❝ Utah’s governor has signed into law a measure that makes the state the first to let authorities jam drone signals and crash the devices specifically for flying too close to wildfires.
❝ Republican Gov. Gary Herbert’s office announced Monday that he signed the law over the weekend, just days after lawmakers met in a special session to pass it and a handful of other bills.
State Sen. Evan Vickers, who co-sponsored the law, says it technically allows firefighters and law enforcement to shoot down drones, but they probably won’t do that because it’s too difficult. Instead, authorities are expected to use technology that jams signals and crashes drones.
❝ Utah passed the law after a drone recently was sighted five times over one wildfire, causing firefighters to ground their aircraft and slow their work.
But, but, but…some idjit was seriously getting some dynamite images and video for his YouTube account. Might’ve gone viral and got him a real job.
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is using a new system to help wildland firefighters by detecting, identifying, and neutralizing drones that are illegally interfering with firefighting activities. https://wildfiretoday.com/2022/07/11/fbi-using-system-to-detect-drones-over-wildfires-and-the-pilots/#comments
The FBI is working with the Los Angeles County Fire Department to use a system that can detect a drone flying over a fire within 30 seconds of it being launched.
“When the detection equipment finds the drone and identifies the operator’s location, we can very rapidly get that information to a ground intercept team who can then go make contact with that drone operator and essentially get them to stop flying that drone,” said James Peaco III, the weapons of mass destruction coordinator for the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.
With a special sensor, the team can set up a boundary as large or as small as desired and get notified if a drone flies into that area, instantly obtaining precise details such as elevation, direction, speed as well as where the drone took off from and where the controller is currently standing.
It’s a federal crime punishable by up to 12 months in prison to interfere with firefighting efforts on public lands. Additionally, Congress has authorized the FAA to impose a civil penalty of up to $20,000 against any drone pilot who interferes with wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response operations. The FAA treats these violations seriously, and will immediately consider swift enforcement action for these offenses.