New Montana law targets drone pilots disrupting firefighting efforts
Montana has adopted a new law adding state penalties for drone pilots whose flights interfere with firefighting efforts on top of federal fines – a legal combination that could feasibly cost convicted violators $40,000.
State governor Greg Gianforte signed bill SB 219 that legislators had earlier approved establishing a $1,500 fine for the misdemeanor of drone pilots flaunting interdictions of flying around blazes, and obstructing firefighters in their work while doing so.
The new law – which can also hold violators liable for all costs involved in hampering responders in their work – will be applied in addition to federal statutes. Those can inflict up to $25,000 in fines and possible criminal prosecution of drone pilots whose flights impede firefighting, or otherwise interfere with responses to blazes.
Read: Canada reminds drone pilots of the rules around wildfires
Passage of the law was largely in response to