MARION COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - As visibility improves, Oregon firefighters are asking drone enthusiasts to not fly their equipment, as a large number of helicopters and planes will soon take flight.
The helicopters and planes will help fire crews as they engage on wildfires burning across the state, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.
“We’re looking to Oregonians statewide to help us make the most of these resources and ensure our people stay safe by keeping their personal drones on the ground," ODF’s Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe said. "If you fly, we can’t."
According to Grafe, firefighters use aviation assets to drop water and retardant over the flames and to gain aerial views of the fire, especially hidden hot spots that need extinguishing.
“That aerial view informs our operational decisions and helps us provide accurate information about fire perimeters and activities to the public,” Grafe said.
More: Wildfire coverage
Poor visibility over the state from the heavy smoke has prevented firefighting aircraft from fully engaging on wildfires. With forecasts calling for clearer skies in coming days, fire officials say the public should expect to see many more planes and helicopters in and around wildfires, sources of water and airstrips.
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