A Chilean man has had his drone forfeited after appearing in court for disrupting a firefighting attempt in Wanaka.

Jorge Raquelme-Cruz, 33, was trying to get photos of a scrub fire near Mount Alpha on January 3 - but his drone in the sky temporarily stopped seven helicopters from tackling blaze.

Raquelme-Cruz appeared in Hamilton District Court this afternoon asking for a discharge without conviction for operating the drone, which caused unnecessary danger to helicopter pilots.

Judge Kim Saunders said a discharge didn't reflect the seriousness of the situation and agreed with police that a conviction was needed to denounce and deter this kind of behaviour.

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Judge Saunders ordered his $1,700 drone be forfeited.