Los Angeles firefighters using drones to fight wildfires
Two drones were deployed for the first time by the Los Angeles Fire Department while they battled the Skirball fire
By FireRescue1 Staff
LOS ANGELES — Firefighters in Los Angeles are using drones for the first time to battle wildfires.
Fox News reported that the Los Angeles Fire Department deployed two drones that used thermal imaging to find hot spots in the Skirball fire that has destroyed at least six homes.
The department posted a video on Instagram showing the launch of a drone, and said it flew around 30 minutes.
“One of them was just for a visual image from the sky to get an idea of the amount of property damage from the air,” LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas told KPCC. “The second purpose was to locate hot spots, where the fire is still smoldering. Once we have that information, we can dispatch our firefighters to those exact locations.”
Chief Terrazas added that drones could decrease costs.
“We’re going to be able to eliminate the need to rent an infrared camera, and then fly in our helicopters over the fires,” he said. “It’s going to be a significant savings by using these drones.”
The department currently has eight drones, according to StateScoop.