Flying drones near wildfire, emergency situation could result in jail time under Colorado bill | CraigDailyPress.com

Flying drones near wildfire, emergency situation could result in jail time under Colorado bill

Bureau of Land Management firefighters complete backfire operations Tuesday night along Moffat County Road 59 South while fighting the Cedar Knob Fire in July 2013.

DENVER– Obstructing first responders by flying a drone into or near an emergency situation in Colorado — such as a wildfire — could leave you facing a hefty fine or even jail time under a measure making its way through the state legislature.

House Bill 1314 passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday with unanimous, bipartisan support.

Emergency responders in recent years have been trying to educate the public about the dangers of flying drones around areas where they are operating, especially into or near wildfires, where there can be a host of aircraft battling a blaze. Firefighting planes and helicopters have been grounded at times because of rogue drones operated by the public.

Even a small unmanned aerial vehicle can take down a much larger helicopter or plane.

Read more at The Denver Post.