MTO Forestry Garcia Plantation
by Mandi Mosterd
With the recent fire outbreaks in Cape Town, fire detection and prevention is undoubtedly on everyone’s mind but certainly no more than farmers and plantation managers who face this risk daily.
Some of the conditions that increase the risk of fire include raging temperatures, droughts, lightning, vehicle and equipment fires, and arson.
At WM Digital Solutions, our biggest concern is offering our clients security for themselves and their assets through a vast range of closed-circuit television smart devices. While we have been known for selling innovative CCTV cameras for general security monitoring in residential and commercial spaces, our product offering also includes a market-leading fire detection camera with many benefits.
In conjunction with Lesnoy Dozor software, our cameras are able to detect smoke within a 30km radius. With 250m and 0.5-degree accuracy, it instantly alerts the control room to investigate. The cameras have an unbelievable zoom ability that allows the user to detect people, vehicles and any other relevant details where necessary. Read more about Lesnoy Dozor at the end of this article.
Meet Tersius Notley
To unpack a real-life case study, we recently interviewed our client, Tersius Notley from MTO Forestry Garcia Plantation. Although we visit the plantation regularly to check in, there has been little reason in the past few years for Tersius to call us, which is why this was an excellent opportunity for a catch-up. Here’s what Tersius had to say:
Tertius, thanks so much for having a chat with us about your facility and the camera systems we installed for you. Can you tell us about the facility you manage?
I manage the MTO Forestry Garcia Plantation outside Riversdale in the Western Cape. It is 1905ha planted and a total of 3075 ha.
What are some of the most significant risks the plantation faces?
Fires entering the plantation from outside our boundaries are always our biggest threat. Especially lightning fires on the mountains to the north of the plantation.
How long have you been a client of WM Digital Solutions?
Since June 2018. Just about three years.
Since you’ve had the Lesnoy Dozor fire detection system installed, have there been any incidents that you were able to manage or prevent thanks to the camera?
Can you tell us about one specifically?
On 25 February 2021, at 22h15, the lookout reported a fire in a Pine Compartment. The early alert meant we were able to respond immediately and extinguish the fire while it was still small.
On a daily basis, the lookout also reports any signs of smoke on neighbouring farms and even further away so that we are always aware of any possible threats.
What infrastructure did you have in place before working with WM Digital Solutions?
We had a 10m high, manned lookout hut in the plantation, with a limited view on the whole plantation due to the surrounding trees becoming too high
How did WM Digital Solutions assist in improving your infrastructure?
WM Digital Solutions built us a 30m high tower and installed the camera with all the Solar power needs and network links.
They also fitted our control room with the computer and monitors from where our guards can monitor the cameras.
How many staff members do you have working in your control room?
We have our usual three lookout guards on their 8-hour shifts, just like they used to work in the old manned lookout hut on the plantation.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience with WM Digital Solutions?
The system has been running so smoothly that for the past year, I have not had to contact WM Digital Solutions for any assistance.
It is easy to understand how invaluable a system like the Lesnoy Dozor early fire detection cameras and software is to someone like Tertius. Fire could rip through the Pine plantation within minutes if not detected soon enough. The damage would be far more than financial, with no instant solution to amend the damage caused.
About Lesnoy Dozor...
Lesnoy Dozor is a Russian-based company that specialises in forestry monitoring and fire prevention technology. The organisation owns eight patents on their innovations which is why we feel incredibly proud to be exclusive partners with them in the African region.
Here are some added benefits of the camera and software:
- We are able to implement the system on any existing infrastructure.
- We can supply and install towers if required.
- The software calculates the fire coordinates using digital terrain model and computer vision technology.
- The software integrates the clients’ maps for more accurate plotting.
- It offers GPS tracking for fire engine trucks.
- Information about the events is sent via e-mail and SMS.
- The camera uses satellite data integration.
- Feel confident with real-time data streaming.
- Panoramic viewing that completes a full rotation every 6 minutes (360-degree coverage)
- The cameras are solar-powered – this is great for unreliable government-supplied electricity sources.
- The solution can be shared across multiple farms or facilities to reduce costs