The French government has a daunting task ahead. The fire at Notre Dame de Paris destroyed its roof and spire and damaged a 62-foot stained glass window along with one of the world’s largest pipe organs. Priceless stonework was likely weakened by the extreme heat. Repairs will be arduous and expensive.
Still, the damage might have been much worse, if not for the drones Paris firefighters borrowed from the culture and interior ministries. (The fire brigade does not yet have its own drones capable of working at sufficient heights.)
Firefighters used two commercial models made by the Chinese manufacturer DJI—the Mavic Pro and Matrice M210—both of which feature thermal cameras. These were used to track how the fire was spreading and trace where the flames may have originated. In turn, as the French newspaper Libération reports, the images were used to work out the