Rise of the Drones

Jerk Flies Drone Over Wildfire, Disrupts Firefighting Efforts

Nope.
Not the wildfire, but a wildfire. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Not the wildfire, but a wildfire. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Perhaps it’s time we cool it with the drones. A drone owner angered officials battling a massive wildfire near Sacramento, California yesterday because the flying robot was hindering firefighting efforts.

The camera-equipped drone was recording the fire, zipping around an area where firefighting aircraft were also flying, Reuters reports. Alarmed about the possibility of a mid-air collision, firefighters contacted police to see if they knew the identity of the drone’s owner.  

Police said it turned out to be a hobbyist who was filming the drone, presumably so blogs could embed the clip and call the footage “gripping,” “stunning,” and/or “mind-blowing.”

“That drone was flying within our air space and was a hazard for our aircraft,” said a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “It essentially inhibited some of our operations going on.”

Since FAA laws regarding drone usage remains hazy, it’s unclear if the person was violating any laws. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation into the incident. How about arresting them for being a jerk, huh?

 

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