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Drones are grounding firefighting helicopters

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Firefighters in Southern California are battling more than flames and smoke — they also have to worry about thrill-seeking drones that could collide with first responders’ helicopters. reports citing NYPost that The pilot flying a firefighting helicopter in Ventura County north of Los Angeles spotted a drone hovering above the flames at 3:19 a.m. Friday, apparently trying to take a photo or video of the fire below, forcing air operations to stop for at least 45 minutes. At 4:05 a.m., another drone appeared, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The drones grounded aerial firefighting for another hour while the Maria fire continued to spread.

Crews are still fighting that blaze, the last large wildfire in Southern California, according to the Associated Press. It has burned about 15 square miles and prompted evacuation orders for nearly 11,000 people since it began Thursday evening, but was 0 percent contained early Saturday.

This blaze may be another that could be attributed to electric lines, despite massive power shutdowns to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses aimed at preventing new fires.

2019.11.02 / 16:28
Tural Azimzadeh
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