Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is the use of drone technology to combat wildfires.

Drones are helping predict how wildfires might spread, said Luke Dormehl at Digital Trends​. It's a well-timed development in the wake of California's "most devastating wildfire season on record." Flight Evolved, a California startup, believes multirotor drones equipped with lidar-laser surveying technology might be the answer. Previously used to create 3D images for utility companies mapping routes for power lines, these drones, Flight Evolved says, could be used to distinguish fire hazards.

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Using drone-mounted lidar detectors, the company generates "detailed maps of the scenery and then uses forecasting and modeling techniques to predict how wildfires are likely to spread." Flight Evolved says it "can gather deep data insights" that could help predict how a fire, once started, will evolve, and identify vegetation in its path that could be removed to prevent it from spreading.