If You Fly, We Can’t! Forest Service Unmanned Aircraft System PSA
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If You Fly, We Can’t! Forest Service Unmanned Aircraft System PSA

October 13, 2019


Firefighting aircraft are vital to fighting
wildfires, but not if they’re on the ground and that is where they will stay if a drone
is detected near or around a wildfire. We can’t fly if an unmanned aircraft system,
or Drone, is flying in the area. That means we can’t drop water or fire retardant or conduct
other wildfire suppression missions. And that can allow wildfires to grow larger increasing
the threat to life and property. Safety is our top priority. We have to be sure the airspace
is clear before we can fly over a wildfire. Drones fly at low altitudes the same as our
aircraft. That creates the potential for mid air collisions that could injure or kill our pilots or firefighters on the ground. It is also illegal to interfere with wildland fire suppression
operations. Avoid penalties and prosecution and help us fight wildfires keeping our communities and firefighters safe. Remember if you fly, we can’t.

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  1. Your reply still doesn't answer. An aluminum clipboard on a helicopter is not the same as a drone v bomber. Not one to downplay potential dangers, but air safety people have avoided talking about large birds around fires. What about woody debris in smoke columns? Still, I acknowledge that some fliers wouldn't be cautious when piloting a drone around a fire.

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