By Lindsay R. Mohlere

Don’t look now, but government actually works. Despite the horrid bickering on both sides of the aisle and all the other issues, a rare bipartisan bill was signed into law by President Trump on March 20.

Wildfire Technology

Sponsored in part by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Wildfire Technology Advancement Act includes several new mandates for crews fighting wildfires.

“It will provide new technology and training tools to empower the Forest Service to help our communities and our firefighters… Real-time fire mapping, more drone technology to give us real-time information about the fires, using NASA satellite information to help us plan post-fires, and giving us more smoke forecasting information to better help our communities and deal with those who are impacted by heavy smoke,” Cantwell said.

According to Bill Gabbert, a former firefighter and now editor of the website Wildfire Today, the new law is “The Holy Grail” of wildland firefighting. “It will make it possible for firefighters to know where the fire is in real time and where the firefighters are in real time.”…

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