Two drones reported near Sterling Fire on Thursday

Sterling Fire drone
Sterling Fire, June 25, 2015. InciWeb photo.

Two drones temporarily halted air tanker operations Thursday on the Sterling Fire burning in the foothills north of San Bernardino, California, but operations soon resumed. The first drone was interfering with fire operations and that pilot has not been found. Another drone was reported by a concerned citizen and it was located. After reviewing the footage from the second aircraft it was determined that it was not interfering with fire operations.

The Sterling Fire. which has burned 100 acres north of San Bernardino, was reported about 6:30 p.m., on June 25. It spread north from the end of Sterling Avenue in San Bernardino into the San Bernardino National Forest. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

On June 24 a hobby drone flown over the Lake Fire east of San Bernardino, California caused a safety problem, requiring all firefighting aircraft to be grounded, according to CAL FIRE Public Information Officer Daniel Berlant. There has been no report that the pilot has been identified. The LA Times also has an article about that incident.

2 thoughts on “Two drones reported near Sterling Fire on Thursday”

  1. Last summer while flying fire patrol in Eastern Washington there were two instances when R/C aircraft overflew the airport where my aircraft and two FF rotorwings were based. Same decision. We were grounded until the R/C aircraft were clear of the airspace. IMHO this is a big deal, not only for emergency services (like fire fighting, the recent incident in NYC where an R/C was interfering with an ongoing structure fire team, and an R/C that prevented a medevac helicopter from landing at a recent auto accident), but also for all other aircraft occupied by persons. Imagine getting even a 2 lb R/C through the windshield of a C340, Cirrus, or Piper Cherokee?! Regulations allow R/C aircraft that weigh over 40lbs! The outcome of this sort of collision would likely be fatalities.

  2. We had an idiot land a UAV at the muni airport citing “I didn’t know I couldn’t” as an excuse. People are going to die.

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