Drone forces crews to temporarily stop fighting ‘Alaska Fire’ near Springville

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SPRINGVILLE, Utah (ABC4 News)- A drone is being blamed for temporarily shutting down air support for firefighters battling a fire near Springville.

The fire, dubbed, the Alaska Fire, is just northeast of Springville and is not threatening any structures. So far it has burned about 489 acres and is 35 percent contained.

Crews say the fire subsided significantly after several hours of consistent rain Wednesday.

It is located above a section of the Bonneville Shoreline trail. This section of the trail is temporarily closed to all pedestrians, hikers, equestrians, and bikers. Forest users are asked to be cautious and avoid the fire area.

Drones can interfere with wildland fire air traffic, such as air tankers, helicopters, and other firefighting aircraft that are necessary to suppress wildland fires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center website.

Per the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 43 CFR 9212.1(f), it is illegal to resist or interfere with the efforts of firefighter(s) to extinguish a fire. Doing so can result in a significant fine and/or a mandatory court appearance.

Make sure you know the rules before you fly a drone. Click here for more.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but fire crews say it is human-caused.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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