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Illumination Technologies has been working closely with the City of Calistoga on our proposed early wildfire detection and alert system with enhanced telecommunications delivery. We have held community outreach meetings and listened to feedback, receiving a great deal of support for this proposed public safety project. We have also addressed the concerns of some residents and made modifications.

In letters to the editor and local online forums, some people are not fully understanding that what we are proposing is a complete wildfire detection and alert system and not simply the installation of sirens and wireless infrastructure. The system works as a whole to support emergency responders by helping accelerate their response time while also preserving public safety through a community-wide alert system.

It begins with the early wildfire detection system, IQ FireWatch. Smoke is an early indicator of fire, and this state-of-the-art sensor technology can identify smoke at an early stage and to within yards of the fire source, outperforming standard cameras and thermal infrared. Also included is 24/7 monitoring that would cover Calistoga and surrounding hillsides. If a fire hazard were detected, the monitoring station would immediately notify local fire authorities to direct them to the targeted location for further assessment. Through the application of recommended best-practices protocols, city officials would then determine whether sounding the community-wide siren was warranted.

What we are offering are proven solutions. We believe IQ FireWatch in particular is a game-changer in modern wildfire management, with more than 300 IQ FireWatch sensors deployed covering over 14 million acres across 11 countries. Our proposed system’s added benefit in enhancing wireless telecommunications would not just improve residents’ daily cellular service (voice and data), but also improve the quality of communications during a wildfire event. This would greatly help emergency responders and Calistoga residents.

We know that living with the risk of wildfires is now the new normal. Our proposed early detection and alert system is being offered for consideration to help Calistoga minimize that risk and save lives.

Richard Boisselle, project engineering manager

Illumination Technologies California, LLC, Calistoga

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