Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Proposal to make flying drones over active wildfires a felony


August 2, 2018

Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder

Mark Kues's drone flying over Seeley Lake during the flooding this spring.

On Aug. 2, 2017, aerial operations on the Rice Ridge fire near Seeley Lake were shut down due to a drone incursion. Several scooper planes, a couple of helicopters, retardant planes, air attack and lead planes for the retardant were all grounded until the drone was secured. This was one of three drone incursions on the more than 160,000-acre wildfire that threatened Seeley Lake last summer.

"It was significant," said U.S. Forest Service Federal Law Enforcement Officer Tyler Robinson who investigated the Aug. 2 incursion. "To me first and foremost it is the safety of the pilot [and firefight...

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