'At the cutting edge': Big Sky to expand use of AI for detecting wildfires

HELENA DORE Bozeman Daily Chronicle

BIG SKY — When the Shedhorn fire sparked in a remote area 13 miles south of Big Sky last September, officials used an artificial intelligence camera system on Lone Peak to detect the blaze early and quickly organize a response.

Arvind Satyam, CCO of the California-based tech company Pano AI, said his team identified the wildfire using the panoramic camera system at around 3:40 p.m., around the same time that the first 911 call came in. But there were some key differences in the response.

Determining exactly where a wildfire is burning can be difficult, but the technology allowed the Big Sky Fire Department to pinpoint where engines needed to go in real time. Officials relayed the information over to crews in Bozeman, which accelerated the aerial response, Satyam said.

“What could have gone to hundreds, if not thousands of acres, they were able to contain to under 74 acres,” he said. “It just gives you an idea of how in the moment, this technology can really come in and play that role.”

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