Drones helping firefighters in their battle against forest fires

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- More than 140 firefighters are battling the Maroon Fire near Flagstaff are using drones to help them, and it's the first time ever for the National Forest Service to use the technology in the battle against a blaze.

Lightning sparked the fire east of Flagstaff, filling the air with smoke and burning thousands of acres of brush in the process, but it's also giving firefighters the chance to utilize some new unmanned aircraft system, or drone technology. The National Forest Service has been testing drones over the past two years or so, and for the Maroon Fire, the drone is helping to ignite defensive fires to help keep the main fire contained. The agency hopes the expanded use of the technology can keep firefighters out of harm's way.

VIDEO: FOX 10's Matt Galka reports.