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California Firefighters Ground Civilian Drone Shooting Wildfire

drone_AP_croppedA drone shooting video of a California wildfire was grounded because fire officials feared it might interfere with efforts to contain the blaze burning near Sacramento, CA.

A California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times, the owner of the unmanned vehicle was asked by Sheriff’s Deputies to stop flying the drone to keep it away from the low-flying aircraft being used to fight the Sand fire.

The owner was apparently operating the craft, described as a “quadcopter,” so he could “check out the fire” for his “own personal entertainment,” she said.

It was the first time CalFire had encountered such a device during their firefighting efforts, [CalFire spokesperson Lynne] Tolmachoff said. But she expects it won’t be the last.

“I anticipate it possibly being a problem in the future,” she said.

Firefighters continued to gain the upper hand on the Sand fire Monday, increasing containment to 65%. It was sparked about 4:34 p.m. Friday by a vehicle driving in dry brush.

The blaze has destroyed 13 homes and continued to threaten 515 structures, according to CalFire.

Here’s the story from Sacramento FOX affiliate KTXL:

[Los Angeles Times]

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