FCC Proposes $34,000 Fine Against Man Accused of Interfering with Fire Suppression Comms
Wednesday, June 08, 2022 | Comments

The FCC proposed a $34,000 against Jason Frawley for interfering with radio communications while crews were fighting a wildfire in Idaho.

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau alleged that while the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Idaho Department of Lands were attempting to direct flights of fire suppression aircraft against the Johnson fire, Frawley made transmissions that interfered with those communications using an amateur radio. According to the notice of apparent liability for forfeiture, Frawley transmitted five times on July 17 and three times on the following day.

The FCC received a complaint from the USFS alleging that an individual had been transmitting over its frequencies without authorization and that those transmission were causing interference with radio suppression communications. According to the USFS, the person transmitting was advising firefighters and aircraft personnel of hazards at a radio repeater site near the area.

During these events, Frawley was identified and located. He admitted to using those frequencies and identified himself as a comm tech. A fire official told Frawley to stop transmitting on the frequencies on July 18, according to the notice of forfeiture.

On July 22, the USFS filed a complaint against Frawley and an agent interviewed Frawley. He admitted to the agent to using the government frequencies and acknowledged that he was not authorized to do so, according to the notice. In deciding to propose a fine against Frawley, the FCC noted that Frawley had admitted to using the frequencies without authorization.

“Here, Frawley admitted to having made multiple unauthorized transmissions on frequencies licensed to the U.S. Forest Service and to the State of Idaho while these agencies were coordinating firefighting activities,” the FCC said in the notice. “These transmissions impeded U.S. Forest Service personnel from conducting legitimate communications and resulted in diversion of personnel that would have otherwise assisted with coordinating and/or firefighting activities.”

Find the full notice of proposed forfeiture here.

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On 6/8/22, David Ingram said:
The FCC notice and story make mention of ham radio but where is the evidence that an amateur radio was actually used to transmit on the fire channels The individual owned operated a communications business and had a number of businesses. Maybe it was a commercial transceiver that was used Seems that amateur radio was incidental to this deluded fool.


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