As the Lolo Peak Fire made its major run along Highway 12 Friday night, somebody decided to launch a drone to capture some dramatic video or pictures. This irresponsible behavior forced fire managers to shut down critical air operations over the fire area.
Flying drones in closed air space around fires is a federal offense. It jeopardizes pilots lives and grinds water and retardant drops to a halt.
The Lolo Peak Fire team asks anyone who witnesses a drone incursion to immediately report it to 406-272-5433. Operators will need your name and phone number, the location where you observed the drone, the time you observed the drone and its direction of travel.
Conflicts have already occurred in at least 9 states this year, including the high-profile arrest of a man in Arizona who was charged with 14 felony counts of endangerment after he was caught flying a drone over a fire in Prescott National Forest last month.