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CA offers $75,000 to catch firefighter-interrupting drone pilots

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Officials in California's San Bernardino County are tired of drones grounding their airborne firefighting efforts, that's why they've decided to take action. They're now offering a total of $75,000 in rewards to catch the pilots who flew their UAVs over three different forest fires -- they're allotting $25,000 in rewards for each one -- that took place these past months. During the latest one, which happened this mid-July, aerial firefighters reportedly came across five hobby drones flying over the affected areas that ultimately forced them to land. The 20-minute delay those drones caused was apparently enough for the flames to spread to the Interstate 15 freeway, burning cars in the process.

Officials plan to set up a hotline, and they're hoping the money's enough to entice people to call and speak up about what they know. UAVs are considered a hazard for planes and choppers, that's why aerial firefighters can't do their jobs while they're flying around. Authorities aren't allowed to shoot them down either, though a new bill submitted by California lawmakers wants to give first responders the right to disable drones that hamper their efforts.

[Image credit: Official U.S. Air Force/Flickr]

Via: Gizmodo
Source: LA Times
In this article: california, drone, law, uav
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