By Gregg Rosenblum

SAN BERNARDINO (CBS SF) — A hobbyist flying a drone prevented firefighting aircraft from fighting a wildfire in Southern California Wednesday, a Cal Fire officer tweeted.

Cal Fire Public Information Officer Daniel Berlant tweeted “Tonight a hobby drone grounded firefighting aircraft by flying over the #LakeFire.  When you fly…we CAN’T! Puts our pilots lives at risk.”

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The Lake Fire was burning about 90 miles east of Los Angeles, and had burned about 27 square miles.

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In the Bay Area, firefighters reached 30 percent containment on a 200-acre wildfire in the Contra Loma Regional Park area of Antioch Wednesday evening, according to a Contra Costa County fire inspector.

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Individuals flying for hobby or recreation are strongly encouraged to follow the FAA’s safety guidelines, which include:

  • Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
  • Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
  • Don’t fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying
  • Don’t fly near people or stadiums
  • Don’t fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs
  • Don’t be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft – you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft