MERLIN, Ore. — Infrared equipment is being used by a special task force near Grants Pass to help fight the Klondike and Taylor creek fires.
Technical Sergeant for the Washington Air National Guard, Jimmy Takach, says it's a huge safety factor for these guys. Jimmy is the eyes and ears for his team—or as he calls them, his brothers.
Aircraft will fly over the fire crews. The aircraft will send data down to the technical team’s tablet. This data can show fire crews where the fire line was and where it is now. This information can be updated in minutes. Before this information would only be updated once or twice a day.
The other equipment these technical crews use are infrared devices. The devices help fire crews see hot spots on the ground that aren’t visible by the naked eye.
Jimmy says he has discovered two or three spot fires that they didn't know were there, and they were able to talk to the firefighters on the ground and tell them where to go to put out the fire spot.
With these real-time updates, firefighters can identify fire spots sooner and stop them from spreading.