The drone was found in the van and seized.
A witness first reported a man flying a drone in the no-fly zone on June 24, telling officials the man was operating the drone while standing near a white van close to the Mount Union Lookout Tower, D'Evelyn said. In a press release, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said the 54-year-old Prescott Valley native had endangered 14 aircraft and fire crews "with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury by flying an unmanned drone aircraft in the closed airspace above an active fire area".
It's unclear if Carpenter has an attorney.
Carpenter's bond was set at $25,000 and he's expected in court July 6.
The Arizona Republic reports that the grounding of the planes meant ground units had to temporarily abandon their firefighting efforts as they no longer had air support, letting the fire continue to blaze undeterred.
The rescuers come from a Flagstaff-based crew whose members were among 1,200 firefighters at the scene. It was 75 percent contained as of Monday. Thousands of people have been forced out of their homes. When a drone intruded into the Goodwin fire on that date, there were 14 aircraft in the area including 5 helicopters, 3 very large air tankers (DC-10), and 5 heavy air tankers flying. The airspace was cleared immediately, and 14 aircraft were reportedly grounded for almost an hour, hindering the efforts of the firefighters on the ground. Lawmakers have called for more oversight and awareness as the consumer technology gets cheaper and more accessible. There are also federal laws regulating drone flights. During wildfires and other emergencies, the FAA imposes temporary restrictions.