In an effort to combat the increasing threat of wildfires, Portugal has brought to the fore an innovative approach – a firefighting drone capable of dousing flames from above. The pioneering technology was put through a trial run in May, extinguishing a test fire within minutes.

“We’re trying to bring robotics technology to Wildfire management. Because every opportunity we have to keep people from dying during firefighting, we need to try,” said Carlos Viegas, a mechanical engineer heading the project at the University of Coimbra’s Field Tech Lab.

The Sap drone, as it is called, meaning “ported nozzle system” in Portuguese, swoops into perilous areas that would be otherwise inaccessible for firefighters.

While Portugal and the world watch this cutting-edge development with bated breath, wildfires rage on. Canada and Chile have been particularly affected this year. Viegas stresses, “The risk of ignition and spread is there.”

How Portuguese Firefighting Drones Might Outsmart Wildfires

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