About new webcam system started broadcasting images of San Diego County's backcountry on the Internet this week as part of a program designed to tackle wildfires early.
The so-called FireSight project was funded by a $36,000 grant from the county Board of Supervisors. Its 16 cameras provide 360-degree coverage extending for miles from Mount Woodson near Ramona and Red Mountain near Fallbrook to make it easier and faster to detect or monitor wildfires in unincorporated areas of San Diego County.
The project extends the UCSD-based High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) in areas where fire officials saw the greatest need.
At a news conference Tuesday at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), UC San Diego researchers, County Supervisor Ron Roberts and Howard Windsor, chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) explained how the system works. The cameras enable 360-degree views and each is refreshed approximately every two minutes.
The HPWREN wireless network is already being used by emergency agencies, including CAL FIRE, to track the progress of fires with our meteorological stations and over 20 mountain-top cameras before the latest upgrade,” said HPWREN director Hans-Werner Braun, a research scientist at UCSD’s San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). “We have also provided critical wireless connectivity to various Incident Command Posts and other firefighting assets. But the funding from the San Diego County has allowed us to plug major holes in the infrastructure by ensuring that cameras in these two locations will give fire officials and first responders a 360-degree view — something they have not had until now.”
They are viewable at