Onlookers Hinder Firefighting Efforts on Weekend Fire South of Twin Falls
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSTV) - Sunday afternoon the twin falls district of the bureau of land management was spraying down the last of the hot spots at the nearly 400 acre hub butte fire.
"Crews are continuing to mop up around the perimeter of the fire," said Ryan Berlin of the BLM.
Saturday night around 10 lightening struck near the landfill and ignited into a glowing blaze. But the spectacle of the flames became an issue as residents flocked out to get a firsthand look.
"It's a natural draw for people, the curiosity," said corporal Chris Bratt of the Twin Falls County Sheriff's office.
With the fire on a dead end road, the onlookers parked on either side impeded fire fighting efforts.
"It became a choke point, to be able to get the assets for the fire department down that road," Bratt said.
Deputies from the Twin Falls County Sheriffs Office were called in to control traffic, but people parking on the road taking photos weren't the only problem.
"We had a drone incursion above the fire," Berlin said.
Flying drones above fire scenes can cause major safety concerns.
"If one of those drones hits the air attack, the helicopter, the air tankers, it could be very detrimental and it's life threatening," Berlin said.
On big fires the BLM will get a temporary flight restriction for the area, which makes flying your drone overhead illegal, but they couldn't this time.
"Where this was so fast we didn't have time," Berlin said.
Both law enforcement and fire crews ask, for your own safety and that of the crews, just stay away.
"If you're not actively helping chances are you're actually hindering their ability to do their job," Bratt said.
The fire was contained at 9:30 Sunday morning after it burned almost 400 acres.
It had an estimated control time of 6 Sunday evening.