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Fire crews warn people not to fly drones near wildfires

Posted at 10:56 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 01:56:17-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) This fire season crews have a warning for people in Arizona: don't fly drones near wildfires. 

There have not been any reported issues as firefighters battle the Sawmill Fire in Green Valley, but crews do want people to be aware of the dangers of drones.

"Drones can bring down choppers and they can bring down airplanes," said John Cambra, the spokesperson with the Sawmill Fire. "It also puts the people on the ground at risk cause they're not getting the water support from the aerial helicopters doing the drops or the slurry drops."

In a press release sent in February, Kaibab National Forest officials said reports of unauthorized drones at wildfires have doubled over the past few years.

When people fly personal drones in temporarily restricted areas, all firefighting operations have to shut down, Cambra said. 
 
Last summer in Idaho crews had to stop working for 45 minutes because people were flying drones.
 
Here is a link where you can check temporary flight restrictions from the Federal Aviation Administration.