Jurisdictional Restrictions Grounded RAVEN For Pinehaven Fire
The Pinehaven Fire ignited and burned 206 acres near the Caughlin Ranch area on July 2.
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office did not send RAVEN because of jurisdictional restrictions according to Doug Russell who is RAVEN's Chief Pilot.
He said part of the Pinehaven Fire was burning on U.S. Forest Service land and the federal government has not given them permission to fly above U.S. Forest Service land.
"It's frustrating to see a fire and not be able to drop on it," said Russell. "You know, that's all part of the learning process and developing a relationship with all these agencies."
Russell said he believes in the near future, Raven will be allowed to respond to emergencies over U.S. Forest Service land.
Meanwhile, RAVEN is celebrating its one year anniversary. Russell said it's been a very successful first year, despite fighting high temperature fires from high altitudes.
He said since July 7 of last year, Raven has fought more than 23 fires from the air and dropped about 87,000 gallons of water.
"One minute I'm doing a vehicle pursuit, the next minute we're doing a search and rescue for somebody lost in the hills. The next minute, I'm out flying to a fire. So, it's a really multi-mission type of environment, which I really enjoy because it keeps things interesting and you never know what's going to happen each day."
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:16 AM EDT2013-05-25 06:16:04 GMT
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