Friday, July 24, 2015

Drones Interfere with Firefighter Aircraft

Drones Interfere with Firefighter Aircraft ---
tags: drone

There is only one good (or really bad) reason for flying drones in the middle of nowhere just as wildfire starts. Were they really just "presumably hobbyists who are just interested in seeing what the fire looks like" or professional saboteurs intent on interfering with firefighting aircraft?

July 19, 2015 Drones Interfere with Aircraft at CA highway fire Firefighting tanker aircraft were briefly grounded because 2 of 5 drones flown "presumably hobbyists who are just interested in seeing what the fire looks like" did not leave and interfered with aircraft. The operators fled without being caught, but could they have been deliberately trying to interfere?  2015 Cajon Pass wildfire  Efforts at fire suppression were complicated by the presence of drones in the air space being used by fire-fighting helicopters and airplanes, and by a shooting at the command center. On Sunday, July 19, aerial suppression of the fire was temporarily delayed by the presence of drones flying in the vicinity. Three of the five drones detected in the area left the scene, but two others interfered with the fire fighting operation. After a delay, the fire fighting operation resumed. On Monday, July 20, a US Forest Service officer fired his weapon outside the headquarters of the fire fighting effort, after a man allegedly became uncooperative and tried to flee, dragging the officer with his car. The officer fired several rounds into the vehicle, but there were no injuries

Drones ground helicopters fighting fire that burned across ... Ars Technica Drones ground helicopters fighting fire that burned across CA highway. Amateur drone pilots hoping for a cool shot are imperiling firefighting ... In an incident overview, the US Forest Service wrote that "An Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS or drone) halted tanker operations for about 25 minutes on Friday afternoon, but operations soon resumed.” CNN reports that there were actually five drones in the airspace above the fire, according to a San Bernardino County Fire spokesperson they spoke to.
Eric Sherwin of the San Bernardino County Fire Department told CNN, "Fortunately, there were no injuries or fatalities to report, but the 15 to 20 minutes that those helicopters were grounded meant that 15 to 20 minutes were lost that could have led to another water drop cycle, and that would have created a much safer environment and we would not have seen as many citizens running for their lives.” Authorities were not able to catch any of the drone pilots

Attack on the drones: Legislation could allow California firefighters to take them down
Los Angeles Times‎ - 3 days agoThe intrusion of drones into the area caused fire officials to suspend drops of water and fire ...

California Firefighters Forced To Call Off Missions After Drone Interference
NPR‎ - We don't really know specifically whose drones they are. One of the interesting things about drones is, there's no real way to know who's the owner and who is operating it from the ground. What we do know is that they're presumably hobbyists who are just interested in seeing what the fire looks like.

California bill allows firefighters to ground pesky drones
Engadget‎ - 3 days agoMore news for drone fire california

Consumer drones interfere with CA firefighting efforts - PBS PBS5 days ago - Consumer drones interfere with CA firefighting efforts ... When a fire that started in the hills northeast of Los Angeles spread to Interstate 15 ...

Drones visit California wildfire, angering firefighters - CNN ... CNN6 days ago - Above spectacular wildfire on freeway rises new scourge: drones ... from the Pines Fire burn on Saturday, July 18, in Wrightwood, California.

Chasing Video With Drones, Hobbyists Imperil California ...
The New York Times5 days ago - LOS ANGELES — The video footage, captured by a tiny drone, ... BrushFire Jumps Southern California Freeway, Burning Cars JULY 17, 2015 ...

Drones hindered firefighting efforts in California - Engadget Engadget5 days ago - Because a handful of drone owners thought it would be a great idea to fly their ... California Fire Captain Richard Cordova told The Hollywood ...