Do you have a drone? Do you fly unmanned objects? Here’s what you need to know, with information pulled from BC’s Ministry of Forest and the federal government’s Transport Canada (referenced below).
An update on the Lizard Lake fire is at the bottom of this article.
– Britt Santowski, SPN
If your aircraft weighs less than 35 kg and is used for recreational purposes, you don’t need permission to fly, but please read and follow Transport Canada’s safety guidelines.
The Basic Facts[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]Help our firefighters and keep the skies clear over BCWildfires.
- The presence of drones near an active wildfire can slow down or completely shut down aerial firefighting efforts due to safety concerns.
- If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft, the consequences could be deadly.
- Transport Canada and the BC Wildfire Service explicitly prohibit the use of drones of any size near a wildfire.
- Under Transport Canada regulations, fines of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail are possible.
Think safety first
More and more people are using unmanned aircraft for work or pleasure. Transport Canada regulates their use to keep the public and our airspace safe.
Aircraft without a pilot on board go by many names—unmanned air vehicle (UAV), remotely piloted aircraft system, model aircraft, remote control aircraft, and drone.
Call it what you want, but always think safety first.
You are responsible to fly your aircraft safely and legally. In Canada, you must:
- Follow the rules set out in the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
- Respect the Criminal Code as well as all municipal, provincial, and territorial laws related to trespassing and privacy
Transport Canada expects you to follow these basic Do’s and Don’ts.[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]Do
- Fly your aircraft during daylight and in good weather (not in clouds or fog).
- Keep your aircraft in sight, where you can see it with your own eyes – not only through an on-board camera, monitor or smartphone.
- Make sure your aircraft is safe for flight before take-off. Ask yourself, for example, are the batteries fully charged? Is it too cold to fly?
- Know if you need permission to fly and when to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate
- Closer than 9 km from any airport, heliport, or aerodrome.
- Higher than 90 metres from above the ground.
- Closer than 150 metres from people, animals, buildings, structures, or vehicles.
- In populated areas or near large groups of people, including sporting events, concerts, festivals, and firework shows.
- Near moving vehicles, avoid highways, bridges, busy streets or anywhere you could endanger or distract drivers.
- Within restricted airspace, including near or over military bases, prisons, and forest fires.
- Anywhere you may interfere with first responders
Lizard Lake fire update
Size: 250.0 hectares (estimated)
• 20% contained
Crews are assigned to extinguishing hotspots and removing debris along Pacific Marine road. They will be increasing the total area of the containment along all flanks and wrapping off head of fire. Work continues building an access road to tie into the road on ridge, and on the east flank complete second and third helipads. Hoselay and bladders have been set up on 50% of the perimeter.
A BC Wildfire Investigations Specialist was brought in to determine the origin and cause of this man-caused fire.
• 123 firefighters
• 8 helicopters
• 6 heavy equipment
A 16 person Incident Management Team were phased into managing this fire August 14/15, 2015. Crew and equipment will be added and/or removed as the dynamics of suppression requirements progresses.
- BC Gov: Keep the drones at home
- Transport Canada: www.tc.gc.ca/SafetyFirst
- Transport Canada’s safety guidelines
- Know if you need permission to fly (pdf document)
- Lizard Lake fire updates