Tech by VICE

Watch Firefighters in Manchester Fight Fire with a Drone

The quadcopter provides a helpful infrared bird’s-eye view.

by Rachel Pick
Oct 14 2015, 9:00am

Photo: Twitter/@ManchesterFire

When it comes to fighting wildfires, hobby drones have caused a lot of harm, thanks to some idiots in California. A bill is even being introduced into the Senate that would ban privately-owned drones from being flown near wildfires and other natural disasters.

But firefighters in the Manchester area have figured out how to use drone technology to their advantage, using a battery-powered quadcopter to help them monitor a massive blaze in the city center.

Greater Manchester's Fire and Rescue Service has established its own Air Unit, a drone with an infrared camera that can reach heights of 425 feet, and stay aloft for 35 minutes at a time. Controlled via a tablet on the ground, the drone helped firefighters get an aerial view of the seven-story fire.

The video shows how useful drone technology can be in a disaster scenario. But please, don't fly your personal drone over a fire to get sick viral footage—it can seriously interfere with people just trying to do their jobs.