Australia — A trial of remote-controlled cameras as an early-warning method of detecting bushfires has concluded the system is slow and not as reliable as the human eye.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO) tried out the technology between February and April in the Otway Ranges, Victoria and near Tumut in NSW.
But a report by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, published on Monday, found that while cameras were able to spot bushfires both day and night, detection by them was slower and less reliable than by a trained observer in a fire tower.
“Accordingly, the report states that it is not possible to rely on the cameras as a sole primary detection method,” a joint statement from federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland and NSW emergency services minister Steve Whan said.
“However, they could be used to supplement other detection methods, particularly at night, or in remote locations.”
The commonwealth has organised a workshop involving state and territory government representatives to discuss the trials and possible future use of the cameras.