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Drone Reported Over Ellison Provincial Park Fire Sunday

BC Wildfire Service personnel remained at Ellison Provincial Park Monday (July 10th, 2023).

The fire that burned Sunday was right next to Ellison Provincial Parks campground and washroom facilities. The blaze was brought under control mid-afternoon after several hours by Vernon Fire Rescue, resources from fire halls in neighbouring communities, and the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS).

A small crew from the BCWS continued suppression efforts at the park Monday, insuring the 0.6-hectare wildfire will not spread any further.

On Twitter, BC Wildfire Service said crews observed a UAV, or drone, in the fire area Sunday while they were battling the Ellison Park fire.

Drones are prohibited from flying within 5 nautical miles of a fire location. A drone presents a very real risk to aircraft actively fighting wildfires.

If you are caught illegally flying a drone near a forest or wildfire you may face a hefty fine, maybe even jail time.

The presence of drones near an active wildfire can slow down or completely shut down aerial firefighting efforts due to safety concerns.

Transport Canada's maximum fine for an infraction is $25,000 and violators could spend up to 18 months in jail.

In addition, B.C.’s Wildfire Act states anyone found interfering with wildfire control efforts, which includes flying a drone in a fire zone, may face penalties of up to $100,000 and/or up to one year in jail.

In addition to the restrictions regarding flying UAVs in the vicinity of a wildfire, drones are not allowed to fly in provincial parks without prior permission.

Tags: Drone Reported Over Ellison Provincial Park Fire Sunday


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