I hadn't heard about the wildfire that started near Split Rock last week, but officials are taking an incident that happened during that fire to educate the public. You shouldn't operate a drone over an active wildfire. It's illegal!

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Attention Drone Operators (amateur and commercial)


Firefighters on Tuesday spotted an unauthorized drone on a small one-acre wildfire near Split Rock Lighthouse. The DNR helicopter on site dropping water on the flames had landed to refuel shortly before firefighters spotted the drone. When firefighters confirmed the drone had landed, the helicopter was then cleared to returned to base. We were fortunate this time.

Minnesota law prohibits interfering with a firefighter in their official duties, including unauthorized drones that delay or restrict responding aircraft.

Remember -Unless Preauthorized - Wildfires are a NO DRONE ZONE!

Whoever was operating the drone, must have been close enough to firefighters that they knew when the drone had landed, but what a dangerous situation to be in.

Minnesota statute 609.50 states:

"Whoever intentionally does any of the following may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 2 interferes with or obstructs a firefighter while the firefighter is engaged in the performance of official duties. If (i) the person knew or had reason to know that the act created a risk of death, substantial bodily harm, or serious property damage; or (ii) the act caused death, substantial bodily harm, or serious property damage; to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both"

So while getting footage of a wildfire from above is cool looking, it's still not legal.

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