FAQs

What is FireWatch? 

FireWatch is a service that empowers homeowners to recognize wildfire risks in their community.  Using aerial imagery and fuel modeling, FireWatch provides a digital early warning system to residents.  With this information, homeowners can evaluate and manage their own defensible space against wildfire threats.  By working together, homeowners provide a defensible space network for the entire community.

What is Remote Sensing? 

Remote sensing is the science of obtaining information about ground features using aircraft, drones or satellites. Image sensors record the reflectance of surface features to help scientists “sense” structures and ground features. The scientists at FireWatch use remote sensing to create wildfire preparedness for communities.

 

What is Multispectral Imaging?

 

Multispectral Imaging (MSI) is a type of remote sensing that measures the solar radiation reflected from targets on the ground. Different objects reflect and absorb light at different wavelengths. Healthy vegetation reflects near-infrared wavelengths that are not visible to the human eye. MSI can be used to differentiate healthy vegetation from dead or dying vegetation.

 

What is NDVI?

NDVI is an integrated measure of plant canopy cover, greenness, and structure based on how the plant reflects light in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. The NDVI is among the simplest remote sensing measurements of vegetation quantity, stress, health and canopy fragmentation and distribution.

What is Change Detection? 

Change detection is essentially environmental monitoring. It involves aerial imaging of the same geographical location over time. Changes in spectral reflectance related to surface cover, vegetation stress, and physical disturbance are quantified by location.   Over time, patterns and trends can be documented and analyzed.

What is Vegetative Fuel Modeling?

The size and cover density of vegetative fuels is a major driving force behind the destructive power of wildfires. Using an aerial fuel map of the community and image processing software, 2D and 3D computer fuel models can be created. By understanding the structure and distribution of vegetative fuels in the community, potential wildfire behavior can be modeled under different conditions. Wildfire modeling can also help further identify high-risk areas and develop a community action plan.

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