Friday, September 01, 2017

Drones and Wildfires Don’t Mix

(Gillette, Wyo.) Flying drones over wildfires is a bad idea, period. Not only is it illegal, but according to the Campbell County Fire Department, it can potentially cause serious injury or death to firefighter.

Drones, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), are a popular commodity. They provide a unique perspective to capture a breathtaking photo or provide video to secluded areas. But giving in to the temptation to fly a drone near wildfires could interfere with helicopters, air tankers, or other firefighting aircraft that fire fighters use to fight fires.

Firefighting aircraft usually fly between 200 feet and ground level when extinguishing fires, making a potential collision with a drone a high possibility.

A collision with a drone, which are nearly impossible to see from a pilots perspective, could result in a fatal accident.

Most of the time, firefighting aircraft are grounded due to safety concerns should a drone be spotted in the vicinity of a wildfire, which can prolong firefighting operations.

Without the ability to monitor wildfires from the air, drop fire retardants or drop water on the fires, those fires could potentially rage out of control.

Out of control fires pose a greater threat to homes, residents, and fire fighters.

Flying a drone near wild fires is illegal, carries a fine of $1,000 and or imprisonment up to 12 months, according to U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 43 CFR 9212.1(f).

Original article can be found here ➤

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