Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Hawaii is putting sensors everywhere to find wildfires because of the bad Lahaina fire

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Governor Josh Green shared on Friday that they’re putting up special sensors around Maui and other Hawaiian islands to quickly spot wildfires. About 80 of these sensors will be strategically placed across the state, with the first 20 in Maui set to be active by April 8, as mentioned by US Fire Administrator Lori Moore-Merrell.

These sensors use smart technology to sense heat and learn from it. They’re like little detectives that can tell the difference between normal air stuff and signs of a fire, like smoke or gases. Dimitri Kusnezov, the DHS Undersecretary for Science and Technology, explained that they’ve adjusted the technology to work well, especially since people in Hawaii love to barbecue.

The sensors are set up in groups that can “talk” to each other, according to Maui Fire Chief Brad Ventura. The first two groups will be in Haleakala and Lahaina. Each sensor has a special battery that charges itself using sunlight and sends a text message to fire officials if there’s a problem, using cellular data.

The whole setup costs about $10 per acre, and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology, along with the US Fire Administration, is covering the initial cost. Governor Green mentioned that this is part of the changes happening after a bad fire in Lahaina last August, where many people died. They’re also adding more roads for emergencies, not just in Maui but also on Oahu, to make sure everyone stays safe.

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