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Planning Wildfire sensor density

Plan for variable sensor density based on the level of human activity in or near Sites.

Sensor density per hectare is based on a number of factors:

  • Level of human activity in a specific areas

  • Presence of WUI (Wildland Urban Interface)

By determining these factors, you can approximate the density values per hectare (Metric) or acre (Imperial). Using this approach of variable density (low and high sensor density), you can reduce the overall cost of deploying the Silvanet System in the Site while maintaining good wildfire detection.

What is the amount of human activity in the Site?

Forests that have high human activity such as those near trails, roads, railroad tracks, housing and buildings requires dense deployment of sensors. Forests that have a low human activity such as deep forest areas, hillsides or areas hard to access can have a lower deployment density.

Places of human activity within or near forests typically include locations where infrastructure has been built. This can include, for example, houses, roads, bridges, poles and towers for power lines, railroad tracks and related bridges (some of which can be wooden). These areas may also have recreational locations within a forest such as hiking paths, campsites or forest management structures.

The following table shows the recommended sensor density values.

Human Activity Density type Distance between sensors Density value
High Dense deployment in high-risk areas. 80 m to 100 m 0.7/ha
Low Sparse deployment in remote locations. 400 m to 500 m 0.1/ha

For example, of the 130 sensors have been deployed in a Site, a plan for sensor deployment provides for dense sensor deployment near the trail while sparse deployment further away.

Deployment density (Metric)

Deployment density (Metric)

Does the Site have WUI areas?

A Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) is defined as areas of a forest where wildland and urban areas intersect. A WUI is a location where burnable structures are interspersed within wildland fuels. A broader term is Wildland Industrial Interface (1) where industrial infrastructure such as roads, power lines and railways intermingles with wildland fuels.

  1. See Canada Wildfire for details.

Wildland Urban Interface example

Wildland Urban Interface example


WUI as defined by the United States Fire Administration as the zone of transition between unoccupied land and human development. It is the line, area or zone where structures and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels.