Menlo Park Fire Drone Team deployed to Butte County to provided aerial damage assessment

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on November 18, 2018

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The Menlo Park Fire Protection Districts UAS/Drone Team is working for the Butte County Sheriffs Department along with personnel from Alameda and Contra Costa Counties Sheriffs’ Departments and the Union City and San Francisco Police Departments to provide aerial damage assessment mapping for the City of Paradise, Migalia and other areas of Butte County.

On Friday, the District’s eight-member Drone Team concentrated on theCity of Paradise. .

Today (November 18), the eight-member Menlo UAS/Drone Team is capturing aerial imagery and damage assessments for the community of Migalia.

“The guys know that this one hits close to home for me,” said Menlo Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman.”One of our Engine crews out on a Strike Team already sent me the street view of my parents’ destroyed former home (both passed away several years ago). It felt like getting punched in the stomach when I saw it, but then you immediately think about everyone else who lost so much more, including their lives.

“Neither Migalia nor Paradise were ever my home, but my parents loved living there after they left the Bay Area, and it was always so relaxing to visit them, minus my normal punch list of small repairs and maintenance items that always seemed to be waiting for me. Like so many people who cashed out their Bay Area homes, they found a beautiful community, good friends, and a much quieter pace of life in retirement. No one could have ever imagined it would turn into hell on earth.”

In a statement about how people can help survivors, the American Red Cross reminded potential donors that while  people are inclined to give items like clothes, shoes, food and household items, the reality is cash donations are best.

You can help people affected by the California wildfires by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word CAWILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

Photos courtesy of Menlo Fire; top shows Menlo Fire UAS/Drone Team Members Captain Jason Martin, Engineer Kevin White and UAS Intern Jack McCandles fly over the devastated City of Paradise on Friday

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