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Firefighters, safety officials still upset about private drone pilots

Keep the drones away from wildfires, folks

By Michael Hatamoto from Aug 19, 2015 @ 13:45 CDT

The number of drones interfering with air crews and firefighters continues to frustrate officials, and trying to stop the chaos is proving difficult. Some pilots are just regular people getting a unique angle of the action, while others are interested in selling footage to news stations.

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"The most immediate and critical issue we face is the serious threat that these drones pose with the irresponsible use of them," said Ken Pimlott, chief of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, in a recent legislative committee meeting. "It is placing our air crews, our pilots, in immediate danger."

Recently, firefighters were forced to temporarily halt operations in Cajon Pass due to five drones flying in the general vicinity. In addition, there were other problems when a drone flew within 25 feet of a helicopter, causing a rightful panic among the aircraft's pilot.

San Bernardino County officials offered up to $25,000 in rewards for three separate drone-related incidents. This appears to be an issue that won't easily go away, and officials want to try to educate the public to keep away, especially if they are disrupting active operations.

NEWS SOURCES:Latimes.com


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