SA Country Fire Service

Media release

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.

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

Government of South Australia