Drone causes delay for firefighters at Larkspur wildfire

Aerial footage of a small fire burning near Larkspur Thursday, July 9, 2020.
Aerial footage of a small fire burning near Larkspur Thursday, July 9, 2020.(CBS Denver)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 6:13 PM MDT
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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Firefighters were able to get the upper hand on a small wildfire burning in a remote part of Douglas County Thursday.

Forest Service officials downgraded the East Plum Fire from 1 acre to less than half an acre Thursday night, citing better mapping.

The wildfire sparked Thursday evening 7 miles southwest of Larkspur. The fire is burning in rugged, almost inaccessible terrain, resulting in six firefighters rappelling into the fire area from a helicopter in order to battle from the ground. An air tanker first dropped fire retardant around the perimeter to pave the way for the crew to drop in.

The Forest Service said the biggest hindrance for firefighters Thursday wasn’t the hot weather condition or the breeze, but a drone.

“Valuable time was lost with these water dropping aircraft due to the drone intrusion and because of the time of day, only one helicopter is able to return to this fire this evening,” the Forest Service said.

One helicopter is returning to the blaze Friday to assist ground crews.

No structures are threatened.

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