Michael Konopasek, News 9
NOBLE, Oklahoma – Federal, state and local authorities are searching for a man who is suspected of waving a gun at a Black Hawk helicopter as it was extracting water from a pond to fight a wildfire.
It happened mid Thursday afternoon in Noble. Witnesses tell the FBI, OHP and Noble police that they saw a man wave a rifle at the helicopter. Thursday evening, his antics turned into a federal investigation.
Throughout Thursday, Black Hawk helicopters came just short of touching down on top of ponds, gathering as much water as possible to fight the fire and save lives. But, apparently, someone didn't want them taking that water.
"Evidently, this landowner, I'm assuming, was not happy with them taking the water from him," said Maj. Phil Scott of the Noble Fire Department.
Investigators are interested in video from Sky News 9 which shows a man who appears to be irate that the helicopter is taking water. News 9 cannot confirm if the man in the video is the man authorities are looking for.
"I just think it's totally ridiculous that someone would do that," said Joyce Cummins who lives in the area.
OHP and the FBI spent the afternoon and early evening interviewing people for possible leads. Noble Fire Department says serious consequences can come from interfering with firefighting operations.
"There's felony charges that can be filed," said Scott.
Residents in the area were left in shock to hear someone would act in such a way.
"I hope they are able to pinpoint who it is because they need to have some consequences," Sam Uhlenhake, who lives nearby, said.
No one had been charged with a crime as of late Thursday. Investigators are looking for a suspect south of where the Noble wildfire started.