KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Firefighters use GPS for fire mapping. Firefighters can figure out when to evacuate people by using fire mapping. Before GPS technology firefighters relied on maps and landmarks to determine how much a fire has spread.
Now, with larger fires they can determine the damage of a fire and figure out the most efficient way to put out the blaze. GPS computers measure the land between tracking points.
Lt. Aaron Bibe of Benton County Fire District #1 says for the recent Van Sycle fire in Walla Walla "we used a helicopter to fly the perimeter of the fire and a GPS and were able to calculate the acreage from the information we got from the GPS."
By pin-pointing the exact location of fires, firefighters can see exactly how fast they are spreading and get people who are in danger, out.