Curtis, Huffman Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Highlight Dangers of Unauthorized Drones Near Wildfires

Curtis, Huffman Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Highlight Dangers of Unauthorized Drones Near Wildfires

November 13, 2019
Congressman John Curtis

This week, Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) and Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced the Aerial Incursion Repercussion (AIR) Safety Act, bipartisan legislation to raise awareness on issues interfering with wildfire fighting by directing the Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service to conduct a study on how drone trespassing has affected wildfire suppression and costs.

Greg Josten, National Association of State Foresters President; South Dakota State Forester: “We already know that flying personal drones where wildland firefighters are actively suppressing wildfires puts the civilian operator, their neighbors, and wildland firefighting personnel in danger. The slogan is true, and state forestry agencies know it all too well: If you fly, we can’t. Now, it’s time to quantify all the deleterious effects of drone incursions on​ wildfire fighting airspace. With hard numbers to support needed change, we’ll be better positioned to prevent costly delays and shutdowns and protect both property and lives.”

Brian Cottam, Utah State Forester: “In Utah, we have seen drone incursions continue to endanger firefighter and public safety. Congressman Curtis’s AIR Safety Act is a step in the right direction to reveal the extent of drone disruption in wildfire suppression and help put a stop to this dangerous behavior.”

Read the full press release.