DNR Reminds People to Not Fly Drones Near Wildfires
With dry weather, and wildfires happening in Canada, Northern Minnesota is at an increased risk for wildfires. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to remind folks to not fly their drones if a wildfire were to occur.
“Drones and fires do not mix,” says DNR Assistant Wildfire Aviation Supervisor Matt Woodwick. “If we see a drone over a wildfire, we have to land our firefighting aircraft until we get the drone out of there—and that costs us precious time in suppressing the wildfire.”
Even if a small drone makes contact with a firefighting aircraft, it could cause the aircraft to go down. Because drones and firefighting aircrafts fly at roughly the same altitude, it can be dangerous and cause serious problems.
Flying drones over or near a wildfire is also illegal; federal law prohibits interfering with firefighting operations, and that includes flying a drone over a wildfire.
For more information about drones and wildfires, log onto the National Interagency Fire Center at www.nifc.gov.