Fire-starting drones are actually helping some firefighters

A drone intended to intentionally set fires may appear to be a frightening prospect, yet such a gadget is actually assisting firemen in Australia.

This is due to the customized drone being used to trigger backfires. A backfire is a controlled burn operation used to keep wildfires from spreading. It works by burning a line of defense so that when the wildfire reaches that point, it has nothing to devour.

The fire-starting drones are being tested in Wimmera, Victoria, roughly 400 kilometres west of Australia’s capital, Canberra, according to ZDNet this week.

The use of drones, according to Forest Fire Management Victoria, will improve safety conditions on the ground and save time because personnel coordinating backfires will no longer have to negotiate waterways and hazardous foliage to initiate the burns themselves. Another advantage is believed to be more precise burns.

Fire Fighting Drone | Flite Test - Fire Product Search

According to Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change, “we are able to execute a more successful scheduled burning program to protect people and the environment from bushfires” by upgrading its processes and trialing new technology.

D’Ambrosio added: “Climate change and more extreme weather events are changing the nature of bushfires, so it’s important we take action now to minimize risk to human life and our native wildlife.”

Local lawmaker Jaala Pulford said she was pleased to see local crews “exploring innovative ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of planned burning. This work will help to protect our treasured natural environment and improve bushfire safety.”

However, firemen in Victoria aren’t only using drones to cause fires. The local government announced earlier this year the formation of a new aviation unit, complete with four new drones, to assist firefighters in monitoring wildfires from the air. Unlike the crew’s previous drones, which simply featured a video camera for livestreaming, the new drones also have a thermal imaging camera that can detect temperature differences.

Just this week, authorities in neighboring New South Wales announced that firefighters will receive $42 million in equipment, including new drones, to assist them combat wildfires.

Australia, like the United States, has seen increased wildfires in recent years, with the 2019/2020 season one of the worst on record.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.