Drone intrusion grounds firefighting planes at Goodwin Fire

Tankers such as this one are being used to help fight the Goodwin Fire south of Prescott Valley. A drone forced all firefighting aircraft to be grounded Wednesday night when it was seen flying over the fire.

Photo by Richard Haddad.

Tankers such as this one are being used to help fight the Goodwin Fire south of Prescott Valley. A drone forced all firefighting aircraft to be grounded Wednesday night when it was seen flying over the fire.

An unmanned aircraft system seen flying over the Goodwin Fire forced the grounding of all firefighting aircraft Wednesday night, according to a news release by the Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team 2.

The aircraft that were grounded were providing air support to protect threatened structures. In addition, flying a drone during air operations put the lives of firefighters at risk.

Law enforcement responded to the area and are investigating the incident.

There is a temporary flight restriction over the fire area and it is illegal to fly a drone within the restricted area. Violators will be prosecuted, according to the release.

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