Drones causing problems for firefighters - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Drones causing problems for firefighters

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MATTAWA, WA.-- On Sunday, firefighters working to contain the Lower Crab Creek Fire spotted, not a bird, not a plane, but a drone in the sky above them. This is not the first time they've seen one on the scene of a fire, but what you might not know is that popular gadget is extremely detrimental to firefighter's ability to contain a burn.

So, drone owners, think twice before sending your drone into the air. 

"When we have a drone in the area, we cannot fly our air operations," said the Randall Rishe, the fire's public information officer, "Which means we have no airplanes dropping water, no helicopters dropping water, and no planes dropping retardant on the fire. They have to stop, and not just for a short amount of time! for three, four hours."

We also saw this same thing happen during the very beginning of the Range-12 fire just last week, when someone flying a drone overhead halted all air operations.

Firefighters told us that if you are caught using a drone over the scene of a fire, you could face charges.