Cameras around Lake Tahoe change fight against wildfires

Scientists say a growing network of cameras trained on the mountains around Lake Tahoe is changing the way crews fight wildfires.

Nevada Seismological Laboratory Director Graham Kent said Wednesday the cameras allow early detection and trigger quicker, cheaper, more tactical suppression than traditional war-like operations.

The high-definition cameras can be operated remotely to pan, tilt and zoom as they search for smoke in remote areas.

Equipped with real-time and time-lapse imagery, the equipment piggybacks on a seismic network already in place to detect earthquakes.

Kent described the revolutionary system as the Seismological Society of America held its annual meeting in Reno.

Last summer, he said, a half-dozen of the multi-hazard cameras at Tahoe were credited with the discovery of six fires and provided early intelligence on more than 25.