Technology is assisting firefighters in being more efficient and safe. Unmanned Aerial Systems (aka drones) are being used on the Swan Lake fire for a number of tasks. The primary function is to collect and transmit data–real time or near real time mapping of fire activity, terrain and fuels. With the proper sensors onboard, this can be done in visible light spectrum as well as infrared (heat sensing). The first application is reconnaissance to aid construction of containment lines. Aerial images of conditions outside their view gives on-the-ground firefighters valuable information to make timely adjustments to tactics. This is being employed in the Resurrection Pass Trail area. The second application is mapping hot spots along containment lines. This reduces search time by targeting pre-identified hot spots. Narrowing the search area improves firefighter efficiency and safety by detecting inconspicuous heat sources, reducing the time needed to find hot spots and not searching hazardous areas where no heat is indicated.
Categories: AK Fire Info