As it seeks to preserve its growing forests, both again pests and fires, Turkey taps into new technology. A new set of high-technology drones, which can create 3D models of disaster sites, are being used to extinguish forest fires effectively in northwestern Turkey. The Regional Directorate of Forestry in Bursa province purchased the drones in cooperation with Bursa Technical University. The drones can also track pests and protect the flora and fauna.
For the past two years, the directorate has allocated TL 1 million (around $135,000) for the drones, which successfully killed pests that had spread to a large part of the forested area between the Inegöl district of Bursa and the Domaniç district of western Kütahya province.
The first high-tech drone purchased in 2019 was used in six forest fires in Bursa, Istanbul, Izmir and Çanakkale provinces in the consequent year. Thanks to the L1 camera attached to the new drone, 3D maps can be captured and transferred to the fire operations center.
The directorate’s head, Yalçın Akın, told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Friday that the devices have made an important contribution to the live monitoring of fires and determining extinguishing strategies. “We use it for tracking and determining the coordinates of living and nonliving moving objects in our forests, day and night,” Akin said, adding that they are also useful in preventing illegal mining activities and felling of trees. He said to be able to use the drone technology, 110 technical personnel were trained both theoretically and practically in the field and they obtained a commercial drone pilot certificate. “We have 14 drones, three of which are industrial. Two of them have thermal cameras and two of them have multispectral cameras,” he added.