SB 168

BILLS WOULD LET FIREFIGHTERS HALT DRONES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, San Bernardino Fire Dept.: North Fire in its early stage

July 20, 2015 (Sacramento) -- After a series of  serious incidents involving drones interfering with firefighting aircraft,  state legislators have introduced bills that would allow firefighters and rescue personnel to damage or disable drones, also increasing penalties for drone operators who impede firefighting.

The latest and most devastating incident occurred Friday, when five drones forced firefighting planes to delay air drops in order to avoid mid-air collisions. The North Fire quickly spread out of control, crossing Interstate 15 in San Bernadino County and destroyed 20 vehicles on the freeway.  The blaze swelled to thousands of acres, also destroying homes and other property.