Thursday, October 23rd9.4°C
What's Up

Drone: clearing the air

Some media are reporting we put aircraft at risk by flying a drone over a forest fire in Peachland. That is not the case, they are not reporting the facts. 

I was at the forest fire, I flew the drone, this is what I know:

  • The helicopter was finished for the day - I confirmed with the team leader of the forestry crew working the fire that there would be no more flights over the area
  • There were no fixed wing craft on the fire
  • The fire was in mop-up stage, no need for any more flights when the fire is out
  • It was only a .25 hectare fire
  • I informed a forest firefighter that I would be taking the drone up and he said he looked forward to seeing the video
  • I shot the helicopter, from the ground, making its drops. Then it was called off and the forestry crew moved in
  • I was beside the forest firefighters shooting them as they put out hot spots 
  • It was an hour after the helicopter left when I brought out the drone
  • The drone was in a black case that I was carrying with me while I talked to the ground crew. I walked down a road, in clear sight of the firefighters, to unpack and launch the drone
  • I had the drone up for about a minute, hovering just above the treetops. When I was told they still had a 'no fly zone' over the fire, I landed the drone immediately
  • We do not fly directly over anyone with the drone. If it were to crash we don't ever want to hit anyone. We shoot off to the side of a situation or in front or behind it to avoid human contact
  • Castanet was the only media company at the fire

After I brought the drone down, the forestry worker thanked me and then he asked me a number of questions about the drone. He said he could see how having one might help them to locate hot spots and dangerous trees while they attack a fire.

It was a good lesson. Now we know that even if planes and helicopters are called off, there is still a no fly zone over forest fires and we will not be sending the drone up.

We will never put lives at risk for a shot from the air.

Trevor Rockliffe, Castanet News Editor.


Happy Birthday!

Yes, Castanet viewers, we value your feedback and requests! 

We have now added Birthdays to our Celebrations page

Check it out under the main Community tab and send us your special announcement!

And, it is that time again - time to clean out the clutter and hold your Garage Sale

Simply click on the link under the Community or Classifieds tab and post your sale! 

Our Garage Sales page features a full size map, garage sale list, route planner and is printer friendly  for your convenience!


Happy Spring!

Welcome Kamloops

Have you noticed something new on Castanet? We've added a Kamloops page.

"We've been ramping up our Kamloops coverage for sometime and now we have a news page for the City," says Castanet News Editor, and former Kamloops' resident,Trevor Rockliffe.

Castanet editorial staff have been getting requests from readers in Kamloops and the Thompson-Nicola Region for more news coverage and we are answering the need states the News Editor.

"From City Hall to the fire department, RCMP and the Regional District we have reached out to many key organizations and government offices in the area so we will be on top of local news as it happens when it happens, and we will update the Kamloops page as news happens."

Rockliffe is also asking for help from people in Kamloops.

"Our readers in the Okanagan send us news tips, photos and video all of the time. They make us who we are and it gives us more eyes on the streets. If people see news send us a tip or better yet shoot a photo or a video and send it to [email protected], we pay for news and we'll post it on the Kamloops page."

Castanet also has a great reader photo gallery and people are encouraged to send in outdoor photos of sunsets and animals. If you have a topic you'd like to bring up you can also send in letters to the editor.

Do you have a news story? Send it to [email protected]



Spirits at Castanet

To add to the lore of Castanet and to celebrate our 13th anniversary one of our people created this little ditty.

The Castanet Dash
I was working in the office, late one night
When the sirens were screaming, an eerie sight
The reporter from his desk, began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise
He did the dash, he did the Castanet dash
He did the dash, it was an internet smash
He did the dash, he posts his stories in a flash
He did the dash, he did the Castanet dash
From the West Side of Kelowna to the East
To every Okanagan computer where the Casta-nuts feast
The latest classifieds and stories, as the page re-loads
Viewers get their fix from their own abodes
He did the dash, he did the Castanet dash
He did the dash, it was an internet smash
He did the dash, he posts his stories in a flash
He did the dash, he did the Castanet dash
The Tango site launched, to amp up fun
Silly pics and videos, or a random pun
The team consists of Mr. Stand-up Rob
Plus the Tango girls who make the boys heads bob!
They seek events, and they own the day
And Kelowna is aware they are here to stay
It's clear Castanet and The Tango too
Are Kelowna's go to for Entertainment and News
Let’s do the dash, Let’s do the Castanet dash
Let’s do the dash, Sales bringing in the cash
Let’s do the dash, To everyone behind the scene
Let’s do the dash, Castanet has a winning team!

If anyone wants to make a digital recording out of this we'd be happy to feature it on Castanet, send it to [email protected]


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