UAVs Join in Search for Missing California Firefighter

Crews have enlisted the help of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the search for a missing man in Los Padres National Forest in central California.

The Pasadena Star-News reports that during a camping trip, the 36-year-old firefighter went missing after following his dog into the woods. The search and rescue operation has included 40 to 50 people, some plagued by dehydration and snakebites.

In addition to hiking and scouring the windy, hot and boulder-ridden area for two days, crews brought in camera-equipped UAVs – two from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and one from AeroVironment Inc.

The FAA reportedly gave the go-ahead, through an emergency certificate, for the Sheriff’s Department to use the UAVs. The University of Alaska at Fairbanks monitored the other vehicle, dubbed the “Puma.”

The full Pasadena Star-News report can be found here.


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