Safety warning regarding illegal and dangerous drone use near firefighting operations in Western Canada


May 11, 2023             Ottawa              Transport Canada

Transport Canada is closely monitoring the wildfires throughout British Columbia, Alberta and the Prairies, and their impact on the national transportation system. The department remains in continuous contact with local authorities, and the Government of Canada will be there for impacted communities.

In order to ensure everyone stays safe, the department wants to remind the public that:

  • You cannot operate an aircraft or a drone within 9.3 km of wildfires. It is illegal, you could be impeding firefighting operations, and you could be subject to a fine and/or jail time.
  • If unauthorized drones are present, firefighting aircraft must be grounded and crews must suspend operations. This puts lives and communities at great risk.
  • If you see unsafe or illegal drone use, report it to local law enforcement. Provide as much information as possible so that incidents can be reviewed more effectively (for example, clear photos or videos, date, time, drone type, other identifying marks, etc.).

All travellers should exercise caution around fires. Please follow directions from local law enforcement and do not attempt to drive through a wildfire. In addition, please navigate your boat responsibly by staying away from fire and water bomber planes. Follow directions of local authorities and obey any navigation restrictions in place.

Safety and security are paramount for Transport Canada, and the department will never hesitate to take appropriate action to ensure Canadians and our transportation system remains safe.

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Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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