VANCOUVER – Drones are being used to assess the aftermath of the worst fire season on record in British Columbia.
Nicolas Coops, professor in forest resources management at the University of B.C., says drones will help assess the dead timber’s condition and how much of the forest can be salvaged.
This year’s fires burned over 12,000 square kilometres, destroyed homes and other buildings and forced thousands of residents to escape.
Before the use of drones, experts would rely on satellite or aerial images, but UBC masters student Alex Graham says drones now allow each tree to be analyzed for damage.
The project will also look at using drones for other applications such as monitoring the regeneration of trees after harvesting and gauging tree health.
Coops, who is also the Canada research chair in remote sensing, says drones are increasingly used to observe the effect, severity and general patterns of fires.
“This information can be all put together to really understand the fire regime we have and its impact on the forest industry.”