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Rancho Cucamonga officials debut wildfire warning system

Rancho Cucamonga officials debut rollout of early wildfire detection system
Rancho Cucamonga officials debut rollout of early wildfire detection system 02:41

As he takes in the picturesque rolling hills of the San Gabriel Mountains from his home, Jack McCall takes a second to remember that everything he has worked so hard for could disappear in a matter of moments because of the constant threat of wildfires. 


"You realize, 'Hey everything you've got and everything that you've invested your life in can be gone in a matter of minutes if you don't get there quickly enough," he said.

To help secure those precious moments residents need to save their belongings, McCall, the executive vice president of Azusa-based company Lindsey Fire Sense, created the early wildfire detection system called the FireBird. 

"All the thermal sensors, as well as the optical cameras — it's not a scanning system that's looking and panning, it's continuously watching a 360-degree area," he said. 

The early warning system is capable of spotting brush fires as small as 5-feet-by-5-feet in size and reporting them to fire dispatch centers in just two minutes. It uses artificial intelligence instead of relying on a team of monitors to view the cameras. 

On Monday, Rancho Cucamonga Mayor L. Dennis Michael announced that the city will install 30 FireBird units along the northern boundary of the city by early next year. 

"We are very excited about this partnership and are honored to be the first city in the state of California to pilot this life-saving system together," said Michael.

Assemblymember Chris Holden helped launch the project by providing the city with $1.9 million to purchase the units which are heavily affected by Santa Ana winds.

"This area is prone to Santa Ana Winds which could rapidly spread small wildfires," said firefighter Augie Beretta.

The fire department said the early detection system should help firefighters dispatch faster and help put out fires while they're still small.

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