California launches drone to aid wildfire battle

photo Cattle stand in a field as a smoke from the Rim Fire rises near Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. The giant wildfire burning at the edge of Yosemite National Park is 23 percent contained, U.S. fire officials said Wednesday.

GROVELAND, Calif. - Firefighters battling the giant wildfire burning in the Sierra Nevada added a California National Guard Predator drone to their arsenal Wednesday to give them real-time views of flames chewing through rugged forests in and around Yosemite National Park.

The MQ-1 unmanned aircraft being remotely piloted hundreds of miles away quickly alerted fire bosses to a new flare-up they otherwise wouldn't have immediately seen.

"This morning it's allowed us to see a spot fire," said Mike Wilkins, commander of forces at the Rim Fire.

The