Wash. to use drone to monitor wildfires

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington state says the Federal Aviation Administration has given it authorization to use an unmanned drone to monitor wildfires that pose an urgent threat.

Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark said Tuesday that the additional "real-time information" will make things safer for firefighters.

The state Legislature earlier this year gave the state Department of Natural Resources authority to use such drones for wildland fire monitoring and suppression.

Department spokeswoman Janet Pearce says any decision on whether to use a drone will depend on emergency conditions around a particular wildfire. She says if such use is warranted, her agency will use a 4-foot-long "ScanEagle," which is built by Boeing subsidiary Insitu. The device has a 10-foot wingspan and carries cameras.

Hot, dry weather has increased wildfire danger across Washington.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Top Stories

  • More Than Ready
    Danny O'Neil wants to know if regular season can start already
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.