AP Photo / Jae C. Hong
GROVELAND, Calif. (AP) - The California National Guard is flying a drone above the huge wildfire on the northern edge of Yosemite National Park in an effort to get an early bead on spot blazes.
Incident commander Mike Wilkins said Wednesday that the unmanned MQ-1 aircraft had allowed fire officials to spot a new fire they would not have seen from the ground.
A similar unmanned NASA aircraft has been used for fire surveys in past years.
The Rim Fire has burned through 293 square miles of the Sierra Nevada, destroyed 111 structures and threatened giant sequoias.
Fire officials say they expect full containment in three weeks but that it will burn for much longer than that.
The fire remains about two miles from Tuolumne City. Firefighters are expecting cooler temperatures Wednesday.