New Wildfire Detection Camera Installed in Montecito

By the Montecito Fire Department

A wildfire detection camera is now installed on Ortega Ridge in Montecito, providing coverage of the eastern portion of the Santa Barbara front country. The ALERTCalifornia camera is part of a growing network of cameras across the western United States that help local, state and federal agencies better detect and suppress wildfires.

Technicians with ALERTCalifornia traveled to the South Coast Friday, Jan.  24, to install the camera on private property. The camera’s view from Ortega Ridge provides an unobstructed view of the Santa Barbara front country, including Montecito’s wildland areas.

The camera provides 24/7 “eyes” on the fire-prone hillsides. It is equipped with artificial intelligence technology that is capable of alerting firefighters of new fire starts within minutes of ignition. The camera views are publicly available so that community members can gain a better understanding of where a fire is burning.  The Ortega Ridge camera can be viewed at this link:

The camera on Ortega Ridge joins a network of hundreds of cameras that provide coverage of wildland areas. Locally, there are existing cameras at Gibraltar Peak, UC Santa Barbara’s campus and TV Hill. The TV Hill camera was installed in Dec. 2022.

“The intelligence we can gain from these additional cameras will give us a significant advantage during the initial moments of a wildfire and help us make strategic firefighting and evacuation decisions,” said Montecito Fire Chief, Kevin Taylor.

ALERT California is a consortium of University of Nevada Reno, University of California San Diego and University of Oregon, providing access to state-of-the-art Pan-Tilt-Zoom fire cameras and associated tools to help firefighters and first responders: 

1.       Discover, locate and confirm fire ignition; 

2.       Quickly scale fire resources up or down appropriately; 

3.       Monitor fire behavior; 

4.       Help guide evacuation processes through enhanced situational awareness, and; 

5.      Monitor contained fires for flare-ups. 

For more information about ALERTCalifornia, visit and


Written by MontecitoFire

Press releases written by the Montecito Fire Protection District. Learn more at

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