Firefighters on the west coast are throwing special fireballs at the drones to keep an unusually severe season under control. This is the latest technology to stop fires.
Fireballs, the size of ping-pong balls, called “dragon eggs”, explode when they hit the ground and start small fires. Although this may seem counterintuitive, the goal is to eliminate any possible sources of fuel for larger fires that are spreading nearby.
“A bonus is that you can do night operations and work in smoky conditions, because if a drone crashes, no one dies,” Simon Weibel, a firefighter who works for a company called Drone, told the magazine. Amplified.
A single drone can release about 450 incendiary devices in minutes, according to him National Geographic, and about 30 pilots are flying around two dozen drones in the western states this season, which is twice as high as last year.
This year’s fires are much bigger and harder to control than in previous years, with the demand for drones increasing. “This year we will see a significant increase in demand,” said Joe Suarez, a drone specialist at the National Park Service. “We don’t have pilots or planes to meet the needs right now.”
In addition to drones, firefighters also used smoke-penetrating thermal imaging cameras to monitor the movement of fires and wearing high-tech flame-retardant clothing.
As unprecedented fires devastate California and much of the west, firefighters have taken innovative steps to try to keep up with the flames. A number of new and existing technologies have been brought into battle – including drones throwing fireballs and rebuilt passenger planes – to improve ground-tested techniques over time.