Drone disrupts water drops on 35-acre brush fire near Yucaipa

A drone aircraft temporarily disrupted water drops over a 35-acre brush fire Sunday near Yucaipa, in San Bernardino County, authorities said.

The fire was first reported about 2:30 p.m. in Mill Creek Canyon near California 38, a few miles from where the 31,000-acre Lake fire continues to smolder, the U.S. Forest Service said.

At some point, aerial crews spotted a drone over the area near the fire, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Carol Underhill. Air tankers were grounded for about eight minutes before resuming firefighting operations, she said.

"Our tankers can't fly when there's a drone," Underhill said.

Four homes along the western end of Yucaipa Ridge have been evacuated, and California 38 between Bryant Street and Lake Williams has been closed, the forest agency said.

About 230 firefighters and personnel have been deployed to the blaze, which is burning through parched chaparral. As of 5:30 p.m., the fire's growth had slowed, Underhill said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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