See 'Birdhouse Alarm' created to prevent wildfires
Thursday, April 28, 2016, 12:18 PM - With Western Canada's wildfire season ramping up, officials are urging residents to take precautions to minimize damage and injury. While there are many ways to prevent forest fires, creators in Spain have a new tool: The Birdhouse Alarm.
Emilio and Pouline of marketing agency Ogilvy and Mather in Madrid are the creatives behind the idea. The couple partnered with Generali, an insurance company that operates in over 60 countries.
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Here's how the prototype works. The Birdhouse Alarm uses a smoke detector, capable of identifying smoke within 20 metres. A geo-located message is then sent through a 3G connection to the local fire department. It is made of recycled material, fit with a rechargeable battery and solar panel. The birdhouse is also created to withstand extreme weather conditions.
In 2015, almost 40 per cent of northern Spain was burnt, the website reads. The area is mostly made of up remote villages, vegetation and wildlife. Fire prevention methods in the region have not changed in nearly 40 years and often times when there is a forest fire, it is impossible to reach it in time. Thus, Emilio and Pouline wanted to create a new way to detect wildfires as early as possible.
Here at home, Alberta has already experienced more than 200 wildfires this season, which is about 50 per cent higher than at the same time in 2015. As a result, some evacuation alerts and highway closures are in effect. Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating with relief efforts.
"By the end of the weekend a strong ridge will be in place across the much of western Canada," says The Weather Network meteorologist Kevin Mackey. "Skies will be clear while temperatures will push the 30°C mark through parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan by mid-week. This will result in a steady increase in the wild fire risk across the region."
Watch more: Relief in sight? Western wildfires rage with hot temperatures