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Idaho fire dept. authorized by FAA to combat wildfires with drones

The Boise Fire Department purchased four drones and trained four employees to operate them after a year-long effort to receive FAA authorization

By FireRescue1 Staff

BOISE, Idaho — A fire department has purchased drones to combat wildfires after receiving authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Drive reported that the Boise Fire Department’s year-long efforts to receive FAA authorization to utilize drones in search and rescue operations and wildfire response paid off, and the department has purchased four drones and trained four employees to operate them.

“I think it is going to enhance the safety of our individuals,” Deputy Chief Perry Oldenburg said.

The department plans to deploy the drones above wildfire or search and rescue scenes to gain more information about what is going on.

Oldenburg reminded recreational drone pilots to stay out of the way during lifesaving missions.

“We are very concerned about that,” he said. “If there is a temporary flight restriction in and around firefighting operations it is illegal to operate your drone in that area.”