Dryad Detects Wildfire in Lebanon in 30 Minutes

Dryad Detects Wildfire in Lebanon in 30 Minutes

Successful alert underpins the global need for effective ultra-early detection technology

Wildfire incident in Lebanon

Berlin, December 15, 2023 — Dryad, a leader in ultra-early wildfire detection, today announced that its Silvanet system successfully identified and raised the alarm about an unauthorized fire at a customer site in Lebanon.

On the morning of Monday 11th December, Mada® (XOL Broadband), a leading Telecommunications provider in the Middle East and Africa, reported that Silvanet, Dryad’s ultra-early wildfire detection system, detected a small illegal fire swiftly, allowing for prompt response measures. The incident underscores the effectiveness of Silvanet’s technology in real-world scenarios and its role in enhancing environmental safety.

Background

Lebanon, characterized by its dry and hot climate, faces a substantial risk from rapidly spreading wildfires. It loses 1,500 hectares of forested areas to fires every year, posing threats to communities, natural habitats, and critical infrastructure. In June this year, a massive wildfire burned in the mountainous Sinn region of Akkar, consuming 90 hectares of forest, devastating centuries-old trees, and causing damage to several homes.

With 139,000 hectares of forest, equivalent to roughly 13% of its land area, Lebanon’s forests are increasingly at risk. Extended periods of drought pose a threat, elevating the risk of fires in higher-altitude regions that historically experienced fewer wildfires. Additionally, pest outbreaks are contributing to the desiccation of trees before the onset of the fire season. Lebanon’s renowned cedars, along with junipers and firs, are among the endangered forest ecosystems.

Against this backdrop, Mada decided to capitalize on its telecommunications expertise and corporate social responsibility commitments by deploying Dryad’s Silvanet at a pilot site at Deir Mar Moussa in central Lebanon. This collaboration aims to leverage cutting-edge technology to proactively protect nature and address the growing risk of wildfires.

Dryad employs artificial intelligence-enabled gas sensors within a large-scale, solar-powered mesh network embedded in forested areas. The technology focuses on early detection, providing a crucial advantage in preventing wildfires.

In the pilot deployment, Silvanet has been deployed since January 2023 with 91 sensors and 2 gateways, covering an extensive 78-hectare area in the forest adjacent to Deir Mar Moussa. 

Incident

Silvanet demonstrated its effectiveness by successfully detecting and alerting an unauthorized fire at 10:33 am on Monday 11th December. The incident involved a farmer burning dry grapevines. This illegal activity posed a severe threat as the fire could potentially spread to nearby forested areas.

Silvanet’s success lies in its comprehensive approach. The system detected a change in air composition through the Bosch BME688 gas sensor. Subsequent gas scans identified hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Silvanet’s AI then analyzed the patterns, predicting a 70% probability of smoke at 10:33 am, triggering an alert through the Silvanet mesh network to the customer.

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