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Ham Radio Wireless Network Camera Detects Washington Wildfire

09/09/2020

Nigel Vander Houwen, K7NVH, reported on September 8 that some HamWAN users in the Puget Sound region of Washington who were viewing the network’s camera feeds, spotted a large brush fire.

“They reported it to the DNR [Department of Natural Resources], which thanked them for the first report they’d gotten on the fire, and they’ve sent a team to try and keep it small and under control,” Vander Houwen said. “It’s estimated currently at around 50 acres, southeast of Enumclaw along Highway 410.” The fire was not said to be threatening any homes. State Route 410 was reported closed between Enumclaw and Greenwater, and drivers heading to Mount Rainier National Park were advised to take another route.

HamWAN is a nonprofit organization developing best practices for high speed amateur radio data networks. It runs the Puget Sound Data Ring. So far, HamWAN networks have been used for such applications as low-latency repeater linking (including DMR), real-time video feeds, APRS I-gates, providing redundant internet access to emergency operations centers, and more.

Amateur radio licensees in the HamWAN service area can connect directly to the network with a modest investment in equipment and no recurring costs. The HamWAN Puget Sound Data Ring has cells deployed at numerous wide-coverage sites, interconnected with 5 GHz radios. The HamWAN technical team has been installing remotely controllable cameras at HamWAN link sites, and one of these was used for the wildfire report. 



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