ImageCat’s wildfire initiatives align with the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission’s recommendations

05 Oct 2023

Wildfires are growing larger, costlier, and deadlier. In 2021 Congress responded to the increased risk by establishing the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission to create policy recommendations to address the wildfire crisis in the United States, including mitigation, management, postfire rehabilitation, and recovery. The Commission has just released ON FIRE: The Report of the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission, which presses the need for coordination and action from members of the disaster community and beyond.

Aligned with these critical efforts, ImageCat, with funding from the NASA Earth Science Applied Sciences program, is collaborating with researchers from the University of California, Irvine on an innovative project titled Community Wildfire Vulnerability Index for Risk Assessment and Response Planning using Earth Observation (EO) Data and Modeling. The project aims to estimate vulnerability, loss potential, and future risk to support effective risk management decisions within local, state, and federal government agencies as well as private actors such as insurance agencies.

ImageCat is also leading the “FireCapture” project. With partners Intuition Machines and, we introduced for the first time the use of the famous online captcha system, Human Platform, to crowdsource a very large number of labels on satellite wildfire imagery in order to identify active fires, burned areas, and smoke. The labels are used to train ML models for wildfire detection for reliable, real-time delivery of intelligent analytics for the wildfire end-user community, first responders, and medical emergency teams. We are addressing the Commission’s recommendation to the wildfire community to embrace new technologies utilizing modern tools, including remote sensing and real-time decision support tools, while understanding the needs of first responders to facilitate technology adoption.

For more information on our research work in wildfire, please contact Shubharoop Ghosh at