There those drones go again, ruining everything. This time their interference threatened lives and property, when aerial firefighters fighting the North Fire in California yesterday were forced to cease operations after spotting drones in the air. The fire engulfed multiple cars and homes on the 15 freeway near Los Angeles.
According to NBC4, when the firefighters spotted five drones hovering over the scene, all five air units that had responded were forced to pull back and land in nearby San Bernardino.
This is why:
The drones can pose a hazard to the planes, so the airspace must be closed to fixed-wing aircraft if they are seen in the air.
“It can kill our firefighters in the air … They can strike one of these things and one of our aircraft could go down, killing the firefighters in the air. This is serious to us. It is a serious, not only life threat, not only to our firefighters in the air, but when we look at the vehicles that were overrun by fire, it was definitely a life-safety threat to the motorists on Interstate 15,” said John Miller of U.S. Forest Service.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time drones have interfered with firefighting. Back in June, a 4-foot drone shut down firefighting efforts concerning the Lake Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest.
According to KTTV, the fire started around 2:30 p.m. on Friday. By dawn, it had burned through 3,500 acres, destroyed three homes, eight outbuildings and 44 vehicles, yet was only 5 percent contained.