Flying Drone Causes All the Fire Fighting Planes Grounded During Major Fire in Big Bear Area
Photo taken by CAL Fire.
Firefighters were faced with a major challenge on the Lake Fire in San Bernardino County yesterday as a hobby drone, (UAS) unmanned aircraft system, was spotted in the fire area where air tankers were flying. Just before 6 p.m. in the Onyx Summit area an air tanker spotted the drone in the area where the firefighting aircraft were working. This fire is only 21% contained.
Firefighters were forced to ground all firefighting aircraft until they could find the operator and get the drone out of the area. An unauthorized drone is a major safety hazard for a pilot, as a collision could easily result in major damage, injuries to the pilot on board as well as firefighters below, and worse, an aircraft crash. CAL FIRE reminds hobby drone users, “If you fly, we can’t!”.
This is an active fire which has been burning for over a week now. Unfortunately this drone is keeping the planes from fighting this major fire and putting Big Bear and the surrounding communities at risk.
A few hours later, a second drone was spotted nearby. The authorities are trying to locate the owners of these drones.
Drones and Fires do not mix and are putting the public and their properties at a major risk. This is another negative factor of flying drones. Governmental regulations need to put into effect to protect the public.
*As a side note, California is in the 4th year of an extreme drought and last Saturday the clergy of many churches had a conference in Chino. At the conference, they all prayed for rain to end this drought.
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