Clueless Drone Operators Delayed Firefighter Response Times In California Wild Fire Outbreak

Drones are the hottest thing going right now, and it's for what I'd like to think is a great reason: regular folk can strap a camera onto one and capture some unbelievable footage. From capturing a unique perspective of a fireworks display to getting nosey and scouting a place out, drones make it easy to produce great content.

But (of course there's a but!), being in control of a drone requires responsibility, and unfortunately, we're quickly learning that a lot of people don't acknowledge that. A great, but concerning example was made just this weekend.

Drone And Moon
Flickr: Don McCullough

In southern California, a fire broke out along Interstate 15, and ultimately, it consumed five homes and more than a dozen cars. The sickening thing is this: the damage could have been lessened if not for the fact that a handful of drones impeded the firefighting process. Yes, "drones".

With stories like this, it's easy to imagine that it was just a lone wolf getting in the way, but not here. Instead, five drones were hovering over the fire. This prohibited firefighters from tackling the blaze from above -- in fact, the drones delayed the response of firefighting aircraft by 26 minutes. If a plane were to come into contact with a drone, it doesn't take much imagination to understand what could happen.

What's clear as day when we hear stories like these is that some harsh regulations are on their way to prevent incidents like this from continuing to happen. And, those regulations are clearly needed, because if people think it's a-OK to hover over a fire while it's been battled, they're bound to fly them in other inopportune instances as well. Uncle Ben said it best, "With great power comes great responsibility."