As wildfires raged throughout the fall—in regions spanning much of the American West as well as parts of Canada—one man thought it a good idea to send his drone within just a few miles of an active forest fire. New reports state this action was illegal for multiple reasons. As such, a Canadian court has slapped the drone operator with a massive fine.
According to Yahoo, Judge Jeffrey Champion dealt a large $10,000 fine to drone operator Rajwinder Singh. The court’s rulings state that the offender is required to pay the sum by June 8th, 2023. Singh received the fine after flying his drone over Jasper National Park as a wildfire burned within in September.
Per the news outlet, Singh was given the $10,000 fine in a provincial court on Thursday. He was accused of violating the Canada National Parks Act. The act states it is illegal to fly a drone in a national park. Doing so carries with it a maximum fine of $25,000. In addition, it is illegal to fly any aircraft, including a drone, within approximately 6 miles, or 9.3 kilometers, of a forest fire without permission. These rules were previously set forth in the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
Singh was among several operators to face serious repercussions for flying a drone near a wildfire this season. Wardens in Jasper National Park confiscated four drones and charged four people under the National Parks Act back in September. The drones were confiscated after they flew their crafts too close to the Chetamon wildfire in the fall.
Americans Fleeing Hurricanes Seek Refuge in Wildfire Country
Different regions of the United States are prone to a vast collection of natural disasters. Throughout the West and in various regions of the Plains, some Outsiders are left to battle wildfires annually. In areas along the Gulf Coast, other populations constantly face the threat of potentially devastating hurricanes. This year, though, after historic storms like Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole completely flattened areas of Florida, a new study has found that Americans fleeing hurricanes are seeking refuge in wildfire country.
Amid the current climate crisis, a ten-year study, conducted by Frontiers in Human Dynamics, found that more and more people, commonly living in areas impacted by hurricanes, are migrating to regions that typically deal with worsening heat waves and—therefore—greater forest and wildfire danger.
Mahalia Clark, the study’s author, said of the data, “These findings are concerning because people are moving into harm’s way — into regions with wildfires and rising temperatures, which are expected to become more extreme due to climate change.”
However, for people who have lost everything to record storm surges and deadly tornadoes, taking up residence in regions far from the threat of hurricane season sounds appealing. Still, with the climate crisis ongoing, it’s certainly not a perfect solution.