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HUGE FIre - (No Firetrucks - MAVIC 2 Documentary)

Rockowe

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My neighbour called in a Panic saying there was Fire on the Mountain - Could I whip the drone up and See if it was a threat ?
… Cut a long story short...
NIGHT - Extensive fire - Wind - … and the mountain in flames ...
… Lack of Fire Trucks ...

Within a halfhour … The Entire Mountain Suburb - were spraying their home hosepipes … but the fire and wind grew...
--- the suburb WhatsApp Community line was flying thru paniced residents (as if it was some space event) … Pictures, Videos, Voice, etc...

SEE RAW FOOTAGE …. of CLIP 5 (of 7) as the fire … almost took out a suburb ….

… SURPRIZINGLY - Not one single home Burnt - ...
Amazing community

Next flight - the FIre surrounds us … [ CLIP 6 (of 7) ]
 
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Thomas B

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Good videos. Sad situation, but at least no homes lost! I lived in the forest for 17 years, largest stand of Ponderosa pines in North America, and have sweat both the Dude Fire and the Rodeo-Chedeski fires. They got within a mile of my home... scary!
 

Rockowe

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Heres an Edited Version - of SATURDAY Night's Fire-
(a Good watch)

How Awsome is the MAVIC 2 ?!!!!

A REAL emergency - journalistic Documentary type NIGHT Flight with the Mavic 2.
It handled amazingly - What a drone !

Background:
My neighbour called in a Panic saying there was Fire on the Mountain - Could I whip the drone up and See if it was a threat ?

… Cut a long story short...

NIGHT - Extensive fire - Wind - … and the mountain in flames ...
… Lack of Fire Trucks …


Within a half hour … The Entire Mountain Suburb - were spraying their home hosepipes … but the fire and wind grew...

--- the suburb WhatsApp Community line was flying thru panicked residents (as if it was some space event) … Pictures, Videos, Voice, etc...

SEE FOOTAGE …. of a fire … that almost took out a suburb ….
… SURPRISINGLY - Not one single home Burnt - ...

Amazing community.

Thanks ... all. !!!

Wow- Did that Really Happen?:
Glad to wake up without one house being burnt.

Could have ended differently.

The residents, local community security ie SLCAP, Linksfield school security, Jhb Fire Dep... all worked together to prevent a catastrophe...

Amazing feat. Thank you all

 

JS_2016

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Your video demonstrates once again that drones can be used as a survival tool. I’ve droned 2 fires, a flash flood and a serious car accident in the past year. I was the first person to arrive on scene (in air) in every case. I always offer my video to the local news station (free) if they ever want it but they have never taken me up on my offer yet. Nevertheless a drone can evaluate a situation in minutes when disasters strike.
 

Rockowe

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Our News Station would be too embarrassed about the dismal performance of the
Cities fire fighting crew -

But I did send the video to them-

Either way it HELPED our residents - THATS the most important thing.
 
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I agree that immediate drone observation can save lives (Last year's intense wind driven fires in Northern California were burning 100 yards in 3 seconds!) but there are prohibitions on flying around fires. Check your regs and brace yourself for an irrational rules enforcer to try to ruin your day. Would I fly in a given situation like this? Yes. Would I be happy about the fines? No. Would you be able to use reason to argue your point? Never. I think this is one regulation that rec and 107 flyers should request an automatic emergency suspension in potentially life threatening situations. Nothing worse than being prohibited from using technology in hand for public safety.
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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That is awesome footage !
One saving grace was the fire seemed to be going up the hillside into a slight breeze, otherwise it could have been unstoppable.

I too wondered about flying in what they call emergency or incident airspace . . . we have that when there are bushfires, car accidents, etc, emergency aircraft and choppers etc that may be used.

Is it possible that's why news services were reluctant to use footage ?

Anyway, who's to say if early use of a drone like this is safe, if no one in authority has responded as yet, you could gain valuable info for local residents via a local community comms asset like a facebook / messenger page, WhatsApp in this case . . . and / or emergency services, if there was a way to report what they needed, and if they wanted it.

Or, a chopper could be enroute to assess the situation well before any ground crews, so therein lies the problem.

Great you could wake up the community to where the fire was etc . . .

2-1/2 hours for the firetrucks is a pretty poor response time !!
 
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In my mind (and I'm biased) interfering with a big chopper when we fly at 400' seems unlikely. Fire fighting efforts are at higher altitude due to fire driven thermal currents. There were several communities in Colorado cut off by floods several years ago, and there were strict warnings that no civilian drones were permitted to assist in locating victims or assessing damage while the authorities moved in slow motion. Maybe drone pilots becoming a wing of the Civil Air Patrol would be an answer. CAP is civilian aircraft searching and rescue organization, etc and a vital service. Drone pilots could go airborn and immediately contact a nearby CAP that they are operating in an area, there woud be established channels of communication to authorities and a message could be sent when it is appropriate to ground the drone squadron. Let us fly when we can do good.
 
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MAvic_South_Oz

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Maybe drone pilots becoming a wing of the Civil Air Patrol would be an answer. CAP is civilian aircraft searching and rescue organization, etc and a vital service. Drone pilots could go airborn and immediately contact a nearby CAP that they are operating in an area, there woud be established channels of communication to authorities and a message could be sent when it is appropriate to ground the drone squadron. Let us fly when we can do good.
Absolutely.
The US DSAR crew here on the forum is testament to that.
It's a truly great concept, and is gaining successes as time goes on.

It'd be great to have a similar set up for licensed UAV operators in Australia like this too.
I can see huge possibilities if drones could be aloft in the case of missing swimmers at the beach, shark patrols, our lifesaving crews are getting into this already, they can drop all sorts of water lifesaving devices now at certain places.

