SA Country Fire Service



CFS disappointed about unauthorised fireground drone use


On Friday evening, crews attending the Templers fire were made aware of an unauthorised drone being flown in close proximity to the fireground.

"Firegrounds are incredibly complex and the unauthorised use of drones is not acceptable" CFS Manager of State Air Operations, Nik Stanley explained,

"During the Kangaroo Island fires earlier this year, we had to ground our firebombers and aerial support because members of the public were using drones. It was a massive waste of our time and resources.

"While the operator complied with the CFS's request to cease using the drone on Friday, it was an added concern that crews shouldn't have to deal with, among all their other tasks and responsibilities while attending a fire."

There is a strict 5nm (9.2 km) exclusion zone for all unauthorised aircraft around firegrounds. Breaching this exclusion zone, or interfering with aerial firefighting, is illegal, and can carry heavy fines if you are found guilty.

Information on the rules around drone use can be found at

The CFS is also requesting the media support us in stopping this behaviour by refusing to buy or use fireground footage unless you know it has been filmed with the approval of the CFS's State Air Resource Coordinator. This approval can be obtained through the CFS State Media Liaison Officer.

Please do not reply to this email - you will not receive a response.

For media enquiries call the CFS Media Line on 08 8115 3531.

Further information
Information Hotline: 1800 362 361.
Hearing or speech impaired users phone: 1300 555 727 then ask for 1800 362 361.
Teletype service: TTY 133 677 then ask for 1800 362 361. More options are available at National Relay Service or

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 Government of South Australia