The Creek Fire Incident Management Teams would like to remind the public that flying unauthorized Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS or Drones) near a wildfire is against the law. These unauthorized drones flights pose serious risks to firefighters and public safety, as well as the effectiveness of wildfire suppression operations.

Federal, state, and local wildland fire management agencies and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urge members of the public not to fly “Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAV)” or drones over or near wildfires. Unauthorized drone flights pose serious risks to firefighter and public safety and the effectiveness of wildfire suppression operations

If an unauthorized drone is detected flying over or near a wildfire, fire managers may have to ground all airtankers, helicopters, and other aerial firefighting aircraft until they can confirm that the drone has left the area and they feel confident that it won’t be coming back. This can cause wildfires to become larger and more costly and to unduly threaten lives, property, and valuable natural and cultural resources.

Wildland fire management agencies are also using a variety of communication tools to connect with drone pilots. The “If You Fly, We Can’t” safety awareness campaign is designed to keep drone pilots away from airspace used by firefighters. Additional information is available at https://www.nifc.gov/drones/index.html.