As if the changing climate isn’t concern enough, apparently at least some of the world’s wildfires are set intentionally. Police in Italy arrested a man after spotting him torch the Italian countryside. Watch as a drone catches a firebug.
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.
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.
A Swiss research group has developed a drone-carried sensor that can detect the water content of terrain below, and are offering it as a cheaper and more accurate measurement supplement to existing technology like satellite imagery. Its creators say the device can optimize a variety of terrain management decisions in a world where drought and fires are becoming a major, recurring problem.