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Air attack on Coldwater Fire stopped Saturday because of private drone

KPNX-TV Phoenix logo KPNX-TV Phoenix 6/9/2019 12 News
smoke coming from it © Provided by TEGNA Inc.

CLINTS WELL, Ariz. - Burning just under 6,000 acres south of Clints Well in the Coconino National Forest, air attack on the Coldwater Fire had to be halted on Saturday because firefighters spotted a drone.

There is a Temporary Flight Restriction over the fire and it is illegal to operate a private drone near any wildfire. The helicopter assigned to the fire had to be grounded, Coconino National Forest officials said.

Officials say the Coldwater Fire is located about 4 miles south of Clints Well, and is less than one mile east of state Route 87. It has burned approximately 5,800 acres inside of the 17,400 acre planned area where the fire is running its natural course.

There are 119 firefighters currently battling the blaze. The Blue Ridge area and as far south as Payson could be affected by smoke. Officials say depending on wind, other communities could be affected by smoke as well. 

There are no current highway closures due to the fire, but forest officials say ADOT may close State Route 87 at times or use a pilot car because of reduced visibility with the smoke.

a close up of a sign © Provided by TEGNA Inc.
A possible drone intrusion was reported yesterday on the #ColdwaterFire. Remember, "If you fly, we can't!"
smoke coming from it: coldwater fire © U.S. Forest Service coldwater fire

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