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State fire crews too busy to test drones; feds test at Olympic National Park blaze


OLYMPIA, Washington — State fire officials say they have not had time to test drones over the major fires in Okanogan County, though federal officials did fly some over a more remote fire in Olympia National Park.

KING-TV reports (http://kng5.tv/1NJWKmI ) the federal government used a drone to help helicopter crews locate hot spots, map fire boundaries and provide instant information to fire officials via the life feed from the aircraft's infrared camera.

State Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark says this summer was not the time for Washington officials to learn new technology, though the Department of Natural Resources is planning on testing drones on controlled, scheduled fires in the fall or winter after the wildfire season ends.

Information from: KING-TV, http://www.king5.com/

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