Illegal drone halts firefighting operations on Coldwater Fire in Arizona

  • Source: KNAU Public Radio
  • Published: 06/11/2019 12:00 AM

AUDIO: Coconino National Forest crews are working to manage a lightning-caused wildfire near Clints Well that started last week. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, they were forced to halt aerial firefighting operations after spotting a drone flying in a restricted area. The crew of a fixed-wing aircraft over the Coldwater Fire reported the private drone Saturday. Managers immediately grounded a helicopter taking part in firefighting efforts until they determined it was safe to resume flying. "It’s always illegal for a private drone to be operating within the wildfire area … Drone can cause significant damage to our aircraft. That can cause airplanes, helicopters to crash … That puts the lives of our crew at risk," says U.S. Forest Service incident spokesperson Brandalyn Vonk.


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