Aviation News

June 6, 2012

President’s Arrival Prevents Fire Helicopters From Fighting Los Angeles Canyon Blaze

Los Angeles City Fire Department Air Ops 1, a Bell 412 (N301FD). (Photo by Alan Radecki, via Wikipedia)

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighting helicopters were reportedly ordered not to take off to fight a brush fire late Wednesday afternoon due to a no-fly zone imposed for the arrival of President Barack Obama aboard Air Force One.

Houses in the Mandeville Canyon neighborhood of Brentwood were threatened by the fire, which was first reported at 4:49 PM local time, according to a Patch report. Thanks in large part to calm winds, ground-based firefighters were able to douse the flames without the help of airborne water drops before any homes were damaged. No one was injured.

About 9 miles northwest of Los Angeles International Airport, the site of the fire fell within the 10 mile no-fly zone that commonly surrounds any airport when the President arrives, known as a Temporary Flight Restriction or TFR. While military aircraft accompanying the President may enter the TFR area, local law enforcement, medevac and firefighting operations must ask for permission to take off beforehand.

The Los Angeles Fire Department operates a fleet of seven helicopters out of Van Nuys Airport.

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