“For the first time ever, we’re going to use our drones,” LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said at a news conference on Thursday.
Shortly afterwards, a firefighter, in his shirtsleeves, launched one of two quadcopters into the air. From the ground, he flew it over the scar of the Skirball fire, which destroyed at least six mansions in the ritzy Bel Air area. Using on-board cameras, he surveyed the damaged property, and got an precise view of the path of the fire. A second drone carried an infrared camera to highlight remaining hotspots, which firefighters could then track down and finish off.