The Kentucky National Guard has advised drone operators to avoid flying their unmanned aircraft near the wildfires in southeastern Kentucky.
The National Guard has spotted numerous drones near the fires “which could force delays or cease aerial suppression operations, impeding efforts to control and contain the blazes,” Maj. Steve Martin said in a news release.
Gov. Matt Bevin issued a state of emergency following efforts to contain more than 30 fires reported by the Kentucky Division of Forestry in Eastern Kentucky. The National Guard dropped more than 120,000 gallons of water on the fires last weekend alone.
“I personally own and enjoy remote controlled aircraft and greatly appreciate the point of view and visibility they provide,” said Col. Michael Stephens, commander of the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade. “We do want the public to see what we are doing and the positive publicity. However, many drone owners may not realize the potential danger that even a small remote aircraft poses to helicopters.”
Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso