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  U.S. Forest Service: Firefighter Died in California Wildfire

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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

Eight Firefighters Suffer Heat Injuries in CA Route Fire

Eight Firefighters Suffer Heat Injuries in CA Route Fire

CASTAIC, Calif. (AP) — California wildfires erupted Wednesday in rural areas, racing through bone-dry brush and prompting evacuations as the state sweltered under a heat wave that could last through Labor Day. Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency with...

Sheriff: Two Dead in Northern CA Wildfire

Sheriff: Two Dead in Northern CA Wildfire

WEED, Calif. (AP) — Two people have died in a blaze that ripped through a Northern California town, said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue. LaRue shared the news of the fatalities Sunday afternoon during a community meeting held at an elementary school north of...