HELPING HANDS: Operation McLeod's Sean Gorman, Andre Duyker, Peta-Maree Grant, Chris Rowe, Robin Rowe, Deborah Fenton and John Bettley.
HELPING HANDS: Operation McLeod's Sean Gorman, Andre Duyker, Peta-Maree Grant, Chris Rowe, Robin Rowe, Deborah Fenton and John Bettley.

Drone technology gives special insight into bushfire damage

TEAM Rubicon volunteers are hard at work clearing fire wreckage at Deepwater.

All 25 of the veteran-led organisation's Operation McLeod volunteers have been in motion for the past week.

An on-ground spokesman said the team was working from the Wartburg Rural Fire Station and would stay one more week, potentially returning after 6-8 weeks to continue repairing the "widespread damage".

The spokesman said tasks involved conducting property damage assessments, fencing repairs, debris removal, chainsaw operations and sifting for jewellery and personal mementos.

He said Operation McLeod was helped by the use of advanced drone technology providing information on infrastructure affected by the fires.

"We produce products that we provide to homeowners that can simplify insurance claims," the spokesman said.

"We can also provide this, with the property owners' permission, to local governments and other agencies that enable access to funding to assist with the recovery efforts."

He said the technology also helped long-term preparedness by surveying and mapping fire trails and fire breaks to determine their effectiveness.

"The big advantage in this is the speed that we can conduct damage assessments which can then be used to establish what equipment, personnel and time is required to carry out repairs, allowing volunteers to complete their job sooner and move on to other properties," he said.

He said these assessments were given to local authorities to help them in their efforts.

This is the first time Team Rubicon Australia has used the drone technology in a domestic operation.

It was previously used in Sulawesi, Indonesia, following the September tsunami that killed more than 2000 people.

Team Rubicon Australia is a non-profit organisation and relies on donations.

Support Operation McLeod at Deepwater at classy.org/campaign/op-mcleod/c216379.