Oakland, Calif. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted $2 million to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and Sonoma County for long-range, fire detection cameras. Mounted high on towers, the cameras will alert emergency officials of potential wildfires by constantly surveying Sonoma County and portions of Mendocino, Lake, Napa, and Marin counties for smoke and fire in order to prevent the loss of life, property, and economic damage.
Twenty-seven high-definition cameras will be mounted on 17 strategically-selected, high elevation towers capable of detecting smoke and fire from as far away as 60 miles during the day and 150 miles at night using infrared technology. Once a wildfire is detected, the system will email or text data and images to Sonoma County and CAL FIRE dispatch centers. Auxiliary cameras will monitor ongoing fires and continue searching for additional outbreaks.
Completion of the project will enable emergency personnel to send life-saving evacuation warnings to residents and mobilize firefighting resources to critical locations to fight, contain, and stop the fire’s spread.
The $2.7 million Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) project will be funded by a $2 million grant from FEMA, with non-federal sources covering the $700,000 balance.
FEMA’s HMGP helps states, territories, federally-recognized tribes, local communities and certain private, non-profit organizations become more resilient to potential infrastructure damage and reduce future disaster costs. In the past 30 years, FEMA has invested more than $1.3 billion to reduce disaster risk in California.