The FCC has proposed fining an Idaho ham $34,000
for what it called willful and repeated transmissions on fire control frequencies
during a wildfire operation in the state in 2021. According to the ARRL
Letter, the FCC says Jason Frawley,WA7CQ, of Lewiston, repeatedly
interfered with U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Department of Land firefighting
personnel by transmitting on government frequencies on which he was not licensed
to operate. Frawley reportedly told the FCC he was trying to help, not
interfere, by passing along information about the area in which the fire was
burning, with which he said he was very familiar.
The Commission didn’t buy Frawley’s argument,
noting that this was the largest fine it had ever imposed for this type of interference.
The case even drew the attention of FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, who said
the transmissions “put fire suppression and public safety itself at risk,”
noting, “You can’t interfere with public safety communications. Full stop.”