Why This 4th Generation Automatic Wildfire Detection System Is Better Than The Rest

The US has averaged 33,888 wildfires and 1.6 million acres burned per year over the last 10 years.

If we assume an average low estimate loss of $650/acre and a 90 % reduction, the annual savings for acres burned only would be over $900 million/year.

This does not include the loss of homes and businesses, cost of firefighters suppressing the fire and the loss of business.


The concept of optical monitoring and detection of wildfires was developed be the German Aerospace Agency (DLR) in the mid 1990's. Testing of the concept by DLR in forested areas around Berlin, over multiple years, demonstrated that the replacement of manned lookout towers with auto detection and alarm systems would decrease response time, reducing the areas damaged by wildfires by over 90%. However, the early systems were expensive, complex to operate and generated large numbers of nuisance alarms.

The Wildland Systems Customer Value Proposition

The complexity, accuracy and cost has lessened somewhat since those initial installations, but never so dramatically as in the last year with the introduction of the Wildland Fire Detection System (WFDS) from Delacomb Detection Systems. The DDS WFDS is a fourth generation system that has specifically addressed the cost-accuracy-ease of use paradigm including:

• Using WFDS, an operator with no computer experience and an 8th grade education can reach proficiency to operate the system with one day of training

• Multiple features that allow a customized set up for every location can reduce the number of nuisance alarms to almost zero

• With minimal false alarms, a visual and audible notification, and a single camera location system, WFDS does not require a full time operator to monitor the system. The operator can fulfill other duties in the emergency response center, plus alarms can be transmitted via many methods (cell, landline, email, text messaging, etc.) simultaneously to other responders

• Cost- Acquisition cost of the WFDS system is a full 75% less expensive than 3rd generation systems

The bottom line is that WFDS has been developed with the right technology as an optical-based detection system with superior performance and low acquisition and installation cost, low operating cost, low false alarms and is simple to operate.