NSW unveils cameras to catch arsonists

NSW unveils cameras to catch arsonists

28 December 2007

published by news.theage.com.au

Australia — A new high-tech video surveillance system has been unveiled to help NSW authorities detect arsonists and respond to bushfires.

Premier Morris Iemma and Emergency Services Minister Nathan Rees launched the infra-red camera known FireCam.

It is capable of detecting the movement of people and vehicles, helping authorities determine when unauthorised activity is underway in bushland.

“This is our latest weapon to catch dangerous firebugs,” Mr Iemma said as he met with local rural fire service volunteers at the Berowra Fire Observation Tower in bushland north of Sydney.

The fully automated system at the top of the tower can detect fires in an 11km radius and alerts local fire services.

The world first technology, being trialled by the Rural Fire Service during the 2007-08 bushfire season, is based on a system first used on oil rigs.

“The cameras can detail the size, temperature and speed of the fire before crews have even left the fire station,” Mr Iemma said.

“Firefighters will be safer and better and better prepared when they reach the blaze,” he said.

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