There is a $75,000 reward out for the drone operators who flew near several wild fires in California’s San Bernardino Mountains.
Why such a large number? These drones caused firefighters to have to temporarily ground their flame-battling planes, prolonging the flames and interfering with the safety of brave firemen and innocent civilians.
“In the most recent fire, the North Fire, we saw cars and trucks burning on the freeway, we saw homes burn, and we saw families running for their lives,” Jorge Ramos, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement.
“We want to know who was flying drones, and we want them punished,” he said. “Someone knows who they are, and there is $75,000 waiting for them.”
County officials said that small drones are dangerous in situations like the wildfires because they can be sucked into jet engines of low flying air tankers.
Mike Ramos, San Bernardino District Attorney says that these drone operators could be prosecuted for murder if it is revealed that the drones caused delays that resulted in deaths of firefighters and/or civilians.
In addition to the $75,000 for identifying the pilots, San Bernardino County is offering $25,000 for any information concerning three separate incidents that took place in July. Drones were also seen flying above the Lake Fire, Mill 2 Fire, and the North Fire. The most recent North Fire jumped the 15 Freeway, destroying 20 vehicles and four different homes.