The images above taken from the FireWatch Central control system screenshot shows the outbreak of devastating wildfire in Nappa Valley, California (Glass Fire) at 3:30 am, and then approx. 24 hours later. The detection by the Near Infra-Red (NIR) sensor is a game-changer for early bushfire detection.
Obviously, since this outbreak occurred at night, a human fire spotter would not have seen anything until daybreak when the fire would have been already out of control. The FireWatch system shows that when the fire starts, it spreads quickly as demonstrated by the NIR image getting much larger very fast. The FireWatch sensor system detects the light from the fire on the forest floor as it is reflected into the cloud of smoke above.
It must be noted that the Nappa Valley Glass Fire broke out behind a hill in this hilly region.