Pilot Fire in San Bernardino County burns 1,500 acres; mandatory evacuations ordered

SAN BERNARDINO , Calif., Aug. 8 (UPI) — A wildfire in California’s San Bernardino County has led officials to initiate mandatory evacuations and smoke advisories.

Evacuations were ordered for the Summit Valley area east of Cedar Springs Dam. The wildfire, known as the Pilot Fire, has burned 1,500 acres with no containment.

The fire began Sunday at about 12:10 p.m. and smoke advisories have been issued for the Mojave Desert area. About 400 firefighting personnel have been deployed.

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group has warned nearby residents to avoid using hobby drones or other unmanned aircraft as they “pose a major safety threat to firefighting pilots and firefighters.”

“When a hobby drone is flown into a fire area, incident commanders have no choice but to suspend air operations and ground aircraft until the drone is removed from the area,” the NWCG said in a statement.

“A collision could easily result in major damage to our aircraft, injuries to the pilot and crew on board as well as firefighters below, and worse, a midair collision.”

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