Crews watch over Castle Rock star lighting

9NEWS at 10 p.m. 11/19/16.

CASTLE ROCK - Winter has finally arrived in Castle Rock. And everyone, even a sweater-clad dog roaming the crowd, has their own perspective. 

“You hear a lot of Christmas songs and it's kind of annoying,” chuckles a young woman with her friend.

No matter the annoyances or bliss, they can all agree on the main attraction – the lighting of the star followed by the fireworks show.

“It brings happiness to everybody,” said Mike Baker in the crowd of thousands.

If you're looking for a really different point of view, try climbing the steep graded, one-lane path that leads to the top of the rock. And on top of that? A drone equipped with HD video and infrared cameras. Its job? Protect the crowd from firework fire fall. Red dots indicate warm rocks on the thermal camera. An ember from a firework would show as a bright white.

Hot ember detection is one of many uses for the new tool.

“Document accident scenes, fire scenes, search and rescue capability,” said Castle Rock Fire Prevention Officer Rick Young.

He is also the pilot for the drone that is being used more and more frequently by the department.

“There isn't a week that goes by that we're not actually flying some kind of mission to document something," he said. 

More safety is a good thing.

“The winds cooperated tonight and so did the temperatures. It was a beautiful day,” said Young. It was also a beautiful night - from any point of view.

And don't worry if you couldn't make it Saturday. There will be festive events under the shining star on Saturdays through the rest of the holiday season.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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