National Interagency Fire Center Reports a Decline in Drone Incursions in Firefighting Airspace

The use of drones has gone up more than ever as almost every possible task with the technology is being tried out by various companies and interested supporters worldwide. What began its journey as simply a consumer product has become much more than we expected the technology to be.

Despite drone technology being as popular as it is, drone incursions into firefighting airspace have declined recently. The numbers clearly state that the activity was more in the past few years and the graph seems to be going down now. 

The news of the decline in drone incursions into firefighting airspace has come from a graphic released by the National Interagency Fire Center. People are becoming cautious of their use of technology, despite all the progress achieved by companies like Amazon regarding deliveries. 

The graph clearly shows a decline, as the numbers from the year 2016 state that 41 drones were spotted, which is the highest number since then. Specific reasons for this haven’t been pointed out, but one possible reason could be that DJI’s original Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 came to the same year’s stores. The possibility that consumer drones were being bought more gives way to the numbers we are seeing.

The numbers, although they have only slowly decreased from thereon. 2017 had around 36 incursions by drones, 2018 had 28 of them, then 2019 had merely 21 incursions, and even 2020 has seen the same number till now. The numbers in the US, out of the total of the current year 10 of them have been spotted in California. The rest of the count is spread among Utah with four, Colorado and Arizona with two, and Alaska, New Mexico, and North Carolina with one each.

The density of the numbers seems to have clustered around California, the reason for which isn’t very clear as of now. Many aerial firefights have also been stopped by official personnel, specifically 16 of them till now. Hence, the actual number might be likely more than what has been projected on the graphic brought forward by the National Interagency Fire Center. 

On the infographic shared by the National Interagency Fire Center, the count for the current year is only 20, but a drone was recently spotted at the Red Salmon fire, which makes the total count 21. With more than 2 months to go, more can be expected to be added to the statistics.


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