Southern California is no stranger to wildfires, especially with the increased dry conditions caused by the drought. Firefighters put their lives on the line to put these fires out, protect lives, and protect homes.

With the increase use of drones, we have a noticed a great increase in dangerous drone use for aerial photography. Irresponsible drone “pilots” are flying their drones into restricted air space during aerial assaults on the fires, causing firefighters’ lives to be put in jeopardy, aircrafts to be grounded, and preventing our firefighters from doing their job.

This is extremely dangerous and they are putting multiple lives at risk — An aerial image of a wildfire is NOT worth risking peoples’ lives!

As professional aerial photographers that pilot a drone, we take drone safety VERY seriously. Co-owner of T&C Aerial Drone Imaging Services, Casey, has over 100 hours flying a full-size aircraft and understands the dangers that irresponsible drone pilots are bringing to our firefighting heroes, as well as others.

Please Drone Responsibly

Responsible drone use involves learning the FAA recommendations for safe drone use, and a whole lot of common sense. If you have an aerial drone, we urge you to learn how to operate safely and be aware of the dangers of irresponsible drone use.

  1. NEVER fly your drone in restricted airspace.
  2. NEVER fly in dangerous weather conditions, such as high wind.
  3. NEVER fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  4. NEVER let your drone leave your sight. ALWAYS have a spotter to keep an eye out for other air traffic, make sure spectators are at a safe distance, and to keep the pilot aware of power lines, trees, and other objects.
  5. NEVER fly your drone near manned aircraft operations, such as firefighting!
  6. Did we mention NEVER fly your drone near firefighting operations?
  7. NEVER fly within 5 miles of an airport. If you must, first contact the airport or control tower.

You can find out more important drone safety information and guidelines by visiting Know Before You Fly or the FAA website.

We would like to thank our brave firefighters and we hope this article helps keep you safer while doing an already dangerous job!