Washington firefighters used a camera-equipped drone last week to identify targets for helicopters to drop water. State officials deployed the fixed-wing ScanEagle UAV to about 9,500 ft above the Paradise Fire in Olympic National Park. The drone transmitted a live infrared video feed identifying hot spots underneath the dense canopy. The firefighters then used that information to advise helicopter crews about where to drop their water loads. The 2015 fire season has been so intense that, for the first time in years, military crews have aided government and civilian fire personnel. Insitu Inc., a Boeing
subsidiary, provided the catapult-launched ScanEagle to the government at no direct cost for an operational test. The U.S. Department of the Interior predicts firefighters to increase their use of drones in the coming years.