SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The latest technology in firefighting, according to a drone pilot, could increase fire crews’ ability to efficiently battle flames at night and in conditions with low visibility.
“Basically this new drone will allow us to get way further ahead of fires when fighting fires at night, by delivering supplies to firefighters out in the field, and then eventually attacking the fire itself by putting out spots fires with the drone,” said Douglas Thron, an infrared drone pilot who is working with Parallel Flight Technologies said.
The company released a prototype for the drone in 2019 and Thron said it is working with national agencies to produce its latest aviation tool.
“Normally with a fire, the operations are severely limited to when the skies are clear and daytime operations, this will allow us to double the amount of time we can fight fires by fighting the fires at night,” he said.
Thorn explained that thick smoke and dark skies at night often limit operations.
“We can fight the fires through the thickest of smoke, with infrared on a drone you can fly through the smoke, you can fly through any sort of conditions, right now with firefighting you can’t really fly through the smoke,” he said. “This is will allow us to greatly enhance our ability to fight wildfires and save countless peoples’ lives, animals’ lives, structures, and homes.”
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