Downed drone sparks grass fire in Scappoose
Scappoose Fire District personnel on Tuesday, June 26, responded to a 20-by-10 grass fire caused by a downed drone near Scappoose Industrial Airpark.
Several individuals were flying a drone in Federal Aviation Administration-restricted airspace on Wagner Court, just off of West Lane Road in Scappoose, when it had a malfunction, landed in dry grass and sparked a fire, according to a June 29 press release from the fire district.
The drone operators attempted to stomp out the fire but were unsuccessful. They called 911 at roughly 5:49 p.m.
The drone went down in a vacant field with no nearby structures, the release notes.
Firefighters responded with one engine, one brush truck, three support vehicles and nine personnel. The fire was limited to roughly a quarter-acre of dry grass.
The drone was slightly damaged and its operators, who are not identified in the press release, were issued a verbal warning for using it in restricted airspace.
For information about safe areas to fly drones, reference www.FAA.gov/dronezone. Additionally, FAA offers a safety app, called "B4UFly," that provides real-time information about airspace restrictions and other requirements based on GPS location.