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This summer has been one of the worst wildfire seasons for much of the U.S.: California, Hawaii, Texas, North Carolina and half a dozen other states have seen blazes. Five million acres have burned this year in Alaska alone, a record pace for the state. Our national firefighting resources are tapped: We’re flying in help from Canada and Australia (where it is now winter and firefighters are mostly idle), and over 30% of the people on the front lines fighting those headline-making fires in California — that’s over 4,000 people — are prison inmates.

Bottom line: This work is hard enough as it is. Don’t make it harder.

As many of you may know, drones have made headlines along with these fires: There have been multiple reported drone sightings in California that interfered with aerial firefighting operations; firefighters had to ground planes that were scheduled to drop retardant on advancing fire lines. Cal Fire sums their position up neatly: “If you fly, we can’t.” We’d like to echo that sentiment.

3DR customers are thoughtful and responsible pilots who consider the safety of others first. So please, use your common sense and respect the unthinkably difficult work that these men and women have undertaken on our behalf.

Don’t play with fire: Ground your drone so they can do their job.