Drones: The New Rangers

From an early age, Luis fantasized about spending time in the forest, taking care of the pines, the mountains … His great illusion was to be a ranger. Luis grew up and little by little his dream was forgotten. He graduated in Architecture, and never imagined that life was going to return years later the possibility of making his childhood dream come true.
Fire, the great ecological threat.


Forest fires are undoubtedly one of the greatest ecological threats in our country. Every summer we attend the cruel spectacle of seeing hectares and hectares of our forests burn without seeming to stop this tragedy.

In recent years, forest fires have grown in number and devastation. The number of claims has increased by 11.57% compared to the average of the last decade. In 2018, for example, 7,143 fires were declared in Spain, with a balance of about 30,000 hectares devastated by the llamas. And the causes of this increase are several. On the one hand, climate change is raising temperatures and causing long periods of drought, which makes our forests increasingly sick and stressed. On the other hand, the progressive abandonment of the rural environment has contributed to the fact that the work of cleaning the forests that was done in the past has been neglected.

An Ally From Heaven

Telefónica has always had among its values ​​a clear commitment to the environment and the fulfilment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. There are numerous projects developed to try to contribute their grain of sand to the protection of the environment. As a result of this sensitivity, the idea of ​​developing a pilot project that can contribute to the prevention of forest fires and provide emergency services with an innovative technological tool emerges. And that’s how the Fire Drones project was born. A project that also directly impacts on the achievement of SDG 11 -cities and sustainable communities-, through the reduction of losses caused by disasters.

Technology At The Service Of The Environment

Spain is the country in Europe most affected by forest fires. It is no accident that our country has one of the best fire prevention and firefighting services in the world.

Carlos Novillo is the Director of the Madrid 112 Security and Emergency Agency: “The fundamental thing in the action against forest fires is to have a comprehensive system of early attention. Our entire device is coordinated here at the 112 Center of the Community of Madrid. We have the entire autonomous community served with watchtowers so that the visual basin affects 98% of the territory. Any column of smoke that arises in the Community of Madrid, either sighted by a watchtower or by any citizen, causes the first alarm and the launch of means of extinction, not only terrestrial but aerial, to be able to stop the fire in its first moments, which is when we have the ability to control fires. That leads us to have a 92% success, that is, that most of the fires that occur in our territory remain in less than one hectare ».

Emergency services have received with great anticipation the arrival of drone technology. Once this development is commercialized, we may see even greater success rates in containing forest fires. Carlos Novillo does not hesitate to embrace this technology:

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