back to article Fire fighters call for no-drone zone around bushfires

Australia faces another serious bush fire season and authorities have warned that fire-fighting helicopters may have to be grounded if drone-owners can't resist the temptation to fly over fire-grounds. ABC News is reporting that the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has asked amateur drone operators to stay away from fires. Last …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Selfish and stupid

    Are human beings becoming increasingly stupid and selfish or is it just being reported more often?

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Selfish and stupid

      I think a bit of both.

      It's likely utter thoughtlessness in its purest form: "oh, I didn't think of that"

  2. Number6

    “it's almost impossible for a fire-fighting pilot to see a drone in the air”.

    That spoils my idea, which would be to give authorised choppers the right to shoot down the drones. Although it still has merits as a secondary solution - fly your drone in the declared exclusion zone and you may never see it in one piece again.

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      radio jamming maybe?

  3. big_D Silver badge


    Maybe they should just commandeer those drones and use them for observation. They then know where they are and they are not putting additional pilots at risk.

    I would have thought that bush fires would be an ideal application for large drones, swap those bombs and missiles out for a large tank and the pilot stays on the ground.

    That said, the minutae of the up and down draughts probably have to be felt in order to fly safely through the fire, I would imagine that drones probably aren't advanced enought yet.

    1. Lyle Dietz

      Re: Commandeer

      You don't need to commandeer them if you have your own.

      I wouldn't worry too much about keeping the drone safe, if it crashes you're down a few thousand bucks, which is better than having barbecued pilots and losing a few hundred thousand dollars.

      The question on my mind is can you effectively water-bomb fires from a height where you are safe from drone-strikes.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Commandeer

        My understanding is, you have to fly very low, otherwise the water spreads too far or vaporises, before it reaches the fire and it doesn't do any good.

      2. big_D Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Commandeer

        The other point is, if you commandeer drones that are flying illegally and they crash and burn, you haven't lost any capital, it is the owner's fault for flying illegally....

    2. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      Re: Commandeer

      "Maybe they should just commandeer those drones and use them for observation. "

      In principle that's not a bad idea, but in practice I would have thought your average Rural Fire Service firefighter in the middle of a bushfire has better things to do (like stay alive and protect life and property) than firing up the ol' Acer laptop and trying to hack CSI-style into some inconsiderate person's drone.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Roadcrew

    Yup, that came over the ABC wireless a while ago...

    ... and then the sirens went off - the local CFA volunteers scrambled a couple of engines in a minute or three. One engine slowed to pick up a neighbour who was struggling into his gear by the kerb, which brings it all home.

    You can understand why the firies would not want some twit with a Parrot thing flying it in people's faces.

    But I suspect that most of these drones (80%?) actually sold are those tiny short range Hubsan-or-similar $40 jobs that cannot do a whole bunch of physical harm.

    They weigh about 30gm, but could clearly be a distraction.

    What would be seriously sad would be a journo with a big camera rig in the air, and who's to say that won't happen soon?


    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably also endangered by 3D printed guns too.

    It's a law of nature: If it's new, some official must bang on about banning it.

    Next they'll want signs in petrol stations telling you not to use mobile phones....

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