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Watch out for smoke, TFRs near wildfiresWatch out for smoke, TFRs near wildfires

Aerial firefighting

Watch out for smoke, TFRs near wildfires

Wildfires already have started popping up across the United States, and as hot weather starts they are only likely to get worse. If you are flying near an area plagued with fires, check notams for temporary flight restrictions (TFRs).

And visit the FAA's Web site for graphical depictions. The size of the TFR can vary depending upon the extent of the fire, but pilots should plan to leave plenty of room because the smoke can drift beyond the TFR boundaries.

"The best thing to do is stay away from the area period, because there will be heavy aerial firefighting activity," said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of aviation services. "But if you inadvertently fly into smoke, you will be in instrument conditions."

April 13, 2006

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