Drone Interferes with June Fire Efforts
Written by Andrew-Rossi on July 21, 2017
The June Fire is impacting visitors and residents up the North Fork – but residents are impacting the fire fighting efforts as well.
Due to the danger from the June Fire, the Elk Fork Trail, Blackwater Trail and Elk Fork Campground have been closed for public safety. Visitors on the North Fork Highway are reminded to be vigilant of increasing numbers of firefighting personnel and equipment.
However, on Wednesday, someone flew a drone near the wildfire area – and according to Kristie Salzmann with the Shoshone National Forest, that shut down air operations for a time.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, drones can interfere with wildland fire air traffic, such as air tankers, helicopters, and other firefighting aircraft that are necessary to suppress wildland fires. Even a tiny drone can cause a serious or fatal accident if it collides with firefighting aircraft, so aircraft must land due to safety concerns.
In many cases, wildfires become larger when aircraft are not able to drop fire retardant, water, monitor wildfires from above, or provide tactical information to firefighters.