Oklahoma Forestry Officials Give Warning to Drone Operators

Officials say three incidents have already occurred in past months

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Forestry Services officials say the operators of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, should avoid flying near or over wildfires.

State Forester Georg Geissler says aircraft used to drop water and fire retardants must divert from the fire when drones are detected in the area. The forestry service says there have been three instances in the past five months of drones at wildfires.

The firefighting aircraft sometimes flies lower than 200 feet from the ground, while drones can fly up to 400 feet. This creates the potential of a plane colliding with a drone, forcing the aircraft to divert away from the fire.

See also  Lawsuits Seeks Over $1B from Pacific Power Over Wildfires

Officials say there were dozens of instances during the 2015 fire season in the western U.S. where tankers were diverted from fires because of drones.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Topics

Officials say three incidents have already occurred in past months OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Forestry Services officials say the operators of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, should avoid flying near or over wildfires. State Forester Georg Geissler says aircraft used to drop water and fire retardants must divert from the fire when […]

Get The Wildland Firefighter Newsletter

Related Articles

Fire Near Neah Bay (WA) Prompts Evacuations, School Closures

Fire Near Neah Bay (WA) Prompts Evacuations, School Closures

NEAH BAY, Wash. (AP) — A wildfire at the far northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula prompted more than 100 people to evacuate neighborhoods in Neah Bay on Thursday, and nearby schools have closed. The fire is burning on the remote Makah Indian reservation near...

Wildfire Burns Part of Southern OH Wayne National Forest

Wildfire Burns Part of Southern OH Wayne National Forest

PEDRO, Ohio (AP) — Officials say a 1,300-acre wildfire in Wayne National Forest in far southern Ohio began with multiple small wildfires earlier this week. A statement Thursday from Wayne National Forest said firefighters were working to contain the blaze and urged...