Drone Used to Fight "Rim Fire" Near Yosemite

  • Aug 30, 2013 6:38pm GMT

Groveland, CA – The California Air National Guard is now participating in the fight to contain the historic Rim Fire, currently threatening Yosemite National Park. The Air National Guard has volunteered use of one of its General Atomics MQ-1 drone aircraft to help firefighters locate spot fires around the massive 315 square mile burn area.

This is the first time that the MQ-1 drone has been used for firefighting. The drone is operated by Airmen located at March AFB in Riverside, CA, but launched from Victorville Airport (VCV), about 280 miles southeast of the Rim Fire.

So far, the drone has proved successful, detecting at least one spot fire before crews on the ground were able to see it.

The Rim Fire is the sixth largest fire in California history and is currently only 32 percent contained.

Photo Courtesy General Atomics