Drone grounds firefighting aircraft in Oregon wildfire

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A drone grounded firefighting helicopters that had been dropping water on a fast-growing blaze in Oregon.

The Statesman Journal reports that the drone was detected over the fire east of Eugene and around Cougar Reservoir Sunday afternoon.

Without water-dropping helicopters, crews had a harder time fighting the 8 ½-square mile (22-square kilometer) blaze.

The fine for operating a drone in a temporary flight restriction area — such as a wildfire — is up to $27,500.

This wildfire started more than a week ago and nearly trapped 20 people as it burned through Terwilliger Hot Springs in the Willamette National Forest.

The geothermal pools are a popular destination for camping and hiking about an hour east of Eugene.

The fire has so far closed 26 campgrounds, hiking trails and recreation areas.