Home Technology High-Tech Planes, Supercomputers and Helitankers Help Fight Wildfires – The Wall Street Journal

High-Tech Planes, Supercomputers and Helitankers Help Fight Wildfires – The Wall Street Journal

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LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST, Calif.—Smoke from the Cave Fire billowed over Santa Barbara as Steve Gazdik sat in an infrared- and radar-equipped airplane flying above the 3,000-acre blaze.

With the help of a camera on the plane’s nose, Mr. Gazdik zoomed in on the fire on his laptop computer, looking for still-burning embers via infrared. He then charted the fire’s edges, matching them to geographic features via Google Earth and transmitting the resulting information to decision makers on the ground.

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