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Middle Mamm Firefighters Interrupted By Drone

Oct 9, 2019

Smoke from Middle Mamm fire visible in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Credit Chip Griffith/Courtesy Photo

Firefighters working the Middle Mamm fire south of Rifle were dangerously interrupted Tuesday. A drone was spotted flying overhead. 

“Someone with a drone flew into the temporary flight restriction and the air space over the Middle Mamm Fire,” said Public Information Officer Lynn Lockwood.  “This is dangerous for our pilots and it means they have to shut down operations so it’s a big problem for us.”

It was an especially big problem Tuesday because the drone stopped Middle Mamm firefighters from preparing for a predicted big wind event  in front of a cold front moving in over the next two days.

Lockwood says despite repeated warnings, drone incursions are not uncommon. 

“I’m afraid it’s an ongoing problem for us,” Lockwood said. “It’s frustrating. It’s illegal. And, it’s dangerous. They’re endangering our crews. I just hope people will finally listen and I hope it just doesn’t take an accident for people to get the point.”