Skip to content

Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

The Future Fix: Fighting wildfires with drones and video games

Spacing and Evergreen proudly present The Future Fix: Solutions for Communities Across Canada, a special podcast series.


Read more articles by

THIS EPISODE: Fighting wildfires with drones and video games

Wildfire season has already begun in Canada. Due to climate change, we are seeing more frequent and devastating fires. They choke the air, the decimate the landscape, and they displace people from their homes. So we have to fight them with everything we’ve got.

Neal McLoughlin is superintendent of the Predictive Services Unit at BC Wildfire Service. He tells us how drone technology is helping to monitor, fight, and prevent forest fires:

Applications where we’re using drone technology right now is to go monitor the leading edge of a fire and look for hotspots. You can fly a drone out in line of sight and you can use infrared or heat-scanning sensors… to help direct a fire suppression crew.

Moulay Akhloufi is a professor at the University of Moncton, where he heads their Perception, Robotics and Intelligent Machines Lab. He tells us how his team has been exploring every avenue available to detect wildfires, and predict how they’ll spread. That includes video games:

What we are doing right now is using game engines [from video games] because they are realistic now, they have really photorealistic perception, you can see the trees as if they are real. And we are using that to create models of fire spread, different conditions, and we can do a lot of experimenting.

Listen to the episode to hear more about fighting wildfires.

The Future Fix is a partnership between Spacing and Evergreen for the Community Solutions Network. As the program lead, Evergreen is working with Open North to help communities of all sizes across Canada navigate the smart cities landscape. The Community Solutions Network is supported with funding provided by the Government of Canada.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *