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Some fire departments, including New York’s, use early-warning systems to flag dangerous buildings before fires occur. FDNY’s FireCast tool in 2017 reportedly improved the accuracy of fire inspections by 20%. Oakland, California, began developing a system that could help the city find dangerous buildings after a fire killed 36 people in a warehouse in 2016. The State of California is trying to use tech to get a handle on its wildfires, too — Gov. Gavin Newsom has approved contracts to test predictive modeling software and drones equipped with sensors to be used during active fires. Palo Alto, California, is also developing an early-warning system that one official told StateScoop could use infrared imaging and machine learning to detect blazes in the foothills around Silicon Valley.

Colin Wood

Written by Colin Wood

Colin Wood is the editor in chief of StateScoop and EdScoop. He's reported on government information technology policy for more than a decade, on topics including cybersecurity, IT governance and public safety.

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