An article in The Sacramento Bee touts the potential of drone technology in fighting back against California wildfires. "Drones are another tool to consider; with trained pilots, unmanned drones can operate in high temperatures, fly at night and in heavy smoke and get to the scene quicker than a fire engine. The Interior Department flew nearly 5,000 drone missions over public land last year to minimize danger to human lives. One drone model drops flammable spheres to set controlled fires to reduce the spread of a wildfire. Mark Bathrick, director of the department’s Office of Aviation Services, told The Wall Street Journal that drones in Oregon detected a fire before it was reported and responders extinguished the blaze before it became a threat. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, told a congressional hearing that drones are a great tool in remote and rugged terrain. More than 910 U.S. law enforcement, fire and emergency agencies have acquired drones, including several in California."
The article in its entirety can be read here.