Firefighters and aviation managers are asking for the public’s help to prevent drones from interfering with wildfire suppression efforts this year.
The use of any Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), or drone, may be restricted within five miles of a wildland fire due to Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR). Even without a TFR, drones pose an extremely dangerous risk to aircraft, a release said.
“While most drone pilots know the regulations and the importance of not flying near wildfires, drone incursions continue to happen in Minnesota,” Leanne Langeberg, public information officer with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, said in the release. “One incursion is too many. We can’t risk the distraction. When you fly, we can’t.”
Minnesota’s wildland fire management agencies have reported more than 500 wildland fires throughout the state that have burned nearly 20,000 acres since the beginning of March.