For the first time, the Los Angeles Fire Department used drones Thursday to help coordinate its battle against a pair of wildfires threatening homes in the city, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.
LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said early Thursday that drones will be used "for the first time ever," primarily to conduct property assessment as the agency surveys damage caused by the Creek fire near Sylmar and the Skirball fire in the Bel-Air and Sepulveda Pass.
"We also can look for hotspots," Terrazas said. "The drone will fly over, locate hotspots, and then we'll dispatch our firefighters to get final extinguishment in that area. So we're very, very proud of that new technology."
LAFD Public Information Officer Peter Sanders said Thursday evening that fire personnel flew two UAVs for 30 minutes into a canyon from the north end of Moraga.
"It was the first time we used them in a real scenario. We did aerial damage assessments and found some hot spots," Sanders said.
The operation was highly coordinated by the department to avoid becoming a threat to water-dropping helicopters.