SEATTLE - As the dry weather sets and the wildfire season beckons, Washington state won't have an aerial drone to help combat the expected blazes.
Earlier this year, the state Department of Natural Resources considered obtaining an unmanned aircraft to test during this year's wildfire season, even discussing the possibility with the Federal Aviation Administration, which has to give approval to launch a drone.
Those plans won't materialize this summer. However, the agency's interest in using drones remains.
Wildfire officials say drones can fly in conditions dangerous to human pilots, don't get fatigued and can fly for longer.
DNR would have been one of the first non-law enforcement agencies in the state to purchase and operate a drone.