FireAId: AI to predict and fight wildfires

Combining artificial intelligence, data and fire-fighting resources to mitigate wildfire risks throughout the world

The challenge

Wildfire severity, spread and frequency have all increased as a result of climate change. If prompt action is not taken, scientists expect that these hazards will increase. Wildfires pose a particular threat to forest ecosystems as well as high-risk rural areas. Critical services and resources such as health and safety, forestry, natural disaster and emergency relief agencies, and rural planning are also overburdened, and existing hazard management systems would likely struggle to respond to the increased number of fires. Their most important need is technological innovation on two fronts: prediction and better firefighting, where AI can help to predict locations at risk, and the best possible strategy to extinguish the fire.

The opportunity

To address this global issue, the World Economic Forum's Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Platform, in collaboration with the C4IR Network, Koç Holding and the Turkish Ministry of Forestry (TMF), has launched a joint initiative to mitigate wildfire risks using AI systems, which includes:

·       A dynamic wildfire risk map that ranks the likelihood of forest fires based on seasonal variables

·       Resource allocation that is optimal based on many data sources and the wildfire risk map

·       A first-response proposal using pre-optimized resources and maps in the event of a forest fire

By linking data, technology and fire-fighting resources, this effort attempts to create a habitat for advanced analytics. It is also scalable to a wide range of climates and environments.

For more information, contact Arunima Sarkar, Project Lead, at Arunima.Sarkar@weforum.org, or Şirin Altıok, Project Fellow, at Sirin.Altiok@weforum.org

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