SoCal Edison camera network monitors potential wildfires

In August 2018 as the Holy Fire threatened Santiago Peak, it was all captured by new SoCal Edison cameras and those images helped firefighters battle the blaze.

"They recognized early on that fire was going to be substantial burning into the forest and they were able to dispatch appropriate resources, aircraft, dozers and crews quickly," said Troy Whitman, SCE fire management officer.

The cameras allowed firefighters to see when and where the fire started and to follow it. It's part of a network of cameras set up across Southern California. On a clear day each can see up to 50 miles. In addition, SoCal Edison is upgrading its power lines and poles and will install weather sensors across the area.

"What this provides us with is real time information of what is going on across the service territory," said Don Daigler, SoCal Edison's director of business resiliency.

All of these cameras are monitored 24 hours a day at the SoCal Edison command center. They also work with fire agencies to help in wildfire response.

"We can control to the degree we can our system, but we can't control the weather, we can't control the changing climate environment," Daigler said.

By the end of next year, SCE expects to have up to 160 cameras covering 90 percent of their service area. Anyone can go online and check them out at alertwildfire.org.
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