UAVs are by no means cheap, an Altair costs upward of $1 million (euro0.82 million), while small UAVs are priced up to $100,000 (euro81,760) each, and they won't replace piloted aircraft.
But they're another set of eyes for firefighters.
''The more tools you have available in your toolbox,'' said Everett Hinkley, who heads the Forest Service's Remote Sensing Applications Center in Salt Lake City, ''the better job you can do.''
On the Net:
U.S. Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center: www.FS.Fed.us
NASA Ames Research Center: www.NASA.gov/Centers/Ames