RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS/drones)

RT-130 Decorative banner. Group of photos depicting wildland firefighters performing various duties.

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This module is an overview of the utility of unmanned aircraft systems and the adverse impact of unauthorized use.
Category: Aviation
Core Component(s): Current Issues, Other Hazards & Safety Issues
Estimated Delivery Time: 30 minutes; Video Length: 5:59


    Identify the utilities and adverse impacts of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) on wildfire incidents.

    Facilitator Preparation

    Review the module and video.

    Facilitating the Discussion

    • Show the video.
    • Facilitate a discussion using the following scenario.


    Your crew is cutting direct fireline on an active fire edge within urban interface. You have two helicopters working with your crew. The helicopters are critical in cooling the edge of the fire in front of you and holding the fireline behind you. While checking the wind you see something small in the air. You think it is an unauthorized UAS.

    1. What do you do?
    2. Who do you contact?
    3. What are the priorities?
    4. If incident grounds aircraft, how will this affect your crew’s hot line construction?
    5. What if a medical emergency occurs that requires the use of a helicopter extrication?
    6. How are authorized UASs being used today on wildfires?
    7. What are the benefits of using a UAS?
    8. Are you familiar with your agency’s UAS policy/protocol?
    9. Where would you look to find it?


    Additional Video Information

    This video is also available as a download. (Size 407 MB)

    Note: For Chrome and Firefox, right click the word download and select Save Link As; For IE, right click and select Save Target As.



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