(TNS) — CREEDE, Colo. — Few places in the state are as mountainous and rugged as Mineral County.
The terrain in the county just west of the San Luis Valley is an alluring destination for hikers, hunters, snowmobilers and backcountry skiers.
But those mountains also can make for difficult search and rescue missions, especially if those mountains are covered in deep snow.
To help find the missing, the county’s emergency management office recently received a drone to get to those places where an all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile or even a man on foot can’t access.
“Our vision is we’re going to be utilizing it for areas we don’t want to put people in,” said Terry Wetherill, the county’s emergency manager and search and rescue coordinator.
Wetherill cited instances where avalanche conditions were prevalent or cliff sides that might require search teams to utilize ropes.
In addition to lessening the danger faced by rescuers, the drone also can cut down the time needed to track down the missing.
“Even in a mile or two radius, it takes a lot of time for people,” he said. “There’s going to be some big savings in safety and time.”
Wetherill just returned from Denver, where he purchased an infrared camera for the drone

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