Rogue UAV Grounds Canadian Aerial Firefighting Operation

On 17 August an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) forced Canadian firefighters to stop all air operations over wildfires on the Testalinden Creek and Wilson’s Mountain Road area of British Columbia (BC).

The eight helicopters and five fixed-wing aircraft operating in a fire suppression role were grounded for five hours before air operations were able to restart..

Flight restrictions are immediately implemented in accordance with Canadian Air Regulations when a wildfire is being fought. According to the BC Wildfire Service “the area restricted is within a radius of five nautical miles around the fire and to an altitude of 3,000 feet above ground level. The operation of any aircraft not associated with suppression activities, including UAVs, within this area is illegal.”

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigated the incident.

By Andrew Drwiega