(KRON) — Firefighters on the ground in Santa Clara County will soon be getting some help from above, according to a statement from Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
Santa Clara County’s Central Fire District will be receiving as many as 14 drone systems to fight wildland fires. The referral for the decision was authored by Supervisors Chavez and Otto Lee, and the decision was approved unanimously at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.
The District is estimating that one-time setup fees for the Aerial Fire Detection Program would cost between $106,000 and $206,000. The total annual costs are estimated to be between $13,700 and $70,000.
Drones can help keep our firefighters and other public safety officers safe while fighting fires because drone operators can monitor specific areas to make sure they are safe for firefighters and other public safety officers to enter.Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez
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Two other recommendations presented to the board will be considered on Dec. 6. The first recommendation is a one-time investment of $500,000 for additional staff training on fire prevention tools. The second includes $800,000 per year to hire additional seasonal staff. The additional staff would complete fire prevention work such as clearing flammable fuels from forest floors.