By Marcy Stamper, Methow Valley News:
Firefighters would wear GPS devices that track their location. Maps of fire boundaries would be updated in real time. And information about the risk of mudslides would be available earlier, enabling timely preventive measures.
Those are just some of the safety features that will be required if the comprehensive public-lands bill passed in Congress last month is signed into law.
The Wildfire Management Technology Advancement Act is one component of the massive lands bill. Introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) in January 2018, it provides for technology that will increase safety for firefighters and communities affected by wildfire.
The wildfire technology act would mandate various high-tech tools, some brand-new and others in existence for some time, according to a Senate report on the bill. Some aspects of the legislation would kick in right away, but others would be implemented over the next several years.
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