As wildfires increase in frequency and intensity, fire fighters are utilizing all available technology to combat these dangerous infernos and keep their crews safe.
With the commercialization of drone technology, fire service professionals are finding that these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are more accessible and incredibly helpful in managing and neutralizing wildfires.
Drones are able to fly over wildfires and safely collect information that is invaluable to fire fighters on the ground. Just fifty years ago, the process to gain access to this information required planes to fly over the blaze to take photographs, have the film developed, and then dropped in tubes to fire fighters on the ground. Now, with the use of drone technology, that information can be relayed almost instantaneously.
Drones can also improve communication between various fire fighter units and save valuable time and money in the process. Wildfires often exist in remote areas where there is little or no reception, making communication very difficult. However, drones are able to hover over areas with poor service, providing an Internet signal and information to fire fighters on the ground. And because pilot flyovers are costly and must be done primarily at night, drone technology improves the speed and accuracy with which fire fighters can gather information on a particular wildfire. This can be incredibly helpful in determining the path a fire might take as well as the areas most at risk and in need of evacuation.
As fire service professionals continue to research new methods to effectively combat wildfires, drone and other new technologies will undoubtedly be another tool to maintain crew and public safety.
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