The BC Wildfire Service will now regularly use drones to battle Provincial blazes.
Information Officer Erin Catherall says recent trials have shown drones many benefits like creating a high-definition maps and performing infrared scans at night. Most all, she notes, it’s much safer.
“(A drone) eliminates the safety risks that are inherent to low flying helicopters that do conduct the same task but require on-board personnel,” she says.
Flying your own drone near a wildfire is still prohibited by both BC Wildfire and Transport Canada.
“This jeopardizes the safety of our crews as well as our personnel flying aircrafts in the air so it’s strictly prohibited and is a major safety concern for us.”
Since April 1st, the Service has used drones for 35 fireline days in the Northeast which have included fighting the Siphon Creek and Halfway River wildfires.