Drones are rapidly becoming popular, not to mention cheap, a good quality drone with a high quality camera doesn’t cost more than a few hundred dollars today and this has enabled almost anyone and everyone to get in on the fun. There are obvious privacy concerns here, that’s why we see ammo companies coming up with ammunition designed for shooting drones out of the sky and government agencies aren’t too fond of drones that keep interfering in their work. The latest to find fault with these gadgets is the U.S. Forest Service.
Drone operators seem to be flying their drones close to wildfires too often and one can understand why, fires make interesting visuals and capturing them in high-definition will make for a good YouTube video.
However while drone operators are busy trying to capture footage the U.S. Forest Service is actually working hard to contain the wildfires. It says that so far drones have interfered with its firefighting aircraft 13 times and has now received support for several lawmakers who demand that drones be banned from flying near wildfires.
The Wildfire and Emergency Airspace Protection Act was introduced by New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) last week, it seeks to make it illegal to fly drones which “interfere with fighting fires affecting federal property” or “responding to disasters affecting interstate or foreign commerce.”
It merits mentioning here that the bill places this ban on recreational drones, public safety workers using drones for the purpose of reconnaissance or even those being used for news coverage won’t be banned from flying near wildfires. However it remains to be see whether or not this bill is able to pass on its own.