BLM: Stop flying your drone by wildfires


John Valenzuela/The Sun via AP

A wildfire burns south of Barton Flats in the San Bernardino, Calif., Mountains on Thursday, June 18, 2015. The wildfire required the evacuation of almost 200 campers, most of them children, from camping sites in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Friday, June 26, 2015|4:50 p.m.

“Be smart. Be safe. Stay away.”

And do not fly your drone near a wildfire.

That’s the core message of a 30-second civil service announcement posted by the Nevada Bureau of Land Management on YouTube yesterday.

Apart from being prohibited, flying a drone near a wildfire can likewise be a serious risk for firemens if the unmanned airplane gets caught in a helicopter rotor or hit an air-tanker. Lots of emergency situation airplane run at low levels during wildfires.

“No drone flight or photo or video deserves a life,” warns the video, which was produced by the National Interagency Fire Center on behalf of airborne firefighters.

In current days, the National Interagency Fire Center reported three near-misses with drones as authorities worked to contain two California fires near San Bernardino, stated Jessica Gardetto, a spokesperson for the organization. When a drone is reported, she stated, officials need to suspend all air traffic in the area. Three firefighting aircraft were diverted from the Lake Fire in the San Bernardino Mountains when a drone was spotted flying in the response location, the Los Angeles Times reported. The failed objective cost between $10,000 and $15,000.

“It really prevents fire operations when people are flying them close by,” Geradetto said. “Fire can grow quite a bit in an hour.”

Many wildfires prompt short-term air travel limitations, making the flight of unmanned airplane prohibited in designated airspace around them.

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