A young filmmaker’s skills with his professional drone helped Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) obtain vital information to combat a serious woodland fire in the north of the county.

Daniel Wilkinson (22) runs dwmedia from his offices in the old Steamboat Hotel in Blyth. His digital media company has been producing content for six years and during the pandemic he has been offering more packages for businesses wanting to move online, providing Wi-Fi systems for events and streaming funerals for those who couldn’t be there.

Daniel has also invested his time and money into drones and holds a Civil Aviation Authority Operational Authorisation to operate in the UK. Typically, his clients use his services to take photos and videos of buildings, transport fleets and major events but a surprise call from NFRS had him driving 50 miles north to the scene of a large woodland fire.

The fire in Kyloe Woods, near Fenwick, which covered an area of 71,000 square metres, saw around 40 firefighters at the scene. Daniel’s role was to give the command team an additional pair of eyes from a unique aerial perspective so that decisions could be made to help combat the fire.

It was a very rewarding experience to be able to help provide information directly to fire and rescue commanders, so they knew how the fire was spreading and how best to position assets.

“Drones are very responsive in situations like this and I hope to work more closely with the emergency services in the future,” said Daniel.

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