Ultra-high definition fire cameras designed to keep Nevada free from flames

Fire cameras are used all over Lake Tahoe basin. They say the camera technology helps them save big bucks on fighting fires. 11/1/16 (Sergio Avila | KSNV)

It's been more than three years since the devastating Carpenter 1 fire charred nearly 28,000 acres on Mount Charleston.

Now, we're getting a look at the new guardian of the mountain, designed to help snuff out future fires before they get out of control.

Black Mountain offers an expansive view of the Las Vegas Valley. That's one of the reasons why a camera was installed there to give fire crews an upper hand on potentially devastating fires.

Doctor Graham Kent is the director of the Nevada Seismological Lab in Reno. Aside from keeping tabs on earthquake dangers, his office is also in charge of setting up fire cameras.

A large network of the cameras is already set up across northern Nevada. They capture the real-time moments when a fire explodes into a dangerous situation.

"That's so critical in trying to scale your resources because you want to hammer the fire right way because when they get away they cost a lot," said Kent.

The Carpenter 1 fire cost more than $20 million to put out. Kent said the cost can be reduced significantly for a $30,000 investment in one of the ultra-high definition cameras.

Knowing how and where to attack a fire saves property, money, and potentially lives.

"The price in fire when you make a mistake, costs more money than it would ever take to deploy cameras throughout Nevada and run them for the next 50 years," said Kent.

All of the cameras across Nevada can be accessed online. You at home can act as a spotter for a potentially devastating flare up.

"So if a lightning storm moves through the Las Vegas valley and starts a fire or maybe up on Mt. Charleston, you'll see that first puff of smoke," said Kent.

The eye on the mountain gives fire crews a leg up to make better decisions on how to fight the blaze. Kent says the technology has already proven successful by helping to slow down 107 fires in eastern California and Nevada. Using the latest technology to keep an eye on our breathtaking landscapes.

Kent tells News 3 they'd like to set up three or four other cameras along the valley to be fully protected. To check out the camera feeds, click here.

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