Two weeks ago, we here at Komando.com told you how California firefighters were delayed by hobby drones videotaping a spreading wildfire. Not only did the five drones clog the area that the emergency response flights were trying to reach, responders were delayed over 20 minutes. Thousands of dollars worth of property was damaged and destroyed as a result. Luckily, nobody died.
Now the authorities are after the pilots. San Bernardino County supervisors are offering $75,000 for information that might help track down the drone operators. The reward pool is broken down into three sets of $25,000, one third for each of the three fires. As of press time, none of the drone operators has been identified.
Officials, however, will be setting up a hotline in attempt to get more information and bring these irresponsible drone owners to justice. San Bernardino officials are telling anyone with information to call eTip at 1-800-78-CRIME, and callers can remain anonymous.
On top of offering rewards for any information, California legislators have been quick to propose new laws that would legally protect any first responders or law enforcement agents who have to destroy or remove drones from an area to deal with an emergency, like what you see in this video on our video site.
Proposed legislation would also mean that drone operators could face a $2,000 fine and a potential five-year jail sentence for flying their drones over forest or wild fires. Click here to learn more on that.