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Wed, Aug 29, 2018

Drone Shuts Down Firefighting Efforts In Oregon

Unauthorized Aircraft Spotted In The Vicinity Of The Terwilliger Fire

A drone violated the TFR around the Terwilliger Fire in Blue River, Oregon, grounding firefighting aircraft working on the blaze.

Television station KMTR reports that the drone was first spotted by a helicopter at around 6:38 p.m. local time. Fire manager grounded all aircraft out of concern for safety.

The fire broke out on August 19, and has consumed nearly 5,400 acres. Some rain has fallen in the area, but authorities say it is not enough to make much of an impact.

While the intrusion happened late in the day, there were about two hours remaining for aerial firefighters to work on the blaze before stopping for the night. Mick Mickel, speaking for the Terwilliger Fire overhead team, said those last two hours can be when firefighters can see some of the most active areas of the fire.

Along with halting firefighting activities, medevac aircraft that may be used to bring people out of the fire area area also grounded, fire managers aid.

Violating the TFR can carry a fine of up to $27,000 per incident. The operator of the drone has not been identified.

(U.S. Forest Service image)

FMI: Original report

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