U.S. House passes Utah Rep. John Curtis' bill to study impact of drones on wildfire suppression

U.S. House passes Utah Rep. John Curtis' bill to study impact of drones on wildfire suppression

December 14, 2020
Daily Herald

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, on Thursday that would “examine risks and effects of drone incursions on wildland firefighting.”

The AIR Safety Act of 2020 — which Curtis introduced in November 2019 with Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah; Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.; and Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif. — directs the Bureau of Land Management “to study the effects of drone incursions on the suppression of wildfires concerning lands managed by the Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture,” as stated in a description of the bill.

Brian Cottam, state forester and director of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, called the bill “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.”

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