wetlandsOUTDOORS CALENDARopinionHeadlinesPort: We need a "None of the above" option on our ballotsOUR OPINION: Kudos to UND for photo findingsVIEWPOINT: Tobacco tax hike proposals ignore economic realityLETTER: North Dakota protest response shows Cavalry mentality LETTER: Let medical marijuana work in North DakotaLAC LA BICHE, Alberta Fire ravaged Alberta will usedrones to investigate the cause of a huge blaze that has scorched the Canadian province and displaced some 88,000 people.

´╗┐Alberta flies drones to find cause of devastating wildfire in Canada

Downward wind from helicopter blades can disturb the scene, forcing the pilot to stay about 1,000 feet in the air. Adronecan capture images from 100 feet.

Thedrones use cameras outfitted with infrared, ultraviolet and traditional optical cameras to pinpoint the hottest part of the fire and trace it to its source based on time, wind and other factors. The cameras will shoot about 800 images, which are then stitched together in a process called fire mapping.

The work begins on Tuesday, coordinated with the other air traffic, including air tankers and helicopters.

Thedrones that Elevated will use are manufactured by China's DJI and sell for $1,900 to $6,500. They are roughly 1 foot wide by 2 feet across, about the same size as those hobbyists use.

The images, if successful, will zero down to a spot on the ground with about a 30 foot (9 meter) radius where the fire is believed to have started. From there, investigators will search on foot for the cause, such as a lightning strike or campfire.

"It's like Google Maps but 100 times better," Matthews said at a police roadblock south of Fort McMurray, Alberta, as smoke from the 156,000 hectare (385,000 acre) fire blackened the sky.

Thedrones use cameras outfitted with infrared, ultraviolet and traditional optical cameras to pinpoint the hottest part of the fire and trace it to its source based on time, wind and other factors. The cameras will shoot about 800 images, which are then stitched together in a process called fire mapping.

An Alberta government official confirmed it had a contract with Elevated. Hub was not immediately available for comment.

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Even so,drones pose challenges. Because their batteries last only 45 minutes, they will have to land for fresh ones several times for a fire this big, making it more difficult to precisely shoot different parts of the area, Windmueller said.

Using the more traditional method of gathering images from Men Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka Navy Nz Online helicopters, the fire's cause could be narrowed only to half an acre, a much larger area to search on the ground, said Ron Windmueller, owner ofDroneology, which supplies equipment and other services to Elevated.