Detecting wildfires early with technology

 CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry hasn’t declared fire season yet in Jackson and Josephine County, but with June fast approaching it may be just days away.

Whether it’s testing gear or the technology at its disposal, ODF has already started watching for potential fires with its detection system.

ODF has 22 cameras that monitor have a million of its 1.8 million acre southwest Oregon territory.

They said while it not only helps detect fires, it can go beyond being proactive.

“Our mission isn’t just to find fires using our cameras,” said ODF Lead Detection Dispatcher Chris James. “We monitor anything that can give us a leg up on getting a fire while it’s still small.”

The system is spread across Jackson and Josephine County and it covers 11 different sites.

ODF also uses technology outside the detection center to aid fighting fires, like infrared cameras and mapping systems.

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