The company’s visual AI technology will help provide early warning alerts to the American county of pending wildfire events


Alchera to provide AI-based wildfire detection solution to Sonoma County. (Credit: Alchera Inc.)

Alchera, a South Korean visual recognition artificial intelligence (AI) firm, has been awarded a contract worth $300,000 by Sonoma County in California, US, for providing its AI-based wildfire detection solution.

Through the AI solution, the American county expects to receive early warning alerts of pending wildfire events.

Alchera said that it will provide the county with consulting services for developing and delivering products that use fire detection technologies based on machine learning with AI.

The company claimed that from a simple video, its visual anomaly detection solution is capable of detecting the start of a wildfire.

Alchera will begin to implement real-time early wildfire detection on the cameras of the county from this month. The project is expected to run until March 2023.

According to Sonoma County, the addition of AI technology on its cameras will provide integration of optical detection programming via round-the-clock monitoring, real-time data streams, and alerts through automated emails and texts for critical events.

Sonoma County community alert and warning manager Sam Wallis said: “Sonoma County continues to invest in wildfire detection technology that will provide advanced smoke detection warning to emergency managers and first responders.

“As the field of artificial intelligence has advanced in sophistication, we are excited to add such a monitoring system to our alert and warning toolkit.”

Alchera said that it has been working since 2018 to develop camera-based fire detection algorithms or visual anomaly detection technologies.

The company made its first deployment of the technology for Korean utility Korea Electric Power (KEPCO). The deployment included fire detection systems in indoor as well as outdoor environments.

Since mid-2019, Alchera, through multiple proofs of concepts and trials, claims to have been processing millions of images and had identified hundreds of early-stage wildfire ignitions from ALERT Wildfire cameras.

Alchera CEO Young-Kyoo Hwang said: “With our cutting-edge AI-based wildfire detection system, we are able to help reduce the damage of forest fires in California, which, as we have seen, suffers greatly from this phenomenon every year.

“We are very grateful and honoured to see our firm’s technology being recognised worldwide. We are now expanding into global markets in earnest with this export to the US market.”