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Drones Could Disrupt Planes Fighting Wildfires

U.S. Bureau of Land Management
 

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Fire danger is high in California with a dozen wildfires burning and 29,000 acres up in flames so far this year. And an increasing problem has been the presence of aerial drones over those fires.

The drones can cause a mid-air collision and force the grounding of planes and helicopters involved in the firefight, according to Heather Williams with CAL FIRE.

“You’re putting everybody’s lives at risk," Williams said. "If we can’t get our aircraft up there fighting the fire from the air and allowing the firefighters on the ground to operate, that delays us in doing our jobs and putting out the fire.”

Williams said people flying drones in wildfire areas can face arrest.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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