top of page


Active brush fire in visual and thermal imaging

Use Case- Brush Fire

USE CASES - Brush Fires

Scenario Overview:
In this scenario, responders are faced with a significant brush fire in a rural area behind a farming residence. The fire threatens not only the field but also nearby crops, farmhouses, and equipment stored in barns. Responders must address challenges posed by the darkness of the night and the intensity of the fire, emphasizing the importance of utilizing air support to understand the fire's behavior.

Scenario Details:

Incident Location:

  • The brush fire is located in a rural area behind a farming residence.

Initial Assessment:

  • Responders received a dispatch call reporting a significant brush fire.

  • Upon arrival, they encountered a large, blazing fire along the field.

Challenges Faced:

  • The dark night and the intense brightness of the fire hinder ground units' visibility beyond the flames.

  • Ground teams cannot readily identify where traveling embers are creating new fires.

Importance of Air Support:

  • The scenario highlights the critical importance of utilizing air support to gain a better understanding of the fire's behavior and its impact on different areas.

Wind Conditions:

  • Fortunately, winds were relatively mild during this instance.

  • Acknowledge that severe winds could have significantly expanded the impact zone, posing a greater threat to nearby crops, farmhouses, and equipment stored in barns.

Response Actions:

  1. Initial Size-Up (incident commander):

    • Assess the extent of the brush fire and its proximity to crops, farmhouses, and barns.

    • Consider the potential for ember showers and spot fires.

  2. Resource Allocation (logistics chief):

    • Deploy firefighting units to establish containment lines and protect threatened structures.

    • Request air support to gain a better understanding of fire behavior.

  3. Evacuation and Shelter (emergency management):

    • Prepare for possible evacuations of farmhouses and nearby residents.

    • Establish evacuation centers and coordinate with affected individuals.

  4. Fire Suppression and Control (firefighters):

    • Use firefighting equipment and tactics to contain and suppress the fire.

    • Protect crops, farmhouses, and equipment from potential damage.

  5. Air Support Utilization (incident commander):

    • Request aerial reconnaissance to monitor the fire's behavior and detect any new hotspots.

    • Utilize aerial firefighting resources, such as water drops or fire retardant.

  6. Community Liaison (public information officer):

    • Communicate with affected residents and farmers to provide updates and safety instructions.

    • Address concerns and maintain transparency about response efforts.

This brush fire scenario emphasizes the challenges faced by responders in rural areas, especially during nighttime incidents with intense flames. The use of air support is crucial for understanding fire behavior and effectively managing threats to crops, farmhouses, and equipment. Coordination and resource allocation are key elements in mitigating such incidents.

How could AFRS fire pilots benefit this team?

FAA Collaboration
AFRS maintains a close relationship with the FAA, enabling rapid requests for Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) around emergency scenes. This preserves airspace for incident command operations.


Interagency Communication
Unlike private drone pilots, AFRS maintains a contract with MARCS.  Where MARCS allows your dispatch center and field staff to easily communicate with responding agencies like AFRS.

Rapid Response
AFRS, when in full operation, can mobilize up to four additional pilots who can arrive on the scene within approximately 30 minutes.  This is due to our strategic coverage areas and preplanning measures.

Enhanced Visual Capability
The AFRS video within this article shows clearly the benefits of having an eye in the sky.


Not only is the drone not blinded by the fire like the ground team, the drone can clearly see all embers and hot spots that are begging to create multiple fires outside the primary fire area.

Thermal Imaging
AFRS's thermal imaging technology can easily see the embers and new fires that are starting to develop as well as any human field staff that may be on scene.

Effective Public Address System
In the event this fire would have continued to spread, AFRS pilots could easily create PA speaker messages to be broadcasted from the sky.   Where this would help alert nearby owners, farm hands, and equipment operators to the approaching danger.

All-Weather Equipment
AFRS employs enterprise-level public safety drones capable of operating in various weather conditions, including rain, snow, high winds, and freezing temperatures.

Continuous Flight Time

Each AFRS pilot carries sufficient batteries and onboard mobile charging to maintain near-continuous flight. Quick battery swaps allow for a 45-second downtime between flights.

Seamless Collaboration

AFRS vehicles are equipped with redundant internet connections, utilizing Firstnet and other data providers. This ensures secure streaming of content to incident command staff and stakeholders anywhere in the world.

Documentation and Review
All drone footage is recorded for post-incident analysis. Detailed video timestamps and coordinates enable easy documentation of important milestones.

