BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- Aviation officials have imposed flight restrictions over an Exxon Mobil oil spill into the Yellowstone River
Aircraft in the area cannot fly below 500 feet.
Shawn Bayless, regional aviation director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said Wednesday that he requested the restrictions after two near-collisions over the river since Monday involving aircraft doing cleanup.
A notice from the Federal Aviation Administration says the restrictions will be in place until further notice. They extend from Laurel downstream to the Pompeys Pillar area and span a half-mile on either side of the river.
Bayless says he wanted to protect company and government workers attempting to clean up what's left of an estimated 1,000 barrels of crude that spilled July 1. Two helicopters have been assisting in the effort.