e Links‎ > ‎

Fire spotting webcam


 Pan/Tilt/Zoom camera and its solar panel and wifi antenna.

In Dec 2015 a trial private web camera was mounted on the trig point at the summit
Also mounted here is a GPS base which is used for the auto-steer of local farm machinery.
The webcam uses the tractor guidance solar panel and battery.
It transmits by wifi 9km to a house internet connection.
The trial is continued this year with upgraded camera and internet connection.
Management of the camera is strictly controlled, with just 2 operators.

The aim of the trial is to spot smoke from fires when the fire towers have poor visibility or are not manned.
This is useful during lightning storms and to watch the development and control of wildfires.
In 2016/17 the trial was a project of Mount Elephant Community Management  and not formally connected to the CFA or fire brigades.
The trial was a success, with many fires to 30km distance being spotted and tracked.
In Dec 2016 Lismore CFA Group moved to find funding to establish a permanent webcam on the summit and develop a protocol for its use.
Briefly, the camera operator can monitor the fire (similar to a fire tower) and can photograph critical stages to send to the fire controller's phone or computer.
This camera worked well during the 2016/17 fire season. It has been removed during the winter season and will be reinstalled for the 2017/18 summer.

The images below are examples of the output in 2016.
In the top left corner there is a date/time stamp and bit rate transmission.
The zoom is x1 to x20 and extra digital zoom if necessary.
The current camera has x30 zoom for similar price.

Looking northeast across Derrinallum (zoomed out).

  Same view.       Derrinallum rail crossing (zoomed in x 20).
Lightning strike Hannah's Rd Mingay (12 km north) No zoom. time stamp 27/1/2016 at 1349hrs
Same fire 15 x zoom 1356 hrs
Same fire x 20, suppressed, with helitack above. 1419 hrs
Same fire, west end, x 25, tankers on a breakaway with the easterly change. 1429 hrs.

Click here to see these photos in larger format.

Management Protocols:
The system can allow multiple viewers but is presently restricted to 2 operators.
Different levels of access allow for an administrator with full control. Use of a password can allow the public to view with no camera control.
The Group would allocate levels of access.
Use would be for fire control purposes only.
Signal is by WiFi to a nearby internet access point.
Cost is: camera ($700), pair of long range WiFi antennas ($600), solar panel ($250), 2 x 35amp.hr deep cycle batteries ($250).

Subpages (1): webcam photos