Finding water sources to combat fires in rural areas is often challenging.
Conventional mapping methods – paper maps, for example – provide little
information about where useful firefighting water sources are located.
Reservoirs and small lakes may be depicted on maps, but these only make up
a portion of what is readily available to fight fires. Lakes or reservoirs
may be miles away from where firefighting support is required, and can be
difficult to reach if smoke and fire conditions are severe. Swimming
pools, water towers, and ponds on residential property – all of which
could be within a few hundred feet of firefighter activity – are not
mapped on conventional maps.
We specialize in high-resolution imaging
and targeting of water sources on the ground. With our customized
aircraft, we fly over large areas from 5,000 feet and take high resolution
images. Through sophisticated image analysis, we identify and locate water
sources on the ground as small as 150 gallons. We then develop the
latitude, longitude, nearest address, and estimated capacity of these
Fire missions are time-critical. So how can you use this data on the
go? We have developed an in-cab, easy to use GPS integration system that
allows firefighters navigate to nearby water sources in real time. Our
data, which includes location and target information, is easily moved to
GPS devices from a computer in minutes. Our data structure is supported by
many common brands of GPS including Garmin and Magellan.
Our water source data interfaces not only with GPS devices, but with
many computer-based software solutions including Google Earth, ArcGIS, and
AutoCAD. All of these programs allow for interactive viewing of data.
Since our data is also provided in tabular format, data can be merged with
existing databases of water sources.
Keeping a crew at a fire site is aided if the crew can utilize all
nearby water sources. Using our targeted water sources out in the field
could the difference between containing a fire and a fire consuming more
land and property.