Maximiliano Militzer on why FlameSense Developed a Forest Fire Prevention System

And how their system detects fire risks within 30 seconds, aiming to protect 10,000 hectares this season.

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Chilean startup FlameSense has developed an AI-powered system to prevent forest fires. In a recent interview with Contxto, founder Maximiliano Militzer shared insights into their approach and plans.

“Our technology detects and tracks people, providing evidence for potential legal action before fires start,” Militzer explained. The system uses placed ‘pods’ with 360-degree cameras and sensors to detect potential fire risks.

Militzer created FlameSense in response to Chile’s forest fire vulnerability. He stated, “Over the past decade, 1.7 million hectares have burned – triple the amount from the previous decade. With over 60% of fires being human-caused and 40% intentional, we focus on early detection and prevention.”

Regarding recent events, Militzer said, “If FlameSense had been installed in Valparaíso, we would have detected the two individuals who started the recent fire.”

The founder shared results from their pilot projects. In San Francisco de Mostazal, the system alerted property owners to a small fire, which was extinguished before spreading. “A second pilot recently launched in Pichilemu,” Militzer added.

On the company’s development, Militzer said, “It began in my dorm room with an Arduino board and initial code. With a $50,000 investment from our angel investor and now co-founder Samuel Lira, we developed our hardware.”

Militzer explained their business model: “We charge an initial installation fee and annual fees for maintenance and updates.” He projects protecting 10,000 hectares this fire season, with potential annual revenue of $510,000 from current pilots.

For future plans, Militzer stated: “We aim to expand internationally, targeting protection of 10% of Latin America’s forests within a few years. Our system’s AI adapts to different climate conditions.”

Militzer emphasized their timeline, stating, “We have until 2030 to address this problem.”

FlameSense’s approach combines AI, hardware placement, and rapid response capabilities to tackle forest fire prevention.

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