Drones grounding air tankers and helicopters that were fighting wildfires in British Columbia. The government is planning to toughen up on drone regulations related to wildfires since this appeared to be a problem this summer.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Mike Morris, has announced that legislative amendments to the Wildfire Act will be initiated next spring."Our message is simple. If your drone is in the sky above an active wildfire, you are grounding firefighting aircrafts, putting lives at risk and may cause the fire to spread," Morris said.
Besides an information campaign that the province is planning, targeting buyers within stores selling drones, is also reaching out to the federal government to make serious improvements on the regulations on privacy and the enforcement of the registration of drones and certification of people operating them.
If you are flying a drone that weighs under 35 kilograms you don't need an license nor a permit but you have to follow the Transport Canada Safety Guidelines, which obviously include not to be anywhere near zones where could interfere with first responders.
Maximum fine for an infraction is $25,000 for now, and you could spend 18 months is jail. Tickets for violations go around $230, but penalties for interfering with wildfires responders can go up to $5,000, six months in jail, and even 10,000 for administrative penalties.