May 23, 2004

HPWREN Video Cameras Support Firefighting Agencies

Originally deployed a year ago to provide data to augment weather station information, as it impacts wireless networking, HPWREN cameras were used to observe visible atmospheric situations, such as clouds, fog, and inversion layers. Since then there were additional uses of HPWREN-connected cameras, including for observations in an ecological reserve, tracking burn situations by firefighters, watching wolves and ravens at the California Wolf Center, and other applications. HPWREN camera images can be viewed at the http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras web site.

Two recent video camera additions are prototypes to help firefighter operations further south and north in the San Diego county. One camera has been deployed on Lyons Peak to observe fuel areas in the south, east and along the US/Mexico border area. The other camera at Red Mountain is able to view the west and top of Palomar Mountain, and also views into the northern portion of the Santa Margarita River area.

LP install

Bud Hale and former CDF fire captain Ron Serabia are installing the HPWREN-connected camera on a Lyons Peak tower.

"The camera install will allow us to monitor a large area of southen San Diego where there is lots of activity and few homes," says Tom Gardner, CDF Fire Captain at the County's Emergency Command Center. "Using a camera to support the USFS lookout at Los Pinos will allow us to send the ground troops to the correct location. Both the Lyons and Red Mountain cameras have already repeatedly proven useful to firefighting activities since their installation."

RM install

Bud and Jim Hale complete the installation at Red Mountain by attaching the conduit to a cable tray.

The two installed cameras have pan/tilt/zoom capability to focus on fire incidents. They augment fixed digital cameras, such as on Mount Laguna, and other video cameras.

Installation photos are availabe for Lyons Peak and Red Mountain.

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