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Officials issue warning after drones reported over Milepost 97 Fire

It's illegal to fly drones over a wildfire, and doing so can cause officials to ground their air support units to avoid mid-air collisions.

Posted: Jul 30, 2019 6:22 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2019 7:04 PM

CANYONVILLE, Ore. -- Reports of drones flying over the Milepost 97 Fire have officials reminding the public to stay out of the skies.

It's illegal to fly drones over a wildfire, and doing so can cause officials to ground their air support units to avoid mid-air collisions.

RELATED: Firefighters making progress on Milepost 97 Fire

Scott Swearingen, air operations director for the Milepost 97 Fire, said the two reports came in over the last few days after their operations had ended for the day.

"One actually showed a video," Swearingen said. "When drones are up in the air and we don't know about them, we can't fly either because we don't where they are. They are big hazard for us."

MORE: Delays to continue on I-5 due to Milepost 97 Fire

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, drone pilots could face a fine of $20,000 if they are caught.

On Tuesday the helicopters and planes working to battle the Milepost 97 Fire got a late start because of heavy clouds and smoke in the area. They were not able to take off until around noon.

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