Scottsdale Fire Department is embracing new drone technology to increase the safety of its firefighters and reduce wait times on rescue missions.
Drones have been used by the Scottsdale Fire Department for about a month; however, Thursday was the official launch of the program. In the past month, the drones have flown six times to assist in structure fires.
"The biggest thing is it's about safety for the citizens and safety for our firefighters," said Scottsdale fire Capt. Dave Folio.
The department owns six drones which are able to fly up to 400 feet and 5 miles away from the drone pilot.
Folio explained that the drone cameras capture 360-degree views, live stream, send exact coordinates of a location, and can even attach water bottles, life vests, helmets, speakers and flashlights for people who may need rescue.
Arizona Republic, AZCentral.com & KPNX-TV NBC 12 Phoenix
Crown King has been ordered to evacuate because of a nearby wildfire. The Horse Fire is burning 5 miles northeast of Crown King.
At 8:30 a.m., the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office released the following message: There is a wildfire threatening your area. A mandatory evacuation has been issued for resident’s located in Crown King. There is a significant danger to you, gather necessary items and go. Shelter had been set up at Mayer High School. For assistance please call 928 771 3260 or 911.
According to YCSO, as of Friday morning, the fire is in the Wagoner area and is making its way towards Crown King.
Cory Carlson with the U.S Forest Service says as of Thursday night, Oct. 15, the fire is estimated to be around 2,640 acres.
Arizona State Forestry has multiple resources helping support Prescott National Forest crews. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is assisting fire services regarding the fire burning between Wilhoit and Crown King. Officials say no structures are threatened at this time.
KOLD-TV CBS 13 Tucson
In June 2002, nearly half a million acres burned in the Arizona high country. At the time, the Rodeo-Chediski Fire was the largest wildfire in the state’s history. There was too much fuel in the forest, a buildup that began more than a century ago.
Enough people saw the record-breaking fire and agreed that something needed to be done to prevent the next big fire.
But correcting mistakes of the past is often tougher than it sounds. Almost two decades later, those involved in responding to the Rodeo-Chediski say they’re still learning what it will take to get ahead of wildfires, and the effects they have on headwater forests.
“I think the first thing to recognize is that the Southwest and California are built to burn,” said fire historian Stephen Pyne, author of “Fire in America.”
Nearly a dozen firefighters in Cottonwood have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks, according to the Verde Valley Independent.
Cottonwood City Manager Ron Corbin told the Independent that of the ten firefighters who were infected, one has successfully quarantined and returned to work. Nine others are still in the quarantine process. However, only one of the firefighter has shown symptoms of the coronavirus. Since the start of the pandemic, Yavapai County health officials have reported more than 2,700 positive COVID-19 cases, and 86 deaths.
KNAU Arizona Public Radio
Vandals slashed two water bladders in Round Valley at the end of September, potentially slowing the response to fires in one of the longest fire seasons ever.
The Army surplus bladders give fire trucks and helicopters a source of water in remote areas, making it possible to douse a fire when it’s small.
For more than a decade, Gila County District 1 Supervisor Tommie Martin has overseen development of the network of 20,000-gallon bladders. Geronimo Estates, Round Valley and other communities rely on these bladders to douse a fire quickly.
Now, the county’s struggling to maintain the network.
“We have had the two bladders at Round Valley sliced — after all these years of nobody bothering any of them,” said Martin. “When we replace them, we will be out of bladders and then I don’t know what we do next.”
Gila County has used the military surplus bladder system since 2006. But those bladders came from the early 1990 Desert Storm era.
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