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BC Wildfire Service calls out ‘extremely dangerous’ drones near Keremeos Creek Wildfire

The drones led to a shutdown of aerial firefighting efforts on Monday
Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles are restricted from flying near any wildfire due to the safety risks for the low-flying firefighting aircraft. (UBC photo)

The B.C. Wildfire Service is once again reminding people to keep their drones away from active wildfires after one was spotted near Keremeos Creek.

On Monday, Aug. 29, two separate incidents of unauthorized drone activity led to a complete shutdown of aerial firefighting efforts.

All airspace above and around wildfires is restricted to BCWS personnel and aircraft. That restriction applies to a radius of five nautical miles around the fire and an altitude of 3,000 feet above ground level near any wildfire.

The Keremeos Creek Wildfire, while no longer out of control and currently considered held, still has fires actively burning within the perimeter.

READ MORE: Keremeos Creek wildfire considered held, no longer ‘out of control’

Drones are considered “extremely dangerous” when flown near wildfires and can hamper efforts to bring them under control due to the safety concerns. The risk of of a drone colliding with a low-flying firefighting aircraft could be deadly, according to the BCWS.

This was the first time that a warning was issued for the Keremeos Creek Wildfire, however the BCWS had to issue the warning for another wildfire near Terrace earlier in August, 2022.

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