But obviously there is a lot of coastline to cover, and that is where community based volunteers could get some great beach flying in and help keep a lookout / assist in such cases.

Then there is general SAR type assistance that could be provided.

Done in conjunction with the relevant authorities, and the correct protocols / channels of communications are present to make this possible.
 
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superstarpup

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In my mind (and I'm biased) interfering with a big chopper when we fly at 400' seems unlikely. Fire fighting efforts are at higher altitude due to fire driven thermal currents. There were several communities in Colorado cut off by floods several years ago, and there were strict warnings that no civilian drones were permitted to assist in locating victims or assessing damage while the authorities moved in slow motion. Maybe drone pilots becoming a wing of the Civil Air Patrol would be an answer. CAP is civilian aircraft searching and rescue organization, etc and a vital service. Drone pilots could go airborn and immediately contact a nearby CAP that they are operating in an area, there woud be established channels of communication to authorities and a message could be sent when it is appropriate to ground the drone squadron. Let us fly when we can do good.
No.
 

Thomas B

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In my mind (and I'm biased) interfering with a big chopper when we fly at 400' seems unlikely. Fire fighting efforts are at higher altitude due to fire driven thermal currents. There were several communities in Colorado cut off by floods several years ago, and there were strict warnings that no civilian drones were permitted to assist in locating victims or assessing damage while the authorities moved in slow motion. Maybe drone pilots becoming a wing of the Civil Air Patrol would be an answer. CAP is civilian aircraft searching and rescue organization, etc and a vital service. Drone pilots could go airborn and immediately contact a nearby CAP that they are operating in an area, there woud be established channels of communication to authorities and a message could be sent when it is appropriate to ground the drone squadron. Let us fly when we can do good.
Wrong both helicopters and modified tanker aircraft are dropping fire retardant and water often at much lower altitudes than 400’. I lived in the mountains of Arizona during the Dude Fire and the Rodeo-chedeski Fire. I watched it and heard the briefings in person as my home in both cases was within 5 miles of these fires. Best action is notify authorities and make yourself available
 
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CAG

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More than once here in Arizona, drone sightings over fires have grounded all fire fighting aircraft. That then endangers civilians, firefighters and property on the ground. In most all cases large fires and even small fires become no-fly zones for all aircraft except fire fighting aircraft. In Phoenix that type of fire would have brought in the Police and Fire Dept helicopters not to mention news helicopters out at a wider distance.

I don't know the circumstances around this video but it would appear to be one of those that gives private drone pilots bad press and endangers others.

Know the Rules


In addition to registering your aircraft, you'll need to follow the rules of the sky.
The basic rules are:
  • Fly at or below 400 feet
  • Keep your drone within sight
  • Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
  • Never fly over groups of people
  • Never fly over stadiums or sports events
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
  • Never fly under the influence
  • Be aware of airspace requirements
 
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Sarge201

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Having experience in the Eagle Creek fire here in the Columbia Gorge in Oregon it was stated that it would be restricted airspace and any flights from drones or private aircraft would cause firefighting aircraft to be grounded for safety reasons. I think the key points here are once first responders are on scene you should land and not hinder rescue efforts.
 

CAG

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And do you know when that is? You get up and the first helo comes in and now you force the emergency aircraft out of the area.

Sorry, there is no way to justify flying a drone at an emergency scene, at any time!

Just an example, the Wallow fire in eastern AZ and western NM burned about 650,000 acres. I heard that is 800 + square miles. Do you know where the emergency equipment at a fire like that are? There is no reason to be flying a drone at these scenes and endangering people because you want to get a "pretty picture".
 
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MAvic_South_Oz

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Sorry, there is no way to justify flying a drone at an emergency scene, at any time!
Personally, I feel this is the only way to be 100% safe in these situations.
A chopper could be sent at first contact to do a sit rep on the fire, to advise ground crews.

On our app her in Australia, any fire reported gets a NFZ posted on it.
This applies conceptually for planes, helis etc, but of course includes drones of all sizes.

This fire may have been a worry for the community, I can understand that.
And still a bit curious why in such a metro location ground crews took about 2-1/2 hours to arrive.
 
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Sarge201

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Knowing the laws about emergency scenes and not flying is one thing, had I been the op I would have done the same thing. If the fire would have been moving towards the homes he could have saved life's by giving the people the opportunity and time to get to safety since obviously no first responders were on scene to advise the residents. Is it probably the wrong move? Yep! So is doing 5 over the posted speed limit in a vehicle at 70 mph but I bet we are almost all guilty of that.
 

Thomas B

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Knowing the laws about emergency scenes and not flying is one thing, had I been the op I would have done the same thing. If the fire would have been moving towards the homes he could have saved life's by giving the people the opportunity and time to get to safety since obviously no first responders were on scene to advise the residents. Is it probably the wrong move? Yep! So is doing 5 over the posted speed limit in a vehicle at 70 mph but I bet we are almost all guilty of that.
Notify the PD or SO to contact the residents if they are in danger.
 

CAG

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no first responders were on scene to advise the residents.
Do you know that for a fact? Do you know if air units are on the way or in the area? I am sure the OP's heart was in the right place but this was a bad decision that could endanger emergency crews, air crews and people on the ground by giving bad information to those who might be affected. If you are not fire of police stay out of trying to be one. You many times make things worse.
 
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Kilrah

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obviously no first responders were on scene to advise the residents
Point is that maybe they weren't there becasue their drone monitoring systems told them there was a danger on location and they might risk their own crews if they went there.
 
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