Noosa first to trial early fire detection

The Mt Tinbeerwah camera AI detects a fire plumb at Teewah Beach.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and ultra-high-definition cameras are being trialed in Noosa Council as part of the Firetech Connect Program, to demonstrate and test novel approaches to bushfire detection.

Noosa Council is the first council in Queensland to partner with US tech company Pano AI to trial 360-degree, ultra-high definition cameras and advanced AI technology to detect fires early, verify their location and provide real-time intelligence.

The intention of the trial is to demonstrate the capabilities of the new technology to improve the way we react and respond to fires. By proving the efficacy of these solutions in real world environments, the hope is that these innovative technologies will be adopted more quickly by other local and state agencies.

Pano Stations have been installed at Mt Tinbeerwah lookout in Tewantin National Park and on Black Mountain to continuously scan the landscape to patrol and identify potential bushfire activity.

Mayor Clare Stewart said real-time information makes all the difference.

“This is cutting-edge technology that helps safeguard our community,” she said.

“Rapid confirmation of a fire may help our fire emergency personnel to identify and extinguish a blaze before it becomes a threat,” she said.

“This council is driving big changes to traditional fire detection measures to do what we can to avoid a repeat of the 2019 bushfires,” Cr Stewart said.

The $120,000 technology is fully funded by the 2019 Cat D Bushfire Recovery Fund and the 2019 Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Program.

Pano’s Head of Australia, Andrew Prolov, said the technology provides a real-time picture of threats and rapid actionable intelligence to fire services.

“It’s the most advanced product in the marketplace,” he said.

“Our network of cameras constantly survey the landscape, we combine that imagery with satellite and other data feeds, which is all analyzed by our AI algorithms. When Pano detects a fire threat, our 24/7 intelligence centre confirms the fire and alerts our customers within minutes,” he said.

“Pano helps authorities quickly share real-time intelligence to their extended and remote team, enabling a fast and coordinated response,” Mr Prolov said.

Cr Stewart reflected on the community’s view of bushfires.

“We are still recovering from the devastating bushfires, and many in our community are anxious when they see smoke, so this council is committed to finding more tools to help us detect fires and fight them as soon as they form.

The partnership with Pano. AI is part of the ongoing Firetech Connect initiative, developed by Noosa Council’s Peregian Digital Hub to accelerate the adoption of the latest and most advanced bushfire technologies promising bushfire technologies.