This data can prove to be valuable for reimbursement from insurance companies or for court purposes.

Training Resources
Archived videos remain accessible for years after the incident. This valuable resource allows your team to incorporate real-life scenarios into future training sessions and benefits first responders worldwide.


Thank you for considering a tax deductible donation to AFRS FD
Image by Matt C


YOU MATTER! Join AFRS and Make a Difference ​ At AFRS, we believe that many hands make light work, and your talents and wisdom can help us provide amazing emergency services to those in need. ​ We take pride in offering remote-friendly opportunities, respecting the time you dedicate to others. In many cases, you can volunteer from the comfort of your home. ​ Please note that all volunteers are subject to background checks and license verification where applicable.   Interested persons should send their resume and cover letter to ​ ​ Current Volunteer Positions Available: ​ BOARD MEMBERS Our bylaws require all board members to have active/retired experience in Fire, EMS, peace officers, military, or be actively employed by a national infrastructure organization (hospital, transportation, utilities, etc). ​ Board members should be able to: Effectively communicate Work remotely Participate in committees Promote AFRS Attend monthly meetings (remotely) ​ Board members can expect: Regular email communication Attendance at monthly online board meetings Acting in the best interest of AFRS Occasional attendance at functions or group meetings with AFRS customers/vendors Minimum term of office: 3 years The ideal candidate for this position would have prior board experience and uphold high moral standards. FIREFIGHTERS AFRS relies on Ohio certified firefighters to operate our public safety grade drones. Fire pilots should be able to: Perform regular firefighter duties.  - Waivers may be possible in some cases Work remotely without direct supervision Attend monthly meetings (remotely) Operate electronic devices and computers Hold an active Fire 1/2 certification Hold or obtain an FAA 107 pilot's license with night ops certification Have a clean driving record and valid driver's license Function in high-stress environments and dynamic situations ​ Fire pilots can expect: 12-hour shifts (0600-1800 or 1800-0600) No more than 36 hours of volunteer/work per week Exposure to elements and dynamic situations Rewarding training and experiences Life insurance and LOD benefits Disability/injury benefits Remote-friendly environment in many cases Leadership buy-in and genuine appreciation Live drone prophecy test ​ The ideal candidate for this position would be a certified firefighter who holds a FAA 107 license and NFPA 2400 training. ​ Considerations will be made to train up the right candidates to become drone pilots and obtain their NFPA 2400 training. ​ Candidates should also be passionate about their community and eager to learn new technologies that enhance public safety. ​ ​ DISPATCHERS AFRS recognizes the vital role that dispatchers play in our success. They are the "voice" that enables amazing things to happen within our organization. ​ AFRS dispatchers have the ability to work from home anywhere in the United States. ​ Dispatchers should be able to: Effectively communicate via voice, text, and email Have moderate or advanced computer skills Work alone and unsupervised without micro-management Adhere to policies and procedures Provide a stable/reliable internet connection from home Provide a stable/reliable Windows PC, Chromebook, or Android tablet Maintain a quiet background when handling telephone or radio activities Utilize web-based tools such as Google Maps, Open Maps, weather apps, chat, video conference, and others ​ Dispatchers can expect: Flexible shifts that suit your availability No more than 36 hours per week Fast-paced and rewarding environment Communicating with other government agencies on recorded lines Remote-friendly environment for anyone based in the US Leadership that truly values your contributions Making a difference in others' lives and enhancing community safety Regular training and one-on-one mentoring ​ Ideal candidates for this position include individuals passionate about serving the public and eager to learn new skills. ​ ​ SOCIAL MEDIA / VIDEO EDITING AFRS's emergency robotics capture a vast amount of data, including photos and videos that may need to be processed for marketing, fundraising, and training purposes. ​ This remote-friendly position is open to volunteers anywhere in the United States. ​ Social media volunteers should be able to: Perform post-processing of video content Interact with various social media platforms (TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) Process messages and respond professionally Review statistical data from each social media platform and relay trends to leadership Create slideshows or collections for gallery display or training purposes Resize, edit, crop, and alter images and video Attend monthly membership meetings Accomplish tasks without direct supervision ​ Social media volunteers can expect: Flexible schedules that fit your life No more than 36 hours per week Team environment Remote-friendly - Work from home ​ Interested persons should send their resume and cover letter to

Image by Andrew Gaines
bottom of page