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U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake is backing a measure aimed at further testing of so-called drone aircraft for tracking wildfires.

Unmanned aircraft may be used to monitor wildfires such as the recent Yarnell Hill Fire.

The Arizona Republican and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., last month introduced an amendment to a funding bill that would have required the Federal Aviation Administration to add two more test sites for unmanned aircraft in states that have had large wildfires and significant property damage.

The FAA is scheduled to select six sites for unmanned aircraft testing by the end of this year. Arizona and Colorado are among 25 applicants from 24 states to host the testing. Arizona hopes to test unmanned aircraft near Yuma, Benson and Prescott and generate jobs and revenue for the state.

The Bennet-Flake amendment to an appropriations bill for transportation and housing failed on the Senate floor Thursday and its fate is uncertain, said Melanie Hinton, a spokeswoman for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International in Washington.

Congress started a five-week recess today.

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