Thursday, July 05, 2012

Agency rules kept Reno chopper from fighting fire

Authorities in Reno say jurisdictional restrictions blocked calling a Regional Aviation Enforcement Unit helicopter to fight a wildfire ignited this week by the crash of a stolen car in the Caughlin Ranch area. Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley told the Reno Gazette-Journal for a Wednesday report the sheriff's RAVEN helicopter isn't sanctioned by the federal government for firefighting on U.S. Forest Service land. Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez says the decision hurt efforts to contain the Pinehaven Fire. But it's the law. The fire covered a square mile before about 90 firefighters contained it by Wednesday. The helicopter is authorized for use over federal Bureau of Land Management land. But officials say getting Forest Service approval has taken longer. AP

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