Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
The age old saying that has deeper, more metaphorical connotations, but the literal lesson can still apply. Especially, in the case of firefighters and their eternal struggle against fire. The saying is even truer for fire scenarios outside a metropolitan area. When you are out in the wilderness, among the vast forests and mountains, a fire can’t be spotted easily. Most of the time, all you can see is the smoke.
If ever the need arises, helicopters go in these areas to check for fires. In most cases however, it is too far from civilization, or the county doesn’t have the budget. Most of the time it really doesn’t sound good at a fiscal standpoint to send a massive aircraft.
That is where drones can come into the equation.
Drone Firefighters in Oklahoma:
Although smaller in size, a drone can still do what a helicopter does. Aerial coverage of a wide area is possible. And if the drone has powerful cameras at its disposal, it can easily gather data. Drones are also cheaper to acquire, compared to a full sized helicopter. They are also easier to control. A few lessons in drone flying takes a fraction of the time it takes to learn flying choppers. Damage risk is also smaller, since the drone flies without a pilot.
That is why the Tulsa Fire Department recently acquired their new drone. It helps in checking for fires out in the boonies, while also being lighter on the budget. It also makes the firefighters’ jobs safer, being the first in line to check the situation. No more running into the field without the proper equipment. With data gathered from the drone, you can be sure they know what they are facing.
This week a call about smoke seen by onlookers caught the attention of the Fire Department. The call pointed their direction to Turkey Mountain, a 300 acre wilderness area.
Instead of taking a long period of time trying to send firefighters on foot to check it out, they sent out their drone. It took only a few minutes to deploy the drone, which you cannot say about a helicopter. The drone flew into the area and pinpointed the source of the smoke. It also scouted the area for possible sources of the fire.
It took no more than ten minutes for the drone to find the fire source. With this data in hand, the firefighters of Tulsa County managed to put the almost-raging inferno under control.
Just another day in modern firefighting.