Firefighting planes briefly grounded by drone over wildfire

Jul 13, 2015 11:45 AM by News Staff

YUCAIPA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities said a drone temporarily halted air tankers that were fighting a wildfire on the edge of the San Bernardino National Forest.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Carol Underhill said the fire broke out in a canyon north of Yucaipa Sunday afternoon, prompting the evacuation of four homes.

She said firefighters at a nearby air tanker base responded swiftly and stopped the fire's forward spread at about 35 acres.

However, she said fire officials grounded the planes for about eight minutes until the drone left the area of the fire.

It was the fourth time in the last month that the spotting of a drone over a California wildfire prompted the Forest Service to ground the firefighting planes out of fear that the drones will collide with the aircraft.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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