Would you fly in a drought-stricken area during a "burn ban"?

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I'm curious if pilots here would avoid flying in a drought-stricken area. Some such areas are declared to be under a "burn ban", meaning no open fires, welding, etc. Obviously flying Phantoms etc aren't like those activities but so much has been written about the volatility of LiPo batteries it would seem that their batteries are a potential liability. I'm not promoting an angle or anything; but liability is always an issue in our society, particularly when it comes to property damage and especially when it comes to starting a fire that could spread like what we're seeing in California.
 
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I'm curious if pilots here would avoid flying in a drought-stricken area. Some such areas are declared to be under a "burn ban", meaning no open fires, welding, etc. Obviously flying Phantoms etc aren't like those activities but so much has been written about the volatility of LiPo batteries it would seem that their batteries are a potential liability. I'm not promoting an angle or anything; but liability is always an issue in our society, particularly when it comes to property damage and especially when it comes to starting a fire that could spread like what we're seeing in California.
I'm in an area with lots of open space, but it's very dry. I am not flying anywhere but the local park for that very reason. Not worth the risk.
 
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JeffreyS

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The chances of your battery exploding and being a fire risk are way lower than a lightning strike fire.
 

BigAl07

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I've seen a battery self ignite and literally melt asphalt so thinking it could cause a fire in a dry area is a VERY real concern.

Just for kicks & grins read this:
 

Meta4

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I'm curious if pilots here would avoid flying in a drought-stricken area. Some such areas are declared to be under a "burn ban", meaning no open fires, welding, etc. Obviously flying Phantoms etc aren't like those activities but so much has been written about the volatility of LiPo batteries it would seem that their batteries are a potential liability. I'm not promoting an angle or anything; but liability is always an issue in our society, particularly when it comes to property damage and especially when it comes to starting a fire that could spread like what we're seeing in California.
Yes, LiPo batteries can burn but the chance of a drone flight ending in a crash that causes a wildfire are extremely small.
I've read many thousands of posts (including lots involving crashes) since joining the forum six years ago and none have been from anyone who has reported such a thing happening to them.
 
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Meta4's response makes a lot of sense. Also, if one is flying legally i.e. line of sight, and a crash or equipment failure happened you should be able to respond quickly for any eventuality, including a battery fire. If there are circumstances that would greatly increase the danger (severe winds for example) you probably shouldn't be flying anyway. Situational awareness avoids a lot of problems.
 

JeffreyS

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I've seen a battery self ignite and literally melt asphalt so thinking it could cause a fire in a dry area is a VERY real concern.
I'm sure you have links to the results of studies that would support your claim. I look forward to reviewing the data.
Thank you!

Sure, it can happen, and we all should be extremely aware and careful, but as I stated, and as Meta confirmed, the CHANCES are very small. This month there have been hundreds of lightning strikes in my state, some resulting in devastation. But no reports of lipo caused fires recently. Don't interpret my statement to think that I am, or encourage anyone to be, lax on safety. Too much mis-interpretation around here already.
 
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Sure, it can happen, and we all should be extremely aware and careful, but as I stated, and as Meta confirmed, the CHANCES are very small. This month there have been hundreds of lightning strikes in my state, some resulting in devastation. But no reports of lipo caused fires recently. Don't interpret my statement to think that I am, or encourage anyone to be, lax on safety. Too much mis-interpretation around here already.
Absolutelly agree! All life activities that means everything we do is dependant of propability. We always calculate chances of something will or won't happen. If propability of bad consequence is low enough then we'll do that.
You have got the right answers allready.
The propability for drone fire is very very low.
 
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Oh, the possibility is there... Regardless of how small that possibility is, we should treat it kind of like Covid19 and shut down all flights including commercial until further notice.
 
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I'm curious if pilots here would avoid flying in a drought-stricken area. Some such areas are declared to be under a "burn ban", meaning no open fires, welding, etc. Obviously flying Phantoms etc aren't like those activities but so much has been written about the volatility of LiPo batteries it would seem that their batteries are a potential liability. I'm not promoting an angle or anything; but liability is always an issue in our society, particularly when it comes to property damage and especially when it comes to starting a fire that could spread like what we're seeing in California.
For me it would amount to Risk Mitigation and then weighing Risk vs Reward. You might be able to Mitigate some risks. And the chances of starting a fire might be very minimal but the outcome could potentially be catastrophic. If the flight mission was pretty much recreational in nature, I personally would not fly. But if the Reward was much higher, say Search and Rescue, then I would fly paying very close attention to Risk Mitigation.
 
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It wouldn't faze me.

The odds of anything happening simply because I'm flying are so remote it doesn't even cross my mind.
 
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Meta4

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Oh, the possibility is there... Regardless of how small that possibility is, we should treat it kind of like Covid19 and shut down all flights including commercial until further notice.
So you wouldn't drive a car either?
The risk is about the same.
 
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People drive for all kinds of reasons and their cars cause about as many fires as drones do.
Much more often than drones I beliieve.
What is very different is about the penalty. If someones car in car accident cause a fier nobody think that the driver is braking the law, if same happen with a drone there will be always the drone pilot who is the 'bad guy'.
 
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I'm curious if pilots here would avoid flying in a drought-stricken area. Some such areas are declared to be under a "burn ban", meaning no open fires, welding, etc. Obviously flying Phantoms etc aren't like those activities but so much has been written about the volatility of LiPo batteries it would seem that their batteries are a potential liability. I'm not promoting an angle or anything; but liability is always an issue in our society, particularly when it comes to property damage and especially when it comes to starting a fire that could spread like what we're seeing in California.

As long as you take the proper precautions, the risk of a battery fire/explosion are really minimal on a well-maintained battery. It is good that you are thinking of the 'what ifs', but I would not let that stop you from flying. Like many other hazards, the proper flight planning will in most cases get you in the air with a minimal risk associated with the flight.
 

JeffreyS

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OK, everyone, there is no absolute correct answer. It comes down to your personal comfort level with risk. Any risk. Like the one you take by simply waking up in the morning and going outside to get the paper or check the mail. Some idiot is flying down the sidewalk on a bicycle, and bam, you're in the hospital (that's why riding bicycles on sidewalks is illegal in many towns including my own). Or getting hit by an out of control car while you're on the sidewalk or crosswalk. Or a loose wild attack dog. Or a.....(you fill in the blank). Or just a random drive by shooting. I'll bet there are more random shootings than lipo explosions. If anyone thinks there are studies that would support this, you're dreaming. It's just common sense projection.
 
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Pretty rare but it does happen .
 
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We have cars start fires up on the highway from time to time .People don't realise that the catalytic converters get very hot and that can start a fire if they pull off the road into long dry grass.
 

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