Drones have possible future in fighting area wildfires

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Updated: 6/23/2014 2:02 pm
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- With the help of a federal grant, Oregon will now start using drones to scout out wildfires in the most rugged terrain. Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District says drones could be a great addition to their team.

Drones are not only safer option, they are potentially more accurate. The radio controlled helicopters will be able to give firefighters pin-point accuracy for a fires location by sending back the latitude and longitude. The five-ft. long, $5,000 drone is also equipped with an infrared camera that can look past smoke and give a better perimeter of an active fire. Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Chief Charles Moore says this is a tool he would love to see here in Nevada.

"In our rugged terrain, and our inaccessible terrain, a drone would be a perfect tool for us to be able to fly over and see what's happening with respect to the wildfire -- and that helps us make better command decisions when we have to respond."

Chief Moore says it could be particularly helpful when deciding how many engines and crews need to be sent in. He envisions the technology coming to our area within the next five years, and it would be collaboration between several, if not all, local fire agencies.
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