How New Drones Can Save You During Texas Wildfire Season
In West Texas, drought often means deadly wildfires. They move fast. Sometimes, they kill animals and people in the way.
Around these parts, wildfires get names. Just this year, West Texas has been affected by Iron Knob, Sleepy Sunday, Flying Monkey, Smashed Taco and Beaver Nuggets. Unlike hurricane or tropical storm names, wildfire names don't come from pre-selected lists. They are usually named by first responders, and the names are based on where they burn, either by location or landmark.
Whatever you call them, wildfires can be scary. Firefighters are always looking for new ways to contain the deadly and damaging fires quicker. Thanks to drone technology, they have found a strong new tool.
Texas is one of 43 U.S. states that now have firefighting drone programs. Texas currently has 28 such drones. This new generation of drones, equipped with the right tech to help firefighters beat wildfires, are already making a big difference here in Texas.
They aren't cheap. The start at $10,000 apiece. When you consider all they're capable of, that is a bargain.
Firefighter drones are often sent into wildfires as scouts, using cameras with thermal imaging technology to diagram hotspots not visible to human firefighters. Once these are thoroughly mapped, firefighters can tame a wildfire faster. The data also helps to monitor the spread of the fire and safeguard firefighters from sudden changes in wild speed and direction.
These state-of-the-art instruments are ready to deploy in less than a minute. As drone tech advances, firefighters will be able to develop drones that do much more than just gathering data about fires. Companies are now working on drones that can transport gallons of water or fire retardant to actually douse the flames.
Drone technology is evolving in many ways. There are delivery drones, and drones used for search and rescue. Many hobbyists and photographers use drones to capture amazing images from the air.
These new firefighting drones now also mean that drones can save lives and protect property here in West Texas. I can't think of a better use for this technology and we're just beginning to understand all the potential.