This excellent article discusses the use of UAS, satellites and lidar to fight wildfires. The Fort McMurray wildfire in Canada, imaged above with the Japanese satellite Suomi NPP burned for more than six weeks and is now the largest on record.
Lidar is being used to get a better understanding of the composition of the fuel bed.
From the article, “The primary goal in using UAS technology on wildland fires is to supply incident management teams (IMT) with real-time data products regarding fire size and growth, fire behavior, fuels, and areas of heat concentration. All these issues have to be taken into consideration in fighting wildfires today, so having the latest technology is important.”
The following video presents a powerful case for the use of UAS to fight wildfires.