resilience reporter

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Someone Flew a Drone Too Close to a Wildfire, Again

FEMA Has Rejected 60 Percent of Assistance Requests in Puerto Rico. Why?

Many Puerto Ricans have a jaundiced view of the federal response to Hurricane Maria: Federal aid was slow to materialize compared with aid to Texas, and President Trump appeared at times glib and dismissive of the island’s plight. High on the ledger of residents’ catalog of grievances is the hefty number of people who have been rebuffed for repair grants from FEMA: In March, lawyers and community groups said that the agency had denied about 60 percent of household applications in Puerto Rico, often because families could not prove ownership of their homes…

 

Someone Flew a Drone Too Close to a Wildfire, Again

Plane drops fire-retardant chemicals on the 416 Fire near Durango, Colorado

A plane drops fire-retardant chemicals on the 416 Fire near Durango, Colorado.La Plata County Handout / Reuters

On Thursday, firefighting crews battling the Bocco Fire, which has burned hundreds of acres in Colorado, had to stop their efforts when an unauthorized civilian drone flew into their airspace. Neither tankers nor helicopters could fly for an hour while firefighters waited for the drone to clear.

“If you have aviation equipment moving quickly and they hit a drone, that’s going to cause significant damage and really be a safety issue for that pilot,” Steve Hall, a spokesman for the Colorado Bureau of Land Management, told Denver 7 ABC. “[It’s] not a distraction anybody needs—whether they’re on the ground or in the air.” (The bureau did not respond to a request for comment.)  It’s not the first time that civilian drones have frustrated forest-fire fighters. In 2016 alone, unauthorized drone flights led firefighting crews to ground their aircraft at least 13 times, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The service initiated a public-outreach campaign to try to dissuade pilots. Their tagline: “If you fly, we can’t!”…

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