Four separate incidents involving hobbyists flying drones are hindering operations on the Pinal Fire since it was detected May 8, 2017. The fire, which is located in the Tonto National Forest Globe Ranger District near Globe, Arizona, has burned approximately 4,375 acres.
The latest drone sighting occurred May 24, 2017. An air tanker flying over the fire was forced to release its retardant at a higher altitude for safety reasons. The higher drop reduced the retardant’s effectiveness on the fire. Subsequently, aviation operations were suspended until the drone issue was resolved.