Hobby drone ownership has spiked in recent years, and more drones have been spotted flying illegally over active wildfires in the US, where they can endanger the airplanes and helicopters being used to battle the blazes.
Drone sightings have grounded aerial firefighters on three different days at a Utah blaze that has forced the evacuation of 100 homes.
The Interior Department hopes the new smartphone notifications will keep drone fliers at a safe distance. Its plan is to post data online that companies can start using in August to keep the notification apps up-to-date.
The next step is asking drone builders to make it possible for drone operators to activate systems that would automatically prevent a drone from entering temporarily restricted airspace.
Federal agencies are looking at drones for mapping fire perimeters, and are even developing drones to fight wildfires.
There is urgency to the Interior Department's plan because the FAA predicts 1.9 million hobby drones will be sold this year and as many as 4.3 million by 2020.