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County Fire Getting New ‘Copter and FlameSniffer

County Fire will use three separate donations to strengthen its prevention and response efforts this fire season. On hills above Mission Canyon, $40,500 worth of sensors from company FlameSniffer will sit atop Southern California Edison towers for one year, reading small changes in carbon dioxide and temperature; any smoke or flames will alert dispatch centers in the hope of earlier evacuations. Another combined $1.6 million-$1.3 million in drought-related state funds and $300,000 from Montecito billionaire Craig McCaw ​— ​will pay for a water-dropping helicopter to be stationed in Santa Barbara, overtime costs to cover increased staffing and public outreach.

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