DRONE GROUNDED FIRE FIGHTING PLANES BATTLING CA FIRESTORMS

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

 

CAL-FIRE ISSUES WARNING TO DRONE OPERATORS, UPDATES ON FIRES

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2015 (San Diego)—With wildfires raging across California, an unmanned hobby drone interfered with firefighting aerial drops yesterday on the Sterling Fire in San Bernadino Fire.  According to CAL-FIRE Captain Kendal Bortisser, this is the second time in two days that a drone has halted air drops. The near-misses have prompted CAL-FIRE to issue this stern warning to hobby drone users: “If you fly, we can’t!”

He adds, “A collision with a hobby drone could easily result in major damage to firefighting aircraft, injuries to the pilot and crew on board as well as firefighters below, and worse, a midair collision. It is unsafe for unauthorized drones to be flown anywhere near a wildfire.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that an air tanker laden with over 10,000 gallons of fire retardant was forced to turn back from the Lake Fire due to the drone, as did two smaller planes that had to dump their loads of water elsewhere because it was too heavy to land carrying them. As a result, the fire swelled to even larger proportions and is currently at nearly 30,000 acres, only 19% contained.

As of today, nearly 3,300 firefighters remain on the front lines of five large active wildfires burning in California.  The good news is that the Corrine Fire in Madera County is 100% contained at 920 acres. The bad news is that several other major fires continue to rage, with a red flag warning in effect across much of northeast California due to high heat, strong winds and potential for lightning fires. Learn how you can take action to be prepared for wildfires at www.ReadyforWildfire.org.

Here are updates on the fires still burning:

**Unified Command Fires**

Lake Fire, San Bernardino County (more info…)

US Forest Service/CAL FIRE/San Bernardino County Fire

*29,813 acres – 19% contained

*Evacuations remain in effect

**Federal Incidents**

Sterling Fire, San Bernardino County (more…) NEW

US Forest Service - San Bernardino National Forest

City of San Bernardino area

*100 acres – 50% contained

*CAL FIRE is assisting

Washington Fire, Alpine County (more info…)

U
S Forest Service – Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest / BLM

South of Markleeville

*16,490 acres – 15% contained

*CAL FIRE continues to assist

Sky Fire, Madera County (more info…)

US Forest Service – Sierra National Forest

Community of Calvin Crest

*500 acres – 96% contained

**Local Incidents**

Calgrove Fire, Los Angeles County (more info…) NEW

Los Angeles County Fire Department

Community of Santa Clarita

415 acres – 95% containment

*CAL FIRE continues to assist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.