It's been a calm wildfire season so far this year but that could change in the next few weeks.The Bureau of Land Management wants you to know how you can help keep fire fighters safe this summer.

Aircraft assisting in fire operations were grounded in Arizona earlier this week after a drone was spotted flying in the area. This is an issue fire officials in Eastern Idaho are all too familiar with.

Kelsey Griffee from Idaho Falls District BLM says, "We've had some close encounters even in Eastern Idaho. Last year on the Grassy Ridge fire we had an encounter and when that happens, we have to shut down all of our aircraft."

When a wildfire is burning the area becomes a TFR, meaning temporary flight restrictions, but many wonder why.

Kade Garner says, "When a drone is spotted near a wildfire the BLM has to put air operations on hold and the drone poses a great risk to the pilots flying these planes."

The air support is grounded for its own safety.

Griffee says, "Birds can take down a plane. Well, a drone can too."

A drone is a threat to planes but when the aircraft are grounded, the fire becomes more problematic.

Griffee says, "So that leads to the fire getting bigger and and us not being able to do everything possible to slow the spread of the wildfire or protect homes or communities."

While wildfire season hasn't proven to be too eventful yet, BLM wants to remind you now that if you fly, they can't.

All wildfires are no fly zones for drones and doing so can lead to legal repercussions.


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