July 25, 2003

HPWREN Provides Data Connectivity for Remote Wildfire Operations Site

On the afternoon of July 16, lightning ignited the Coyote Wildfire in northeastern San Diego County and more than 18,000 acres were lost by the time the fire was contained on July 23. Thanks to the HPWREN team, the firefighters at the remote operations site were provided with data connectivity for the week-long incident. This wireless high-speed data link allowed them to update wildfire status reports, images, and weather information in real-time.

"The dissemination of information and incident intelligence up and down the command and control chain of command is more important than ever. These functions are being facilitated through the Internet and other network connections more than ever," says Jim Garrett, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) Emergency Command Center Chief. "The connectivity provided to CDF for the Coyote Fire was a real life exercise which clearly demonstrated how valuable and useful the technology provided by HPWREN is to our agency."

"We were able to get high speed data connectivity to a remote incident base location within eight hours after the request was made," further explains Garrett. "HPWREN provided us an invaluable service that cannot be overestimated."

coyote fire

The data connectivity team included Hans-Werner Braun, Bud Hale, Jim Hale, and Todd Hansen of the UCSD San Diego Supercomputer Center, as well as Pablo Bryant of the San Diego State University Field Station Programs.

"All in all, the initial antenna and data connectivity setup probably did not take much more than eight hours after the request was made," says HPWREN PI Hans-Werner Braun. "Then, the next day we added a real-time high-resolution network camera at the operations site to allow for remote image access to the local situation."

The real-time high-resolution network camera at the operations site can be viewed at /cameras/ while additional photographs of the overall connectivity installation are available at the following pages:


For more information about the Coyote Fire, please refer to http://www.fire.ca.gov/cdf/incidents/Coyote%20Fire_85/incident_info.html.

To read the National Science Foundation press release regarding this activity, please refer to http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/03/pr0378.htm.


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