Premier plans to get tough on drones over wildfires

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Premier Christy Clark speaks to the changes in penalties for causing Forest Fires and obstructing crews battling wild fires in Prince George Friday afternoon. Citizen photo by Brent Braaten April 22 2016 – Brent Braaten, Photographer

The B.C. government is pledging harsh punishment for people who fly drones over a wildfire, who are boating on a lake where an air tanker needs to fill up, or motorists or campers who go into restricted wildfire areas.

“If you interfere with firefighting efforts you are going to be eligible for up to $100,000 fine and one year in jail,” said Premier Christy Clark during a press conference Friday afternoon at the Prince George Fire Equipment Depot on 22nd Avenue. “The biggest thing we are worried about at the moment is drones on the scene because it’s a new phenomenon and there are more and more of them. The problem with drones is it’s impossible to identify where they’re coming from. So as we’re talking about this we’re working with law enforcement and RCMP to figure out ways we can, for example, find a way for the drone owner to be identified.”

Public awareness could be the key.

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