Public and Private Wildfire Detection Strategies Increase as Early Fire Season Begins in SoCal

Although Southern California suffered through massive flooding throughout much of the winter thanks to an active El Nino weather pattern, the soaked hillsides did not do much to thwart the beginning of California’s most dangerous season.

The first major wildfire of 2024, the Post Fire, erupted on Saturday near Gorman, California and is over 15,000 acres. Currently, multiple active wildfires are burning throughout forcing California fire authorities to officially announce an “early start” to wildfire season.

Communities are adding multiple resources to their assets as fires season kicks off. These resources provide a wealth of information online regarding on fire prevention, evacuation routes, and some municipalities installing early detection cameras.

On June 7th, Assembly member Al Muratsuchi, and the mayors of four Palos Verdes Peninsula cities gathered to officially launch a Peninsula-wide network of wildfire detection cameras.

Pano AI wildfire detection cameras installed in Ranchoo Palos Verdes

The project was approved by Rancho Palos Verdes City Council in 2022 and the installation of the cameras began in 2023 supported by a $1.5 million state budget allocation secured by Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi. The event was held beneath four sets of high-mounted, 360-degree cameras made by tech company Pano AI, installed last year at key vantage points.

The majority of the Peninsula is located within a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone with the last major fire taking place in August 2009, burning about 230 acres and forcing approximately 1,200 people to evacuate.

Supported by artificial intelligence, the ultra-high-definition cameras continuously scan the landscape to spot, evaluate, and signal wildfire activity within a 15 mile radius so first responders can be alerted to a brush fire as soon as possible. Two cameras attached to a tower at Ken Dyda Civic Center in Rancho Palos Verdes is providing the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and four area cities with a panoramic view of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Pano AI will fully manage hardware, permitting, installation, monitoring, operations and repairs at a cost of approximately $700,000 for the next five years.


The disaster-prone Santa Mountains region was heavily impacted by the winter’s devastating flooding, forcing the closure of major arteries, some for months.

Now, as we enter wildfire season, the opportunity for disaster increases with high heat and winds and with city and county resources have been wearing thin for some time noow to battle Southern California blazes, and with slim pickings for insurance coverage in the disaster prone state, private companies are stepping in to fill the gaps where protection is thin.

International Protective Service, Inc. (IPS) , based in Albuquerque, New Mexico , offering services to various cities across the US, including Malibu and the surrounding areas of LA County, recently announced the expansion of their security solutions. These services include the highest level of protection for their clients in catastrophic conditions like wildfires, flooding and potentially other emergency situations. This includes some capabilities the U.S. government does not even have access to, or at least chooses not to use.

IPS’s Global Aviation Division includes a fleet of drones, high-performance aircraft like the Challenger and Westwind II jets, as well as Sikorsky S76, AS365 and AS350 helicopters.

IPS Global Aviation high-resolution cameras, thermal imaging technology, forward looking infrared (FLIR) and real-time data transmission capabilities.

The state-of-the-art drones, conceivably the first step in wildfire prevention, are equipped with high-resolution cameras, thermal imaging technology, forward looking infrared (FLIR) and real-time data transmission capabilities. This allows for immediate AI and human analysis and response to potential threats. They can effectively monitor large or small areas, detect potential threats, and respond swiftly to an incident.

The fleet includes aircraft with the capabilities to drop water/fire retardant, and if absolutely necessary, extract clients from dangerous or life threatening situations.

The control center, based out of based out of Southern California and managed by Chief Pilot Denis Oliver, receives live data, ready to dispatch within seconds and is accessible only to selected operators and controllers with the highest level of accreditation, to protect IPS customers and their privacy.

IPS Global CEO Aaron Jones at the IPS Global Aviation control center in Southern California. Photo: Jeff Serpa.

“Over the past few years, and especially after the Woolsey Fires in Malibu, we’ve seen a real need for a service like ours. The insurance industry has absolutely failed this community and state. It is a travesty as to what has occurred, and continues to occur on many levels.

We are here to help, plain and simple. We are not the government. We have no intent to intrude on people’s privacy.

Our drones and aircraft are for detecting fires, floods and potential criminal or natural situations that create peril to lives and property.”California is all about quality of life and experiencing everything this beautiful state has to offer, especially the area along the Santa Monica Mountain Basin all the way to the Pacific. IPS wants to protect that.”

IPS Global Sikorsky S-J76 at IPS Global Aviation Headquarters in Southern California.

IPS is currently in the pilot program stages and are offering subscription based clients these specialized services, a necessity in affluent rural communities who remain a consistent target for natural and man-made disasters.

Cece Woods

The Current Report Editor in Chief Cece Woods started The Local Malibu, an activism based platform in 2014. The publication was instrumental in the success of pro-preservation ballot measures and seating five top vote-getters in the Malibu City Council elections.

During the summer of 2018, Woods exposed the two-year law enforcement cover-up in the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings, and a few short months later provided the most comprehensive local news coverage during the Woolsey Fire attracting over one million hits across her social media platforms.

Since 2020, Woods was the only journalist reporting on the on-going public corruption involving former L.A. Metro CEO Phil Washington. Woods worked with Political Corruption expert Adam Loew, DC Watchdog organizations and leaders in the Capitol exposing Washington which ultimately led to the withdrawal of his nomination to head the FAA.

Woods also founded Malibu based 90265 Magazine and Cali Mag devoted to the authentic southern California lifestyle.

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