has been designed to enhance the role of lookouts as custodians of the forest. A single operator can monitor up to 8 cameras using a multi-view display, vastly expanding their field of view while reducing blind spots. Automatic alerts also help combat fatigue and human error.
Nighttime detection for 24/7 protection:
While traditional human lookouts cannot work after dark, automated detection systems remain fully functional, offering clients all-day surveillance. ForestWatch® uses infrared and near-infrared technology to enhance detection sensitivity after dark. ForestWatch® also includes a Night Mode, which allows a daytime image to be laid over night visuals, providing a useful context for operators.
Real-time visual and weather data:
Automated detection systems are a vital tool in monitoring and responding to an incident as it happens. Live images and other information gained from system sensors (e.g. temperature, wind speed, wind direction) can greatly assist authorities in coordinating and adjusting their response as, or before, the situation changes. A more efficient response can then be coordinated minimizing risk to firefighters and preventing more property destruction.
Multiple uses for year-round operational efficiency:
ForestWatch® can be used for more than just fire detection and decision support. Uses outside of fire season include surveillance to combat arson, poaching and theft, and to monitor carbon emissions. The powerful archiving and record keeping function of ForestWatch® also makes it ideal for post-event analysis, providing excellent visual evidence in the case of lawsuits and insurance claims.

Learn more about ForestWatch®

Alternatively, you can contact EnviroVision Solutions for more information.

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