Using satellites and AI, space-based technology is shaping the future of firefighting

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Using satellites, drones and artificial intelligence, emerging technology is changing the way firefighting agencies and governments battle the ever-increasing threat of wildfires as hundreds of thousands of acres burn across the western United States. New programs are being developed by startups and research institutions to predict fire behavior, monitor drought and even detect fires when they first start. As climate change continues to increase the intensity and frequency of wildfires, these breakthroughs offer at least one tool in the growing arsenal of prevention and suppression strategies. "This is not to replace firefighting on the ground," said Ilkay Altintas, a computer scientist with the University of California, San Diego, who developed a fire map for the region. "The more science and data we can give firefighters and the public, the quicker we'll have solutions to combat and mitigate wildfires."

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