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Drone use interrupts aviation work on still-growing Pioneer Fire

Statesman Staff

Helicopter helps fight the Pioneer Fire

Almost 1,000 people are working on the Pioneer Fire, with 36 engines, 10 helicopters, nine water tenders, four bulldozers and five tree-chippers. Crews are focusing on preventing the fire from burning farther north or east, building lines and seek
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Almost 1,000 people are working on the Pioneer Fire, with 36 engines, 10 helicopters, nine water tenders, four bulldozers and five tree-chippers. Crews are focusing on preventing the fire from burning farther north or east, building lines and seek

U.S. Forest Service officials in a Sunday press release said aviation operations on the Pioneer Fire, located near Idaho City along Idaho 21, were stalled for 45 minutes due to drone interference.

In the release, officials urged drone operators to avoid active fire areas, emphasizing that “if you fly, we can’t” due to the threat of collision, which could destroy fire operations aircraft and potentially harm crew members.

The fire, which started July 18, continued to grow Sunday, burning almost 8,500 more acres and bringing the total burned acreage to 27,417. Crews were able to keep the fire contained at 27 percent, holding steady from previous days.

Nearly 1,200 personnel are working on the blaze, which again jumped Idaho 21 near Whoop Um Up/Lamar Creek as it burned east-southeast, according to the release.

More updates will be available during a community meeting Sunday night at the Boise Basin Senior Citizens Center in Idaho City at 7 p.m., where officials will be answering questions.

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