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SRP to mount cameras on transmission lines to look for wildfires

Firefighters once relied heavily on men and women in towers to scan the backcountry for smoke.

Their reports could give crews a jump on fires before they got out of control.

Some fire lookout towers are still in use. And now Salt River Project, which has a number of transmission lines on national forest land, has launched a pilot program to mount cameras on those lines.

The solar-powered cameras have a range of about 10 miles and can capture images at night.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.