AI Protects Australia’s Largest Plantations from Fire Threat

Pano AI is now working with emergency services across five Australian states as part of a state-of-the-art early detection program.

Mon 11 Mar 24


Forico is the latest forest manager to embrace AI and automation as Australia’s forests continue to battle the country’s worst bushfire season since the Black Summer fires of 2019/20.

According to Jim Wilson, General Manager of Forico, “the company has explored a range of technology options to improve fire detection in Tasmania, and are now delighted to partner with Pano AI, which will take Forico’s fire protection to the next level.”

It comes after South Australia’s Green Triangle—one of the world’s largest plantation areas—engaged Pano AI last year to build state-of-the-art fire monitoring infrastructure.

Pano AI is a fully managed solution combining cutting-edge technology, artificial intelligence, and simple cloud-based software to provide fire departments with actionable intelligence and situational awareness.

Already deployed across Queensland, NSW and Victoria, it has cameras installed in five Australian states and works with emergency service teams to detect fire risks and hazards in near-real time.

The technology was recently featured on Fox Business News—footage courtesy of @panoai5419.

Speaking to ABC News last year, Green Triangle Fire Alliance chair Mike Lawson said early fire detection was vital to the industry’s future.

“At the moment, we have to go through the process of communicating the fire back; it goes through the emergency services system, and then we’re paged,” he said.

How it Works

The new system will detect fires through an AI algorithm. 

A person who will send an alert to emergency services will then confirm the detection. According to CEO and Founder Sonia Kastner, Pano AI “is the first company to offer a fully managed solution that delivers active wildfire detection using artificial intelligence.”

Pano AI aims to accelerate global resilience by developing technology that adapts to climate-related disasters in near-real time.

Arvind Satyam, Pano AI’s COO, was born in Australia before moving to the US. He said the new technology inspired him after watching Australia’s Black Summer bushfires from 2019 to 2020.

“As we look at fires, large mega-fires, one of the determinants is being able to allocate resources quickly, and we do that by leveraging technology,” he said.

“We use AI that’s applied to ultra-HD cameras that are continuously getting a full panorama of the environment,” he said.

“We then use a smoke detection algorithm to determine exactly where the fire is and observe its behaviour to quickly allocate resources to that incident,” before adding that “it also understands where it is relative to structures and assets so that you can coordinate a much faster response.”

Wildfires are a bigger problem than ever. According to Pano founder and CEO Sonia Kastner, we could avert billions of dollars in damage, but more importantly, we could save lives and homes and avert tragedy. Footage courtesy of @GaryTan.

It operates in five US states (California, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana) and five Australian states.

“We’re proud of the progress over the last two years; we’re now monitoring 4.5 million acres and had over 1,000 detections this year,” Ms Kastner said late last year.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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