This drone is used to start prescribed fires. Watch This Drone Drop FireballsTechnology is making prescribed fires safer.

Drones have found all sorts of helpful uses from video capturing to racing, but a new drone developed by a team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln can drop fireballs from an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The fireballs don’t have a sinister use though, they’re used to start controlled fires and on Friday the team successfully ignited 26 acres of restored tall-grass prairie at the Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska.

Small balls containing an ignition liquid a dropped form a chute in the drone and a chemical reaction starts on the ground igniting a flame after a minute or two. During the test a line of flame began to emerge from the field after several minutes and the drone was able to fly closer to the flames to collect data about its burn.

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