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Georgia professor works on drones to warn of wildfires

March 26, 2019

ATLANTA (AP) — A professor at Georgia State University says drones could provide people with more time to evacuate from wildfires.

WSB-TV reports the professor also says the drones could provide real-time information to firefighters.

Georgia State University Associate Professor Xiaolin Hu and his colleagues have a $1.2 million federal grant to use drones to fight wildfires. The drones can fly about 165 feet (50 meters) to 330 feet (100 meters) above ground. They’re equipped with GPS, a fire sensing camera and sensors.

Hu says the sensors can determine the location of the fire front, along with wind speed and direction. Computer models can then predict how the fire will spread.

The Georgia Forestry Commission likes the idea, but warns people flying private drones to stay away from fires so crews can work.

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Information from: WSB-TV, http://www.wsbtv.com/index.html