Drone nearly crashed into firefighting helicopter, officials still seeking owner

Local News

PLEASANT GROVE (News4Utah) – Firefighters say a drone nearly hit them while fighting the Grassy Ridge Fire in Idaho this week.

The incident grounded all aircraft on the 100,000-acre fire for an hour and a half. Officials are still looking for the drone operator who could face federal charges. 

Experts say with the increase of drones in the air, emergency responders need better technology to spot them, and to get them out of the way.

“Almost none of the public safety helicopters in the US have radar, that’s true worldwide as well because they’ve been the only people in the airspace,” said Timothy Bean of Fortem Technologies.

Fortem Technology employs a sophisticated radar system that gives pilots 15-20 seconds of warning if there’s a drone nearby and uses a drone called the “Drone Hunter” to catch and remove rogue drones from an area. 

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