ODF fire monitoring gets hi-tech

Medford, Ore.- You know the old saying. Where there’s smoke… there’s fire.

With hundreds of thousands of acres to protect Oregon Department of Forestry is fine-tuning a system to catch that smoke before it becomes something more.

Eight years ago ODF installed its first look out cameras.

Now it’s fully utilizing a system of cameras spread across nine fire monitoring sites in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The system has been around since 2009 but hasn’t been fully used until this fire season.

Now ODF uses the system to monitor nearly 500,000 of its 1.8 million acre range.

The system operates in a complex way with 18 cameras involved. The camera sites are spread out. Two are in jackson county. The remaining seven are in Josephine.


The cameras are on 24/7 which came in handy during the lighting storms that caused small scale fires over the weekend.

Melissa Cano works to keep the public updated on all the fires burning each summer.

She’s often on the fire lines and knows how important early detection is.

She sees the benefits to the tech operated monitoring system. And while the shift to hi-tech changes the way employees work it doesn’t replace the need for them.

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