Firefly (really) heavy-lift drone boasts mega-endurance, too

Firefly heavy-lift drone

Have a weighty payload you need to spirit across the sky farther than other UAVs can handle? You might want to check out the Firefly heavy-lift drone, which can lug 100 lbs. of gear cargo up to two full hours.

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Free online training course on public safety drone programs

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a self-funded nonprofit organization, has released a free online training program to help more than 29,000 fire departments in the US improve existing public safety drone programs and establish new drone initiatives.

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Pyromaniac UAV? Australia tests backfire-lighting drones to battle wildfires

Against the growing number and increased destruction of wildfires across the planet over the last several years, it’s become more frequent to hear reports of UAV assisting firefighters in the battle to put them out. Now the Australian state of Victoria is using drones to light fires as well.

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NASA joins California firefighters to see how drones help with wildfires

Between the Dixie, Caldor, McCash, and Windy fires, Northern California has been witnessing a busy wildfire season. And this time, the firefighters on the ground are being shadowed by a crew from NASA. Their aim? To watch and learn how drones help to battle the blazes from above.

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Update: PG&E faces new questions after denying flying drone at Dixie Fire

In response to a court order issued by Federal Probation Judge William Alsup, utility company PG&E had denied any knowledge of drone operations near the origin of the Dixie Fire – the second-largest recorded wildfire in California’s history. However, the court is now questioning PG&E’s claims, indicating that the company might know something about the drone after all.

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Judge questions drone’s role as Dixie Fire grows to second-largest in California’s history

Dixie Fire, which first ignited around July 13, is now considered the second-largest recorded wildfire in California’s history. It has so far burned close to 490,000 acres and is only 21% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, aka Cal Fire. This has prompted a judge to order an investigation into a drone that appeared over the blaze on the day of ignition, forcing Cal Fire to end air operations prematurely.

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