California Offers $75K Bounty For Reckless Drone Operators That Interrupted Wildfire Suppression Efforts

If there's a way to abuse the coolest technology, you can bet that somehow, somewhere, a silly human will figure out how. It's true of idiots pointing high powered (and blinding) lasers at helicopters and airplanes, and it's also true of people interfering with firefighting efforts with drones.

The latter happened recently, forcing firefighters to temporarily abandon plans to drop water on the flames via low flying aircraft. Drones proved a nuisance to firefighting efforts in three major wildfires this summer, which collectively burned around 36,000 acres.

Image Source: Flickr (Richard Unten)

Identities of the drone operators are still not known, though San Bernardino County supervisors hoped to tip the scales in their favor by offering $75,000 in rewards for help in tracking them down. That's $25,000 for each fire that spread more than they should have due to drones being in the way.

"This type of activity is not going to be tolerated when first responders are trying to put out fires that drastically affect the constituents of San Bernardino County," said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Unlike the days of the wild west in which bounties might have been offered for bringing in bad guys dead or alive, the rewards in this case are for tips to identify the individuals responsible so that they can be prosecuted.
Tags:  drone