San Diego

Firefighters Use New Technology to Combat Brush Fires

San Diego is the first city in the nation to use this technology, the mayor said

When a devastating brush fire strikes, you want to know where the fire is going in real time.

“The San Diego Fire Rescue will be the first in the nation to have cutting edge technology that will revolutionize how we combat wildfires," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Thursday.  

Using aircraft from the company General Atomics, equipped with radar and high-tech sensors, firefighters will be able to tell if fires are headed towards homes quickly.

“We’re gonna be able to leverage technology so that if we need to do evacuations we can do it so much more efficiently," said San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.

Radar technology from the airplane allows firefighters to draw a perimeter around the fire and then change it in real time based on where the fire is going. Firefighters can also tell in the moment what kind of change the fire makes after water is dropped onto it. 

The radar will also allow firefighters to see through the smoke like never before.

The trial period will not cost taxpayers any money, according to Mayor Faulconer. The bill will be footed by General Atomics.

Firefighters said if the trial run is successful, they are hoping to integrate the system across California and the nation.

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