While the province won’t be following BC’s lead in using drones as part of its wildfire-fighting arsenal, there are still many uses for drones in Saskatchewan.
In BC, drones are used to fly over forest fires and allow firefighters to identify hotspots for immediate action at sunrise, as well as efficiently deploy planes and crews during critical situations.
Brent Bitter from the Technical Resource Branch says, especially in the forestry industry, drones can be useful.
“This is what the area looked like before we worked on it,” said Bitter. “And this is what the area looks like now. So if people say there might have been a cabin in that location. We can say ‘well we flew it and never saw it.’ It’s all part of the due-diligence in working with the public of forest operations.”
The province started looking into the use of drones in 2010, and began training 10 pilots in 2013. Now, there are around 50 operators for drones.