Let me start out by saying that fires are no laughing matter. They cause immeasurable, irreversible death and destruction on a daily basis. In short, fires are jerks.
That said, a robotic “optical flame detector” seems a bit like overkill. Chances are pretty good that, in most situations, you’ll be able to detect a flame by some other means. Humans generally have five senses (some folks have more, some less), all of which can detect a flame in some way, so that’s a good start in flame detection right there. Plus, find me one building in the Western world that doesn’t already have some other form of fire detector/fire alarm. With those mechanisms added to the mix, it seems that non-flames are pretty well equipped to ferret out flames in their general vicinity.
However, as fire has no natural enemies in the wild (except water…and that foam stuff that’s in fire extinguishers…and…well, you know what, fire actually has quite a few natural enemies, I guess…), it’s probably not a bad idea to stack the deck against fire and flames. As one of the most destructive forces on the planet, fire could do with a considerable handicap.
To paraphrase America’s greatest anthropomorphic talking fire safety bear, “Only you and an automated flame detector can prevent fires, forest or otherwise.”