Smoke Point is offered free of charge as a public service.
What is Smoke Point?
Smoke Point is a free mobile app that helps firefighters send the right resources to the right place on new wildland fires more quickly. It combines information collected by the public and information collected by responding fire units to triangulate the positions of smoke columns or new fires.
Early on in a new fire incident, before firefighters have located and accessed a new fire, the most accurate and actionable information comes from the citizens who spotted it. Smoke Point uses the sensors present in smartphones combined with modern cloud technology to transmit pictures and location information directly from citizens to responding fire units.
Smoke Point was built by a team of contributors who each gave their time free of charge:
|Chief Ari Delay||San Bruno Fire|
|Chief Paul Long||La Honda Fire|
|Larry Sanderson||Kings Mountain Fire|
|Pierfrancesco Butti||Stanford / SLAC|
|Tim Nelson||Stanford / SLAC|
|Graeme Connell||Google, Inc|
|Doug Dunlap||Marketing Consultant|
During the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire in the Bay Area California, firefighters spent a lot of time trying to locate fires. It was ultimately a small number of fires that grew and led to the burning of ~80,000 acres over the next couple weeks. Sometimes lacking was good, on-the-ground intel about the locations of fires. Verbal descriptions of locations (such as those given to 911 dispatcher) are often unreliable or difficult to understand.
A couple firefighters with tech backgrounds started brainstorming possible solutions and landed on Smoke Point: empower the public to capture images and directional data about fires, and give first responders the tools they need to triangulate precise locations.