Corbett Fire plans on using new drone to track potential fireworks fires, rescues, and more

On Monday, the Corbett Fire showed FOX12 its new drone the district has had for the last three months, explaining the multiple uses for it.
Published: Jul. 3, 2023 at 11:09 PM PDT
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CORBETT Ore. (KPTV) - On Monday, the Corbett Fire showed FOX 12 its new drone the district has had for the last three months, explaining the multiple uses for it.

“Finding people in an incident whether they are hurt on a trail or on a river or remote area in the forest,” said Dave Flood, Fire Marshal at Corbett Fire. “For tracking down smoke and illegal burns. We can go back in and see things where we couldn’t drive to. So that lets us decide if we want to take action or not. We’ll take action once we see what’s going on. Delivering medication up trails and rivers. We have a lot of water rescues in the summer.”

Flood says it can withstand up to 50 mph winds and they can fly it in the rain. They will also be utilizing it after the Fourth of July fireworks show for half an hour following the show.

“What we are going to do with the fireworks tomorrow night: check an area to make sure there are no hot spots before we leave,” said Flood. “We would have to do a grid search to do what this can do. Be out there shoulder to shoulder walking to find things. This can do it way faster and way more efficiently. It’s plenty tough for what we are going to do. It’s got a ton of safety features on it. It will recall itself. It is amazing how fast we can get it out somewhere.”

The drone has several different cameras, including an infrared camera to catch potential hot spots. Flood says the footage from the camera can also go directly to their phones.

“We can see where we need to go to check,” Flood said. “It really makes things pretty efficient. We are all volunteer out here and we are well staffed, but it’s a manpower saver. It let’s us make the right choices. It’s another tool in the toolbox.”

For those planning on setting off fireworks of their own in the area tomorrow:

“Make sure that you’re using Oregon legal fireworks,” Flood said. “Make sure to stay on the pavement, away from your home, away from bark dust, make sure your kids are supervised and make sure everything is dead out by putting it in a bucket of water. If something lands on the roof, make sure you get that and the gutter line wet. We don’t want any house fires. Just we mindful of what’s going on when you’re setting off fireworks and wet everything down.”

Flood says Corbett Fire plans on robustly staffing on the 4th of July.

“We’ll have crews out and brush units at the actual fireworks area where it lands just in case anything catches on fire and then we always have crews roaming the area,” said Flood. “Particularly on red flag days, through a grant through the Fire Marshal’s Office, we will have brush crews outdoing patrols in the afternoon and early evening hours. Out towards Multnomah Falls, Bridal Veil, and Larch Mountain.”