Drone Operator Near Wildfire Facing 14 Felony Counts

A man accused of flying a drone over a major Arizona wildfire posted the aerial photos on his website, authorities said Saturday, leading to his arrest for hampering firefighting efforts against the stubborn blaze menacing an area where 19 firefighters were killed four years ago. Fire crews continue to work the northern and western flanks of the fire, which now has a perimeter of 62 miles.A man was arrested in Prescott, Arizona for flying a drone into the airspace near the Goodwin Fire that as of Friday had burned over 25,000 acres southeast of the city.Using a drone in a wildfire area is cover under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 36 261.3 (a) Interfering with a Forest Officer engaged in or on account of the performance of his official duties in the protection, improvement, or administration of the National Forest System is prohibited. Forest Service personnel manning the tower reported seeing the same thing, at the same time as the second witness – a man, hear a white van, flying a drone.Two Flagstaff Hotshots, while fighting the Goodwin Fire south of Prescott on Friday evening, made a discovery that saved lives – of the four-legged variety: two fawns. Deputies developed leads identifying Carpenter, based in part, on prior contacts.Police said the drone on Wednesday circled an official firefighting plane, posing a threat that grounded the official 14 aircrafts, including helicopters and air tankers. The drone was found in his van and seized. All firefighting aircraft had to be grounded for about an hour on Wednesday, June 28.An off-duty sheriff’s deputy saw the suspect’s van in Prescott on June 1.