A specialized team from Menlo Park Fire Department and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office deployed drones over Redding Friday, an area badly scorched by the Carr Fire in Shasta County.
The crews has plan to fly Public Safety Drones over the area throughout the weekend to officially document parts of the 125,000 acres -- an area larger than the city of San Jose -- burned so far by the Carr Fire.
Carr Fire became the sixth most destructive fire in recorded California history after it destroyed over 1,000 homes and hundreds of other structures in Northern California.
The Menlo Park Fire Department was one of the first fire departments to adopt drone technology back in 2014. It also used the drones to document the deadly October 2017 Tubbs Fire.
The department's drones not only provide a 360 degree aerial view of the destruction, they also have thermal imaging cameras that will allow firefighters to see through smoke.
The drones will also create high resolution and interactive maps of the area, helping homeowners to locate their property. The information will also be helpful to send to residents' insurance company, officials said.
The Fire Captain said it is important to have complete information because it could speed up re-building process by allowing the city and county to prioritize how and where to begin reconstruction.
Before sending firefighters on the ground into potential danger, the drones will help fire officials develop a strategy, officials said. They will be a huge asset to 200 firefighters who arrived in Mendocino and Lake counties Thursday.
Between the Carr Fire near Redding and the Mendocino Complex Fires, there over 7,500 fire fighters working on containing these fires on the ground. Menlo Park’s drone will help from above.