On Saturday a drone interfered with helicopters that were involved in fighting the Cameron Peak fire in Colorado. As part of the fire fighting efforts, helicopters were dropping water in the Pingree Park area when they were forced to stop because of an illegally flown drone.
After the devastating wildfires on Australia’s East Coast, specialized seed drones are now used in a test program to drop seeds to boost koala numbers by regenerating bushland with gum trees. The program is part of a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) scheme.
Washington needs to reconsider drone-banning proposals, argues Carrick Detweiler, CEO of Drone Amplified. He explains in an open letter why drones play such a crucial rule in monitoring, preventing, and fighting wildfires. Detweiler also argues for the U.S. government to create data security standards for drones instead of simply looking at the country of origin. You can read the entire letter below. I recommend reading it as it gives an important perspective on how drones can help to keep us safe in a saver and less expensive way compared to traditional methods.
Firefighters are trying to contain the Beachie Creek and Riverside Fires that have already burned 330,867 acres combined. Unfortunately, illegal drones from recreational pilots aren’t helping.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Skyward, A Verizon company, a temporary waiver that allows company pilots to fly the Percepto Sparrow drone from their homes to inspect critical communications infrastructure near the Big Hollow wildfire in Washington. The waiver permits operations 24 hours a day, with less than 3 miles of visibility, and no pilot or observer on site.
On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo welcomed home a team of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers, staff, volunteers, and two drone pilots of the New York Air National Guard, who have been helping battle and contain wildland fires raging in California, Nebraska, and South Dakota for the past two weeks.
Drone footage shows orange skies over San Francisco and Bay Area that resulted from form the thick wildfire smoke that blocks the sunlight.
According to an internal memo, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision not to buy more drones with Chinese parts has made it more difficult to fight wildfires. The memo exposes one consequence of the Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese tech, which includes Chinese-made drone parts.