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  Mad River Hotshots 2018

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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

OR Firefighter Was Killed by Green, Live Tree

OR Firefighter Was Killed by Green, Live Tree

Vickie Aldous - Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore. Oct. 28—Firefighter Logan Taylor was killed this summer at the Rum Creek Fire site by a green, live tree that may have been weakened by a past fire — a warning that forests have more hidden dangers in today's era of...

When Extreme is the New Normal

When Extreme is the New Normal

Wildland firefighting is one of the most dangerous and demanding professions in the world. Firefighters battle grueling, life-threatening situations and go where most people would never dare to go. As fires become more extreme, it’s essential that the equipment that...

Global Warming and Extreme Forest Fires

Global Warming and Extreme Forest Fires

Wildfires are the biggest emerging threat to our communities and ecosystems in North America and around the world. Wildfire seasons are burning longer and hotter, affecting more and more people while interface fires are becoming common and more homes are located in...