With fire season upon us, Senator Wayne Harper called a press conference to announce the new drone rules as well as to highlight the Know Before You Fly website.

There are currently over 700,000 drones in the United States. Every year in Utah there are drone incidences that interfere with public safety and inhibit public safety officials from doing there jobs, such as containing wild fires. This past session, HB 126, Unmanned Aircraft Revisions, established new rules for drones in the event of a wild land fire.

In case you missed the press conference, here is what you need to know:

  • Recreational drones are prohibited from flying in an area that has temporarily been restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration due to a wild fire. There can be exceptions for public agencies and the media if they first coordinate with the incident commander.
  • New drone owners should visit knowbeforeyoufly.org to learn drone rules and how to register their vehicles.
  • There are steep fines and penalties for violating drone rules or failing to register your vehicle.
  • Drone operators should always keep their vehicles in sight.
  • Do not fly: over public venues and assemblies, over critical infrastructure, within 5 miles of an airport, or near fire and emergency actions where flight restrictions have been imposed.

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