By Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The use of civilian drones near Nakusp has caused some problems for those fighting wildfires.
Although the use of drones near a wildfire is strictly prohibited and illegal, it may not be widely known. People operating unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) on Saturday, July 10 near the Kimbol Lake fire — 10 kilometres east of Nakusp — forced BC Wildfire Service staff to temporarily halt air operations.
“This situation resulted in a helicopter being grounded,” noted a Southeast Fire Centre release on Tuesday.
“The presence of drones near an active wildfire can slow down, or completely shut down aerial firefighting efforts, due to safety concerns. If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft, the consequences could be deadly.”
Under Canadian Aviation Regulations, all wildfires are automatically considered to be “flight restricted,” which includes a radius of five nautical miles around the fire and an altitude of 3,000 feet above ground level.
Anyone caught operating a drone that interferes with fire control could be fined up to $100,000, or jailed for up to one year, or both.
“This fire is producing smoke that may be visible from Nakusp and surrounding areas, as well as to motorists traveling on Highway 6 and Highway 23 in the area,” the Southeast release explained.
This item is reprinted with permission from the Nelson, BC, Nelson Daily. For the complete article, click HERE
If you wish to comment on this story, click HERE for the Discussion Board at TheRegional.com/AlbertaChat.com