A 'crashed drone' is being blamed for starting a forest wildfire in Arizona

Firefighters spent a day tackling the blaze which covered an estimated 50 acres.

Press Association
Last updated: 13 March 2018 - 1.43pm

A drone has been blamed for a wildfire in a US national forest in Arizona.

The gadget reportedly burst into flames when it crash-landed, sparking a fire which was initially estimated at about 50 acres.

[Read more: Eagles are being trained to attack rogue drones]

The drone’s owner has been charged with starting the fire at Coconino National Forest, reported the BBC.

 

WILDFIRE FINAL UPDATE: Coconino National Forest firefighters and Summit Fire Department have responded to the Kendrick…

Posted by U.S. Forest Service – Coconino National Forest on Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Firefighters from Coconino National Forest and Summit Fire Department spent a day fighting the blaze.

They took action to stop it spreading by back burning 335 acres of forest land.

Backburning is a recognised method of stopping a fire spreading by intentionally burning a section to contain the original flames.

Coconino National Forest said the action protected a church in the vicinity of the fire, the Chapel of the Holy Dove.

“Firefighting crews ensured its safety by using fire to burn the fuels between the spreading wildfire and the chapel.

“The back burning successfully kept damaging heat and flames away from the chapel.”

The drone crashed in an area of the forest near Kendrick Park, on March 6 at about 12.35pm.

A spokesman confirmed: “The fire began near Forest Road 514 & FR 524 intersection by a drone which caught fire upon landing.

“The fire was reported as 50 acres in size upon the firefighter’s arrival.”

Drivers were advised to be cautious because smoke was limiting visibility.

The US Department of Agriculture website, explains that drones can be flown in the park but there are rules about where they take off and land, the use near to trails and restrictions near to an airport.

Users must also follow Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) guidance on drones.

[Read more: Drones used to catch tax evaders]

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