A drone operated by three researchers with the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Aerospace Engineering Department crashed Wednesday and ignited a fire that burned nearly 50 acres of grassland. CBS4 reports the researchers were conducting conduct weather studies at the Table Mountain Radio Quiet Zone when in drone went down. The lithium ion battery cell dislodged on impact and ignited.
The investigation shows that the researchers were flying within regulations and within the flying capability of the craft. No criminal charges will be filed due to the accidental nature of the incident. With the number of drones in the air ever increasing this a worrisome incident especially considering you don’t need to be licensed to fly most commercially available models. Luckily this was a relatively small wildfire but imagine if it wasn’t. Love all the incredible aerial footage that has emerged in the last handful of years but the potential fire danger associated with RC aircraft is concerning to say the least.
A Mandatory Evacuation Order has been issued for the area(s) of the 51st to 65th and Nelson to Neva due to a Wildland Fire. Take the following protective actions immediately: Evacuate Now. This Order stands Until Further Notice.
— BoulderCountySheriff (@BldrCOSheriff) April 20, 2022