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11Dec 2017

FAA warns against flying drones near California wildfires

FAA warns against flying drones near California wildfires

The Federal Aviation Administration is reiterating a warning to drone operators to not fly their drones near the wildfires, doing so will result in hefty fines. California is no stranger to the dangers drones present to wildfire fighting efforts.

Ian Gregor, a public affairs manager for the FAA, said on Sunday that many temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) have been established around the various Southern California wildfires.

Wildfires have been causing devastation across Southern California for the past week. The largest of which is the Thomas Fire, which was raging in Ventura County and has scorched 173,000 acres (or 270 square-miles).

The TFRs prohibit all aircraft, including manned aircraft and drones, that are not involved in the firefighting efforts. Anyone who fails to follow the flight restrictions may face steep fines.

"Any drone pilot who recklessly interferes with firefighting or other emergency response operations can face civil penalties (fines) from the FAA of up to $20,000 per violation," he said.

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