A drone flying near the wildfire in Northern California compelled helicopters to stay grounded â? as well as the California High Patrol (CHP) had not been happy about it. Â
On Weekend, it posted an all-uppercase caution to the public on Facebook: “FIRE FIGHTING PLANES CANNOT FLY IN CASE YOUR DRONE IS IN THE AIR. “
Police found and cited a 24-year-old man for flying the jingle, according to The Mercury News. Â
The pilot had been flying the particular drone in the vicinity of Petaluma Municipal Airport terminal, forcing air traffic controllers in order to ground all craft until the jingle no longer posed a danger to heli-copter blades and engines. Â
“They shouldnât be flying over one of the affected areas â? notably international airports, ” CHP officer Jonathan Sloat told Mashable in a cell phone interview.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made it illegal for drones in order to interfere with firefighting operations anywhere in the nation â? whether intentional or not. Â
These wildfires have been the deadliest in California’s history, killing a minimum of 40 people, destroying over five, 000 buildings, and causing several 100, 000 people to flee the particular rapidly moving flames. There are 11, 000 firefighters battling the blaze, and they need the assistance of planes plus helicopters to drop massive loads of fireplace retardant and survey the fire’s progress.
The CHP furthermore warns that drones shouldn’t take flight over neighborhoods have been completely burned via, leaving only empty, post-apocalyptic a lot. Â
“We donât want all of them flying over those areas possibly, ” said Sloat. There are still numerous aircraft â? from the CHP, information stations, and local power energy â? flying around the burned, ash-strewn areas, and authorities fear the collision with a plane or heli-copter engine. Â
Flying drones about Napa and Sonoma County wines country right now might be an exceptionally bad idea, but drones interfering along with firefighting aircraft is nothing brand new. In 2016 alone, the Section of the Interior reported 42 cases of drones interfering with firefighting functions. Â
If you’re in North California, please put the drones aside. Firefighters have enough to worry about. Â