Drones Wrecked Air Drop on Raging Fire

An air tanker carrying fire retardant headed for a devastating wildfire in California had to turn back, because a hobby drone was flying at the site at 11,000 feet. The plane was carrying more than 10,000 pounds of a chemical meant to be used on Big Bear Lake. While the tanker simply used its cargo for another fire, two smaller planes had to drop the retardants they were carrying because they couldn’t handle the weight—wasting a mission that cost between $10,000 and $15,000. “These folks who are handling these drones, I have to assume they have no idea what they’re doing,” a U.S. Forest Service spokesman said. “They not only endangered the folks on the ground, but they endanger the pilots.”