Gas sensing technology is being used as a first defence against forest fires in Vernon. The two-year pilot project involves researchers from UBC Vancouver and SenseNet, a Vancouver-based tech company. SenseNet is installing devices on trees around Vernon Airport and Ellison Provincial Park in hopes of being able to detect wildfires before they have a chance to spread. “Even before flames are observable, fires give off gasses,” explains Shahab Bahrami, chief technical officer with SenseNet. While there may be no visible changes in carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or nitrogen levels in the area, those changes can be detected within minutes by the sensors’ algorithms. Once detected, alert notifications are sent to the Vernon Fire Department. …Smaller scale projects have already been installed near UBC Vancouver and in Williams Lake.